5 Tips to Help Navigate Hybrid Work Culture
Over the last year and a half, 56% of companies transitioned their employees to full-time remote roles.
As the country opens up post-pandemic, some organizations are asking employees to come back into the office using a hybrid work model. In a hybrid workplace, employees work from home, but also come into the office a few days out of the week.
As companies come back into the office environment, it’s a good opportunity to approach hybrid culture as a way to modernize and update any pre-pandemic policies that are no longer relevant or useful.
Check out these 5 suggestions to help navigate hybrid culture and provide the best employee experience.
1. Respect everyone’s time: The pandemic gave everyone more time. While working remotely during the pandemic, employees saved an average of fifty minutes a day from not commuting. More than ever, employees are seeking jobs that respect their time and see them as individuals leading busy lives.
Today, while most meetings are virtual, nearly 70% of employees experienced an increase in meetings and meeting times. As employees come back into the office, rethink the goals of your meetings, when they happen, how long they are, and how it’s beneficial to the work. If they don’t add to productivity, see where you can cut back. And it’s always helpful to have an agenda to stay on task.
2. Change how you manage employee activity: As a company, the last thing you want to do is micromanage your team after working completely remote for over a year.
79% of employees express that they’ve experienced micromanagement at some point in their career. The best solution is to find other ways to measure the activity and success of your employees.
For instance, try weekly individual check-ins with your team members/managers with a list of tangible goals to track. Use task management apps like Asana to make sure employees are on target with their tasks and can easily communicate with others on the team.
3. Train first-line managers to be able to effectively lead hybrid teams: Before jumping into a hybrid culture, it may be worth testing it out with the middle and low-level managers on your team. The perspective and leadership of your managers can be helpful to see where adjustments are needed.
By doing this, you’re looking out for your employees and identifying areas in the workplace that can be improved. You’re also upskilling your managers, who need to understand and be onboard with any new hybrid policies or procedures. The last thing employees want to feel is undervalued or uneasy coming back into the office due to lack of preparation.
4. Detailed written communication: As a hybrid organization, it’s especially important to over-communicate so that tasks, goals, and expectations don’t get lost in translation. For example, writing post-meeting follow-ups with action items can ensure tasks are properly assigned. For any new employees, having regular email check-ins in addition to a centralized onboarding document can be helpful.
5. Create experience parity: Change the meaning of success and growth at your company. With a hybrid culture, where some employees are in the office more often than others, you could run into (whether subconsciously or not) a proximity bias with who receives raises and promotions.
Additionally, extra care should be taken in what team/networking events are planned. Evening happy hours or after work sports leagues could exclude busy parents who would also want facetime with key leaders at the company.
Instead, each team member should have clearly defined goals and development plans that can be judged fairly when it comes time to consider promotions.
Transitioning to a hybrid work culture can be difficult at first, but it’s not impossible. By using these five tips, your organization can adapt to new working norms that will keep employees happy and productive.