Here's how to design a hybrid schedule that balances remote and office work
Employees can work in the office, remotely, or a combination of the two simultaneously under a hybrid work model. The employees' location is not the only constraint on this work model as a framework; additional factors to consider include how they plan their days, execute their tasks, and report their work to and interact with their coworkers.
Although each hybrid work schedule has pros and cons, it does not require employees to work solely from home or the office. As long as the future of work is unclear and uncertain, many organizations will continue to use a hybrid strategy or try out a completely remote schedule.
A hybrid work model is similar to creating a structure from which both businesses and employees can benefit. Employees can work from the office, remotely, or a combination of the two at the same time here. The location of your employees is not the only limitation of this work model. Other considerations include how they organize their day, complete their work, and, perhaps most importantly, report their work to their coworkers and communicate with them.
An arrangement that specifies when employees should work from home or in the office is known as a hybrid work schedule. While prioritizing the objectives of your business, consideration is given to the requirements of each employee in this setting. Each type of hybrid work schedule has its advantages and disadvantages.
For starters, it allows employees to work when it is convenient for them. While working from home gives flexibility, it is not for everyone. Some prefer social interactions with coworkers, while others find working from home more productive. A hybrid work schedule does not need employees to work exclusively from home or the office. Work's future remains cloudy and unpredictable. Despite the widespread availability of vaccines, many people remain unvaccinated and reluctant to return to work. As a result, many organizations will continue to adopt the hybrid approach or experiment with a purely remote schedule.
Understanding the various factors that influence productivity—energy, focus, coordination, transparency, and accountability—is essential when developing a hybrid work model.
Next, think about how to get around these drivers' obstacles. Let's examine each separately:
Your employees must be open and honest about how and where they work for it to work. This is not for micromanaging or spying on your employees; it is to provide everyone else with contact information. Setting a status in Slack is one of the simplest methods for accomplishing this, and you can write when and where you'll be in the office next to your name.
Thanks to this, your coworkers will be able to see when you are available for communication. In addition, if you want to be completely transparent, you must ensure that everyone has the same hybrid work schedule and that no one is treated differently.
A blended work schedule cannot function well without frequent check-ins with employees. It's also critical to understand how employees interact with one another through one-on-one sessions. Call a hastily scheduled meeting by deciding on a precise time and date or using a meeting scheduler. Additionally, it is simpler to identify any signs of burnout or issues a person may be experiencing at work. Regardless of how busy you seem, schedule these meetings with each employee you oversee at least once a month.
You must trust your employees to accomplish their tasks on time to thrive in a hybrid work environment. They will become more independent and deadline-conscious if they are made accountable for their job. In a hybrid workplace, there are many different approaches to holding employees accountable.
Here are a few examples:
A hybrid work schedule makes it much harder for managers to track their employees' productivity. Consequently, your employees must be held accountable for managing, finishing, and reporting their work. When your employees are working from home, they must report by your managers' preferred method. It is essential to hire people who are accountable and able to report their work if you are the founder of a startup.
Here are some of the best examples of the habits, tools, and strategies you'll need to get started if you're ready to implement hybrid work in your office.
KPIs are the best way to get a clearer picture of the impact your employees are having. Examples include the number of sales calls made, articles written, resolved support tickets, etc.
It's easier to communicate with your employees when you invest in tools like Slack or Zoom. Google Workspace is a good starting point, but it has some limitations. Your team can work effectively and collaboratively from home if you provide the appropriate tools.
Prepare your cohort or staggered schedules in a document and add them to your online calendars if you use them. Your workers will know when and where they will be working from this way. Be a good manager by setting a good example and sticking to your and your team's schedules.
Asynchronous communication is used by hybrid and remote businesses, with employees responding to messages whenever they are available. Write down your chosen model and determine what kind of communication works best for you. Examples include Zoom, Slack, email, and project management tools.
Workplace reimagining comes with its own set of difficulties. Here are some common blunders to avoid when introducing the hybrid model or modifying an existing one.
It is essential that one rule applies to all aspects of your hybrid schedule. Nothing is more demoralizing than seeing senior management working remotely full-time while working from an office three to five days per week. All of your employees must adhere to the same rule to guarantee fair play in which everyone benefits from your model.
It is unnecessary to use an intrusive time-tracking app or screen recorders to monitor your employees' productivity. They will not only have the impression of being mistrusted but also impede your company's growth. KPIs are the most effective means of evaluating their performance.
If you want your model to work, you need to keep coming up with new hybrid practices and processes all the time. Examine how your employees adjust to this new arrangement and pay close attention to inquiries regarding fairness and inclusion. You shouldn't give your employees the impression that you favor one team over another or treat them unfairly. A schedule that meets the needs of each employee is essential.
Depending on how they organize their lives, some people can afford to be more present in the office. Some people, like parents or people who have to care for others, cannot regularly visit the office. Ensure that everybody has similar professional success open doors, as long as they finish their work proficiently and on time. Never disadvantage individuals simply because they cannot be in the office more frequently; doing so would defeat the entire purpose of using a hybrid model and schedule.
In the past, when businesses tried out flexible work arrangements, they usually let managers run the show. Many put unreasonable pressure on their employees to come into the office, and they were dissatisfied with the schedule. Avoid micromanaging your employees to the point where they will want to quit if you recently introduced a hybrid model. Set boundaries and adhere to them.
Hybrid tools can take some time to get used to. Yet, if your representatives have acclimated themselves to utilizing those devices consistently, try not to supplant them. You might be tempted to return to the old office meetings once you allow some employees to work from home. However, you must ensure that everyone feels included, particularly those who continue to work remotely.
Although it is still uncertain whether remote work will become more common, hybrid schedules will probably continue to be popular. Even though they have some drawbacks, their advantages far outweigh them, and they can be an excellent system for businesses of any size. You can begin rolling out your hybrid schedule today and reap the rewards for management and employees with a strong team.
Hassan is the Co-Founder and CPO at Litespace on a mission to help hybrid workers to collaborate more. He has always been passionate about startups and has 5+ years in building products and creating designs. He is thrilled to share lessons learned from building companies' culture.