The benefits of a hybrid workforce go beyond employee satisfaction. Flexibility and autonomy in employees and operations unlock greater cost efficiencies for businesses, improving your bottom line and driving growth.
But the transition to a hybrid workforce can create distinct challenges that require consideration, planning, and constant investment of resources to overcome. Unprepared businesses can encounter problems during this shift that could cause costly implementation delays and operational inefficiencies.
To maximize the value you get from your hybrid workforce arrangements, we examine 5 fundamental considerations and how to best deal with them in your operational strategy.
Do the hybrid principles of flexibility and employee autonomy translate to clear working guidelines for your managers and employees? Translating these principles into actionable routines is crucial so your workforce knows what’s expected of them. Examples of what to communicate to staff include:
What days team members must work in the office
How remote working is managed
The core “active” hours for remote and hybrid workers to connect with their on-site counterparts
How managers monitor and review team members
How much independence employees have regarding workloads and schedules
Thorough, easy-to-understand guidelines maintain employee effectiveness and efficiency by preventing them from being overwhelmed by changes. They also give your enterprise architecture and project management office (PMO) a framework to optimize existing infrastructure and direct implementation efforts for future roadmap projects. And they provide a clear picture of the digital platforms and tools required to ensure productivity and security.
A successful hybrid workforce can engage and contribute regardless of location, time, or platform. To leverage the most out of flexible working and employee autonomy, your infrastructure, leadership, and working best practices must:
Ensure fast, equal access to information and resources
Connected digital workspaces equipped with cross-platform software allow employees to work and collaborate in real time. Interactions between multiple applications are inevitable. Evaluate how well your applications function together. Adjust your portfolio accordingly to optimize efficiency and ensure smooth operations.
Establish leadership that can manage remote employees effectively
Review best practices for team leaders in charge of remote employees. Fostering team synergy improves process efficiency and prevents interpersonal friction from impairing productivity.
Accommodate for disparate working hours
Tapping into a global labor market comes with its challenges. A workforce that operates in different time zones demands greater coordination for work to consolidate on schedule. Apply learnings from local employee autonomy to facilitate asynchronous input.
Hybrid arrangements change work culture. Ensure your measures to improve long-term value address mental health and work-life balance to motivate employees and improve productivity. Besides monetary compensation, organizations should prioritize:
Opportunities to grow and upskill
A safe working environment
A shared purpose and values exemplified by leadership
Such long-term “soft factors” go a long way in attracting and retaining modern talent.
In-person meetings remain vital to fostering social cohesion, innovation, and professional development. Take advantage of the move away from full occupancy by specializing in-office functions. Focusing on activities that require in-person attendance extracts more business value from the premises. Look into office data to identify:
Where employees congregate
Roadblocks to employee comfort and productivity
The utilization rate of amenities
The results you uncover can be used to reconfigure floor space to suit your needs and drive efficiency. Other special functions best suited for physical offices include internal processes like onboarding, performance management, and coaching.
Integrated Workplace Management Systems (IWMS), or “smart office” technology, can further identify areas for optimization and improve efficiency. Reservation systems, teleworking facilities, and collaboration spaces assist with supervision and maximize business value.
Hybrid workplaces feature decentralized ecosystems and an increasing number of devices. More connections mean more potential entry points for bad actors, making security a primary concern.
Practical hybrid security arrangements balance stringent protocols with the need for easy access and navigation. Simple best practices include:
Constantly updating software
Implementing password management and rotation
Using more authentication points on the data perimeter
Deploying multi-factor authentication for layered defenses
Thorough contingencies in case of outages
It is imperative to allocate sufficient cybersecurity budget to ensure measures are standardized and scaled to your network’s needs.
These are strategic considerations common to every hybrid workforce transformation. However, the exact metrics, tools, platforms, and operational measures needed for success will differ greatly from business to business.
The important thing is to know what you want from a hybrid workforce. While some trial-and-error is inevitable, you can minimize the guesswork by matching established hybrid best practices to suit your objectives.
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