Hybrid Workforce

What is a Hybrid Workforce?

“Hybrid workforce” is a relatively new term that describes employees working from a company’s office as well as working from home. Since the start of the pandemic, hybrid working has increased in popularity tenfold and is set to change our future working habits forever. 

Companies across the globe are striving to keep a competitive edge and are offering a lot more flexible working options and environments. Deciding to adopt a hybrid workforce is a strategic business decision that needs to be designed in a way that maximizes both profit and employee engagement.

Businesses are required to provide employees the tools that they need to produce outstanding work whilst placing trust in people outside of the traditional office space. 

Hybrid Workforce Model

The hybrid workforce model has been developed to increase dexterity, stability, and helps to drive competitive differentiation amongst employers. It’s a drastic departure from the more traditional workplace model that wasn’t very big on flexibility. 

Each business has a unique hybrid workplace model in place that suits its specific needs. Employees see the inherent value in the flexible working model and are 47% more likely to apply for a job that offers remote working opportunities. 

Hybrid Workforce Best Practices and Solutions

Shifting to a hybrid workforce approach can put stress on some organizations that don’t have an effective plan in place. 

But, adopting flexible work comes with a string of advantages that far outweigh the flaws. Improved employee productivity, savings on real estate costs, and workplace satisfaction are just some of the ways that hybrid working models have revolutionized the jobs market. 

There are however some best practices that should be followed to ensure the continued success of your workforce. 

These include: 

1. Gathering employee feedback 

One of the most critical parts of successful hybrid working behaviors is feedback. Listening to employees and keeping an open line of communication is key. Cross-functional workplace committees can also be set up to establish multiple perspectives that can easily be implemented. 

2. Effective communication 

Many businesses lack a long-term internal communications strategy and suffered during the pandemic when they migrated to a remote working model. Decision-makers need to ensure that an effective stream of communication is accessible at all times. If employees aren’t in the office, they need to be aware of organizational changes that could affect their job roles. 

3. Introduce seamless technology

According to Gartner, IT spending in companies will grow by 6.2% in 2022 alone. Tech is by far the most important aspect of a first-class workplace experience. HR and IT teams need to work seamlessly and collaborate on productivity and network integration tools to produce an environment that works both in and out of the office.

Hybrid Workforce Statistics

The Pulse of the American Worker Survey by Glint discovered that 87% of employees want to work from home at least one day of the week

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Did you know...

68% of American workers say that working in-office and remotely is the perfect model.

Hybrid Workforce Management

Embracing a hybrid workforce requires detail-oriented management techniques that establish strong ties between managers and their direct employees. Having access to information without red tape and procedural boundaries is fundamental. 

Monitoring employee engagement through intentional communication is the best way to gauge performance and manage it effectively. It’s easy to overlook the need to support remote workers through positive feedback and constructive criticism.

Hybrid Workforce Technology

Modern employee experience platforms are paving the way for the future of work. They are designed to listen to employees’ needs by gathering valuable insights through surveys, analytics, and workplace application monitoring.

Such platforms can be integrated into existing workplace applications, building upon principles of composability. For example, collaboration tools can provide guidance on how to better engage with staff.  

Digital adoption platforms such as WalkMe provide guided support to change and enable new working behaviors—whilst machine learning studies workflows to help employees automate tasks themselves, giving them more time to focus on strategic initiatives.

Hybrid Workforce Strategy

Hybrid work isn’t just about increasing flexibility for employees. It’s a unique chance to improve the delivery of work and upend outdated business practices. It can have a major impact on team collaboration and the experience of the workforce in general. 

A long-term strategy that delivers intelligent and autonomous workplace experiences is key in redefining the way businesses operate in the digital age. Intelligent strategies can eliminate frustrations and optimize operations by creating efficient environments that serve employees both in and out of the office. 

Hybrid Workplace Culture

Building a positive organizational culture is potentially the most important leadership challenge in the workplace. If such a culture is ignored or avoided, it is likely that employees, and in turn the business, will suffer. In fact, a disjointed culture can breed toxicity, inequality, burnout, and high employee turnover rates. 

Delivering consistent tools, services, and experiences across the workforce will establish an equitable attitude that promotes both internal and external prosperity. Providing avenues for employees to voice feedback and adjust their working habits ensures continued long-term success.

Benefits of a Hybrid Workforce

The benefits of embracing a hybrid workforce are immense and can have lasting impacts such as: 

1. Increased productivity 

The flexibility of the hybrid working model empowers employees and allows them to work to their strengths. When you encourage a culture that views work in a positive way, it gives employees a chance to find a neat balance between creativity and collaboration.  

2. Improved employee satisfaction and workplace culture 

An autonomous working environment with little to no micromanagement is one major key to employee satisfaction. How, where, and when your employee’s work has a massive impact on overall satisfaction and sets the foundation for a spike in productivity across the board. 

3. Extra possibilities for continuous learning  

Many organizations are driven by performance, rather than creativity and growth, which leads to poor employee development and fewer learning opportunities. Learning experiences shouldn’t be limited to training exercises and should be offered wherever possible to allow employees the time to reflect and evolve. A hybrid working model allows workers to better manage their time and focus on priorities. 

Hybrid Workforce Challenges

The biggest challenge for remote working models is unconscious bias. Managers and executives need to ensure that remote employees are treated the same as those in the office. In the past, remote workers have suffered from fewer promotions and lower performance evaluations than their on-site peers. 

The dilution of culture also plays a significant role in remote working behaviors as the workforce becomes more dispersed. Workers can become easily disillusioned with office life, with the focus generally shifting towards corporate culture. It’s easy for people to feel left behind in a fast-paced and ever-changing working environment.

Managing a Hybrid Workforce

When managing a remote workforce, follow these best practices to ensure longevity, productivity, and motivation from your employees: 

1. Set clear goals and expectations 

Conveying KPIs, deadlines, and work briefs with clarity to your workforce will ensure that remote workers are confident about their goals and objectives. Virtual meetings are a great way of concurrently sharing progress and project reports. Effective communication is the most important part of keeping remote workers engaged and satisfied. 

2. Create a hybrid working policy 

Developing and implementing a policy around remote work establishes rules and guidance on attendance, breaks, and provision of equipment and software. Intranet pages and internal employee handbooks should be updated to reflect all of the latest information around hybrid working policies. 

3. Change parameters for accessing performance 

Management styles need to be tailored to suit the needs of the workforce. Micromanagement has been proven to demotivate employees and deplete their self-worth. Rather than focusing on the number of hours worked, you should instead concentrate your time and energy on measuring results.

Conclusion

Adopting a hybrid workforce model is a step into the future that has the ability to enhance productivity and maximize long-term earning potential. Multiple studies have shown that happy workers produce more quality work and hold greater internal value. 

Investing in a hybrid workforce and allowing employees flexible and autonomous opportunities is priceless and is likely to provide a return on investment almost immediately.

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