Hybrid working models are increasingly seen as the way of the future. As many businesses have adjusted to working remotely over the last two years, many employees are keen to maintain the improved work-life balance that working from home provides. Likewise, employers are seeing the benefits in reducing overhead from utilities and office space.
If you hope to transition to a hybrid work model, it is crucial to do so in the most efficient way. This means careful planning and keeping your employees included in the process. Here are some of the most important considerations for SMEs switching to hybrid working models.
- Make A Plan
You should always start with a plan of action. Consider how many employees will want to return to the office and what kind of hybrid working schedules you could offer. You should consult with your employees at this stage and get an idea of what the general approach should be.
It may help to start by sending out a survey for your employees to fill out. This can ask how many wish to return to the office, how often they will want to be there, and what kind of support they will need. You can then decide what type of shift patterns you could offer when implementing the hybrid model.
- Allow Employees To Choose
Giving your employees the chance to choose when they work from home or in the office can boost morale. Allowing employees options will show them you value their comfort and happiness in your business. The happier your employees, the more productive they will be.
It may help to offer complete flexibility, as some employees may be happy to continue working solely from home, while others may want to return to the office full time. It is also a good idea to allow employees to change the way they work later on if they want to.
- Get The Right Tools
If your business has been working largely from home over the last two years, you will likely already have a lot of the tools and technology to help you do so effectively. It is still vital to ensure you are making the best use of all the tools out there. You should consider ways to help remote workers stay connected with those in the office and ensure there are suitable lines of communication to boost collaboration.
- Consider Office Requirements
Once you have an idea of how many of your team will want to come into the office and when, it is a good idea to re-evaluate your office requirements. You may no longer need the office space you used pre-2020 if a majority of staff are happy to continue working remotely.
You could consider downsizing your office space. This can allow you to save money on rent and utilities. You should look for office space that will allow all the team members that want to come back to the office to do so. It is also a good idea to find a space with room to grow if more employees decide to come back into the office in the future.
- Take Your HR To The Cloud
Cloud-based HR software can be invaluable to allow your HR team to work efficiently wherever they’re based. HR is a crucial part of any business, and ensuring your HR team has all they need to function well in a hybrid model is crucial. You should look for high-quality, secure, and functional HR management software like the excellent platform from myhrtoolkit. It is a good idea to try out the software beforehand using the free trial to get an idea of how your business could benefit.
- Encourage Employees To Stick To Their Hours
Working from home can allow the line between home and work life to become blurred. As an employer, it is your job to ensure your team maintain a healthy work-life balance. Overworking can lead to burnout, high turnover, and lowered productivity.
You can help ensure your team maintains healthy work practices by leading by example. You should stick to your own working hours and avoid sending out emails or doing any work later in the afternoon or evening. If you notice that an employee is working beyond their contracted hours, have a conversation with them reiterating how important switching off at the end of the day is and give them advice on how they can do so.
- Bolster Your Cyber Security
Cyber security is crucial to keep your employees, business, and customers safe. Remote work presents unique challenges for cyber security, and it is vital that your employees understand their responsibilities when keeping data secure.
You should ensure that your team know how to create strong passwords and introduce regular times for passwords to be changed to prevent security breaches. You should also invest in high-quality firewalls and virus protection for all company computers and laptops.