Create a hybrid work policy to help employees work smarter

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Presented by ActivTrak

The range of flexible working arrangements – from hybrid and remote work to open-address workplace strategies – continues to expand as companies explore the next steps. However, working remotely is not the best option for everyone. The prevalence and popularity of remote working has exploded, by default, during the pandemic. For some organizations, including ActivTrak, a distance-first strategy and culture is the best and most sustainable approach to long-term success.

It is important for executives and managers to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach and that the future of work warrants a more thoughtful and strategic exploration of their organization’s specific needs. To better meet the evolved expectations of employees with critical business needs, some may consider a hybrid approach that allows them to divide their time between a formal workspace and a location of their choice.

Designing and documenting a hybrid work policy that meets the unique needs of your organization can streamline the transition from other operating models and provide clear guidance to employees.

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Download Now: Hybrid Labor Policy Model

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Varying degrees of flexibility and employee choice

Hybrid working arrangements have existed, often informally, for decades. In a hybrid work model, employees are free to do their jobs in the work environment that helps them be most productive, with varying degrees of flexibility and choice. With the support of their manager, some employees may decide that the remote control alone is the best option for them, while others may find that working in a designated office, away from the distractions of home, is essential to getting the most out of it. of the work week.

Maybe employees prefer to be in the office 2-3 days a week to see co-workers or attend an important meeting. It’s about offering a variety of work options that promote flexibility and allow employees to create a work-life balance that works for them and their well-being without affecting performance.

The advantages of a hybrid work model

Hybrid work arrangements have many advantages, both for companies and for employees! These include:

  • Improved collaboration: The value of real-time in-person connection improves collaboration and cannot be fully replicated in an exclusively remote environment. Whether the interactions take place in formal meetings or impromptu chats, the type of in-person conversation that can only take place in a shared workspace can spur innovation and speed resolution.
  • Better work-life balance: Work-life balance is essential for employee well-being and a healthy work environment. When employees are in control of their schedules and can decide when to travel and when they prefer to stay at home, they feel empowered to make the best choices for their own well-being, engagement and productivity. Happier employees are also more likely to stay with your business, which is better for retention and your HR department.
  • Access to deeper talent pools: Many people have become accustomed to the benefits of remote working. By offering a hybrid model, companies can broaden the talent pool they choose to include a larger geographic area and a larger group within that area that may not be able to travel or may not be interested. working in an office space every day.

The benefits of hybrid working are often underestimated, because while it may seem like remote working is the ideal option by default, the data offers a more nuanced and realistic perspective. A recent Accenture poll found that 83% of those polled would prefer a hybrid model where they could work remotely at least 25% of the time. Additionally, 68% of Americans say a hybrid work model is their ideal arrangement, and interestingly, the majority of Gen Z employees (at 74%) want the ability to work on site.

These statistics show that the future of work is not necessarily one where everyone works remotely full time, but it will certainly be one that includes flexibility. Senior executives, managers and team leaders need to consider this evolving approach and put as much effort into documenting and disseminating a hybrid work policy as they do other related initiatives. at work.

The challenges of a hybrid work model

As with any new way of working, hybrid working arrangements present a number of challenges, especially in the absence of a formal policy.

The first is the lack of clarity. With employees shaping their ideal work environment, it can be difficult to put your team members on the same page. How many days in the office differentiate a remote worker from a hybrid worker from a worker in the office? Will hybrid workers receive a lower homework allowance because they spend fewer days at home? Do employees have to inform their managers of their arrival or do they have unlimited access to the space? These are all important questions that should not be left to the last minute.

The second challenge is productivity. Hybrid workers face the same productivity challenges as remote workers, and burnout, focus, and disruption top the list. Working from home can quickly blur the lines between working hours and personal time, and as the workday extends beyond traditional hours, it is not uncommon for employee well-being to suffer. and that burnout rates are increasing.

When your home and workspace have a dual function, personal distractions like checking social media, chores in between checking emails or taking care of family make it harder than ever to focus on tasks and can impact performance. Suddenly your day isn’t divided into blocks of work hours and personal hours – it all gets mixed up. While some of these challenges can be alleviated when employees choose to come to the office, then they are faced with further wasted time and focus, such as commuting.

From a managerial perspective, assessing the productivity of a hybrid employee is a challenge because you can’t just peek to see what your team members are doing. Instead, you need to learn to trust your employees, and you need to find new ways to assess their productivity from a distance. The best way to do this is to use workforce productivity analytics and seamlessly leverage the data in conversations and coaching opportunities with employees.

How to create a clear and comprehensive hybrid labor policy

Managing a hybrid team effectively can be a challenge. The key to alleviating these problems is to bring decision makers together to create a hybrid labor policy. This document should define your company’s expectations and responsibilities towards all hybrid workers and structure and define the standards for the hybrid work model. In addition, the hybrid labor policy should explain how the analysis of labor productivity will be taken into account in this new model.

All employees, wherever they are, can benefit from the data-driven insights gleaned from a workforce analytics solution. The Hybrid Work Policy is your chance to build productivity monitoring and improvement into your business from the start and lay the foundation for a culture of continuous productivity improvement.

So what should your hybrid labor policy include? Much like a remote work policy, your hybrid work policy should set out the guidelines and best practices for your new hybrid operating model and answer any questions your team members might have about the arrangement.

The policy should outline the eligibility criteria for hybrid work and a hybrid employee’s expectations, including how many hours they are expected to work each day, what those hours are, and if and when they are expected to enter in the office space. It’s also important to include a section with easy access to key resources your employees may need to adapt to this new hybrid environment.

Again, the more resources you provide to support the policy, the more you can streamline the transition and ensure that business and employee needs are met from the start. If there are some additional responsibilities that employees need to take on when they are at home or in the office, this should be clearly stated. The more answers you can provide up front, the stronger and more efficient your hybrid work regime will be.

To guide you through this process, we’ve created a Hybrid Work Policy Template to help you start defining your own policy. A comprehensive policy can help strengthen in-person and virtual communication, streamline digital processes, and develop hybrid management strategies.

For a detailed example, download the ActivTrak Hybrid Work Policy!

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About ActivTrak and the Productivity Lab

ActivTrak helps businesses unlock their productivity potential. Our award-winning workforce productivity and analytics software delivers expert insight that empowers people, optimizes processes, and maximizes technology. With data from over 9,000 customers and 250,000 users, the ActivTrak Productivity Lab is a global center of groundbreaking workforce productivity research and expertise that helps businesses adopt and to be the future of work.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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