Since 2020, remote working has been on the rise, but with many employers opening their offices again, a hybrid working model is becoming quite sought after owing to its flexibility. Employers can institute specific days for either in office or remote working days or a combination of both. However, management needs to know how to engage with employees working from the office and those working remotely.
In this article, we’ll go over some of the most common engagement challenges faced by employees and how they can be addressed to ensure your hybrid workforce remains productive and happy!
Create a relaxed workspace free from distractions
Where ever you staff are working from, it’s important that they have an ideal workspace where they can focus and remain productive. Having employees work in an environment where they feel relaxed and can focus is important. You could offer your employees financial reimbursement for ergonomic furniture or offer a small stipend to purchase office supplies to help them do and give their best on the job.
Ensure employees are utilizing office hours, not working past when they should be home with family or enjoying other activities outside of work.
Preempt and manage issues that may arise
If you’re managing home/ remote workers, get ready to deal with issues that might arise with employees who never worked from home before. It’s important for your employees to feel comfortable enough to share their questions or concerns with you. Having an open-door communication policy will provide a boost in employee engagement.
Always remember that employees have other obligations and responsibilities besides their work-related ones. Be sure to create a work environment where employees are enables handle their non-work related responsibilities too. Allowing a flexible schedule when needed will help increase employee productivity because it will lower their stress levels.
To improve employee morale, it’s important to provide all employees the chance to socialize with one another. Your office could host virtual happy hours or trivia games where all employees can participate. Keeping employee morale up is crucial because your employees need to know and trust one another to keep the workflow running smoothly.
Acknowledge that remote working isn’t for everyone
While having this option is ideal for many, Harvard Business Review found that almost 1/3 of employees don’t wish to work from home ever again. To engage with your employees, you need to acknowledge that this isn’t for everyone. Some employees might prefer to work in an office to help with productivity or because they don’t have adequate resources at home, but it’s important that employees have the option to choose what works best for them.
To accommodate everyone, you should offer all employees the opportunity to work from the office full-time, and if employees prefer a work form home option, you should consider instituting a hybrid policy, where work from home employees come to the office every so often (ex. once a week). Employees might not feel comfortable sharing the reason why they don’t wish to work at home full-time so it’s important to allow them the choice of working in the office or from home with no questions asked.
Communicate constantly to ensure everyone is on the same page
Accountability is the name of the remote work game. Having a system in place will encourage accountability, responsibility, and cooperation among your team members. To keep everyone accountable and productive, we recommend having a weekly team meeting when employees working from home and the office and video conference with each other.
A hybrid model doesn’t mean employees work alone. You’ll want to stay in close touch with your team to ensure that the individuals don’t lose their sense of accountability. Teamwork is crucial to your company’s success no matter where your employees are working from. It’s important for all employees to be able to reach other team members and have a response in a timely manner.
When working out responsibilities or tasks, there should always be discussions about how each team member will accomplish those duties. With a hybrid work from home model, you can ask team members to all come in on the same day so certain meetings are tasks can take place in person.
Employers have to be proactive about a hybrid work model, or the disorganization will always bring about a sense of disengagement from workers. Having a clear hybrid policy in place, communicating to employees about expectations, and actively engaging with all employees are just a few of the ways to keep your hybrid workplace functional and efficient.
Author: Paige Williams, Public Relations Specialist representing Elfster.