Last time on the blog, we started our guide to hybrid working.

In it, we looked at how your organisation can begin to implement a solid and well-considered Hybrid Working model.

We covered

  • Policies and strategy
  • The legal work
  • Inclusion and fairness
  • The employee lifecycle
  • Training and development

If you missed it, follow this link.

This time, we’ll carry on and look a little more into what hybrid working may mean for employers on a practical and day-to-day level.

Technology and equipment.

The pandemic showed us that remote working relies upon technology infrastructure.  Seamless tech is vital for hybrid workers to integrate their remote and on-site work. It is also essential for communicating effectively with colleagues.

Employers may like to think about

  • Supporting employees in the use of tech. This includes the use of it in a way that supports health and wellbeing
  • Do the current equipment and systems support hybrid forms of working?
  • Providing tools and technologies to enable hybrid meetings and collaboration.
  • Making sure that appropriate security measures are in place to ensure system and data security when employees are working away from the workplace.
  • Do your workers have other needs to support hybrid working, such as office furniture or mobile devices?

Manager training and development.

If yours is an organisation that hasn’t offered remote or hybrid working before, it’s likely that managing a hybrid team may be challenging. Managers may need to adapt their ways of working and mindset to allow this to be successful.

The pandemic may have taught us “on the job” how to manage a remote team but managing hybrid working brings with it a different set of challenges.  

Training managers will need a two-pronged approach and include

The practicalities.

This includes

  • Managing requests
  • Implementing new ways of working
  • Coordinating schedules
  • Managing meetings
  • The tech

The people

This includes

  • Effective communication and collaboration
  • Performance management
  • Team and relationship building
  • Fairness and equality of opportunity
  • Employee engagement

Performance Management.

When your employees are working remotely or as part of a hybrid arrangement, their performance may be harder to judge.

The performance of hybrid workers will need to be assessed on contribution, outcomes, and value.  Managers won’t be able to monitor every aspect of an employee’s work when they are working remotely. They may need to adapt their style to accommodate hybrid working. Trust and autonomy are part of the cultural shift required for successful hybrid working.

However, staff appraisals will still need to happen, so you’ll need to consider

  • How well can managers assess performance based on objectives and results?
  • Are your current assessment methods a good fit for hybrid working?
  • Is the current reward system geared toward presenteeism?
  • Ensuring 1-2-1 face-to-face meetings happen with hybrid workers to discuss performance.
  • How can we recognise and reward hybrid workers for great work?

Communication.

Nothing is as important to successful hybrid working as communication.

Communication in hybrid working is more important as ad-hoc desk visits aren’t an option. Without proper communication, hybrid working won’t work. There’ll be missed information, knowledge gaps, poor collaboration and the exclusion of team members who aren’t in the office.

Employers may like to

  • Ensure meetings are always held online by default if anyone is at home.
  • Teams could be encouraged to develop their own ‘rules’ of communication. For example, this may include how often they’ll get together, what technology they’ll use for meetings and how they can ensure that the communication includes everyone.
  • Make time for being together. Regular connection opportunities will support employee engagement and team building.

Wellbeing.

Hybrid working has been hailed to bring many benefits to the work/life balance of employees. Not so well documented though are the challenges it brings to the same.

Employers need to account for the difficulty some employees and managers have in recognising healthy boundaries between work and home.

To develop a positive balance between the two, employers may like to consider

  • Providing training and support around managing work-life balance when in a hybrid working pattern.
  • Having training on digital wellbeing and encouraging healthy technology use habits.
  • Helping line managers to understand the potential for “burnout” and offering training to help them spot this amongst their team, especially those who are off-site where this will be harder to identify.
  • Ongoing mental health support for all employees

We hope our guide has helped you to create your hybrid working policy or given you some ideas to think about.

Just offering hybrid working to your employees isn’t enough. Employers have a responsibility to ensure that hybrid workers and their hybrid working models are as supported and as considered as any onsite policies, staff, and procedures.

Hybrid working is here to stay.

As sustainable, ethical, profitable, and supportive organisations, we need solid hybrid working policies and procedures that future-proof our businesses.

A little while ago, we pulled together many of our blogs around remote working. Here is a link to the back catalogue of our thoughts, Blog Round up – Remote working.

Let Ignite Digital help fill your hybrid jobs. Our consultants will work with you, sourcing the best tech talent in the UK from our wide network of tech, digital and data professionals.

Reach out today.

 

About the author: I manage the recruitment for a range of digital roles for my clients on both a retained and contingency basis. I specialise in senior and confidential appointments, always giving a first class representation of a client’s employer brand.

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