Hybrid workspaces have been the new norm ever since the COVID-19 pandemic struck the earth in 2020. Hybrid workspaces have been a topic of debate between different companies; however, there have been more benefits than cons when it comes to working from home. According to an article from the Economic Times, A survey conducted with diverse groups of people showed that 98% believed that the future of business meetings would have remote participants involved. It indicates that people have found working from home a comfortable experience.
A hybrid workplace can also be beneficial regarding cost. For example, it can reduce WiFi, office supplies, cleaning supplies, snacks, and even transport costs for companies. In addition, there can be a time when networking is needed, and managers would like to have people meet each other face-to-face; this can be fulfilled by searching for hybrid office spaces. Those physical offices can be co-rented by two or more companies – rotating their meetings over time and sharing cost or accessed through a subscription-based model. Moreover, this approach not only offers more flexibility; hybrid workplaces can also help team members to get to know one another better, creating good dynamics and collaboration. However, everyone has a question about the hybrid workplace and how one can make the most use of the work-from-home situation, which will be discussed in this blog.
1. Have one source of communication stream
Communication while working from home is not easy as the person you are trying to convey a message to is not physically there. Mainly, because a large percentage of communication is body language! We have all faced this situation during the last two years of an uncertain pandemic. To overcome the challenge, the best way to communicate with your team is to have one source of communication stream that everyone can follow with ease.
2. Choose the right communication tool
You might be wondering about applications like WhatsApp or google hangouts, which is a good communication source. Still, it does not make matters serious when it comes to working related. Professional tools such as MS teams is a good platform for having business calls. Software tools help employees work at home, and even if they have sick days, they can still function properly without taking leave. Communication tools can help bring together people from different parts of the world to work together and achieve success with the help of flexibility in business hours.
Communication can be improved with this form of work as there is no delegation required to convey a message to the manager, improving productivity. In addition, business Reports can be addressed more frequently, and managers can understand specific challenges first-hand thanks to remote working.
Having clear communication and engagement can help improve productivity and trust. According to a survey done by Harvard business review, a study found that 71% of managers felt that employee engagement is the key to success. However, according to Gullu data, only 33% are engaged at work. This number is relatively low, and communication software can help improve employee engagement by interacting with them more with frequent meetings and interactions.
3. Understand your team members’ personality
Understanding the team’s diverse personality types will help increase workflow and communication. Not knowing your team members well can become an issue with companies that favour remote work. However, suppose there are good team dynamics. In that case, this can enable learning more, taking responsibility and leadership roles, and having good problem-solving responsibilities as a team, just to name a few.
Managers can ask team members to fill out a personality assessment (for example Myers Briggs). This way they will understand the work style of individuals and address them accordingly. Here are a few examples:
-In consideration of individuals with a preference for “Extraversion”, they should be given a chance to develop ideas through live interaction with other team members.
-Those with a more “Introversion” characteristic should be granted time to reflect and develop ideas internally before responding.
-“Perceiving” types should have room for flexibility on the completion of goals.
-While those with preference to “Judging” need structure, clear goals, and a fixed schedule.
4. Track time spent on various activities and measure performance by results not time spent
Another crucial question many companies ask, and face is “how to build a good team morale while the team is at home binge watching Netflix in the background?” Yes, this is a tough one because there is no way a manager can monitor what is happening in front of their employee’s laptop. But like any problem, there is a solution that is helpful if you face this issue yourself. The answer to this? Full transparency of time spent on various activities, measuring performance by the outcome, instead of the allocated time.
5. Set up meetings that support a positive workplace culture
Having meetings remotely, if set up right can feel easier than in-person meetings; almost like a ritual while working remotely. These meetings will help you communicate better and make the employees feel like they are part of a team, creating a specific “simulated” office environment. Regular short check-ins show attention, care, and can motivate people. They also enhance productivity, as by having them, people remember that it is not a holiday, and they have serious deadlines.
Another great way a team can build morale is to have a method where everyone focuses on having team-building exercises for a particular period. This can include interviewing each team member and seeing what they have achieved and their plans with the project. Not only does this help in understanding where the fellow employee is at. It is an excellent opportunity to get to know the team better even through a screen.
6. Make the work environment fun
Making the work environment fun is also a challenge for many managers, and this is where the creativity of each company kicks in. Managers need to understand that they should never overwhelm the employees with work and playing games can be an exciting choice for many to make working remotely fun.
Events can still happen thanks to communication software tools, as previously mentioned, even during the pandemic. For example, do your staff like to listen to rock music? Bring in a band and play virtually. Want to bring in a motivational speaker? Have a person come and speak to them. You can also host virtual parties, which can also involve the employee’s family in the mix.
7. Encourage friendly competition
Friendly competition within employees can help spark productivity. People love to win the prize! A specific stipend example of € 20 or a small gift card could help encourage more people to take up the challenge and participate.
Employee Wellness for a productive workplace
Employee Wellness is a topic that is important when it comes to remote working. Any manager must make sure their employees are mentally stable and not feeling overworked or depressed since they are at home (usually, that’s not the case). As a manager, it is essential to understand that when the employee feels overloaded or stressed and opens up, the manager should know how to react to such situations efficiently.
8. Follow mental health through pulse surveys
Health and wellness can often come about as omitted in the workspace. Still, monitoring tools are necessary for managers to understand when things go south with new working environments. How can one monitor this? It can be done through a pulse survey which can happen weekly since it is a hybrid environment. People might have more to say other than their mate trying to steal pencils from their cabinet. Pulse surveys can have 3-6 questions and ask questions about the issues they face presently and not the past.
The employee will explain their situation in detail in the surveys. It is essential to review each survey carefully and with the utmost attention. This is about people’s mental health and not about work alone.
But still, this can hardly replace the old way of walking around and having a chat with everyone. For example, overworked people will not answer the survey correctly. If someone has a mental issue, they will not see themselves realistically, unfortunately.
9. Have virtual “health sessions”
Having virtual exercise sessions, such as the person who moved the most or the person who can do the most squats can help employees move and stay healthy. A recommendation is to have a breathing exercise session every hour or so which helps the mind relax.
10. Encourage flexible working hours for a productive hybrid workplace
Being at home might also bring in other challenges such as taking care of the kids. They are also at home with no school, which is equally important. In these situations, an employee would be looking for a chance to get some flexibility while working from home, which is precisely what needs to be done. Giving flexible work timings will help employees have more time to do other tasks and concentrate on work. Which provides mental clarity and allows a smooth flow of productivity.
After reading this, you might have understood that a hybrid workplace can be an exciting experience. These 10 points are crucial while working with a team remotely, and each solution will help you along the way. The hybrid workplace concept seems to be something that will stay permanently in the coming years, and this is a choice that suits everyone’s needs. This is a new topic that is still up for debate, and it is a learning process for everyone.
In today’s environment it is important to create a workspace that inspires connection, collaboration, continuous learning, and well-being. All of these will result in increased productivity. Klass Academy offers people development and process services. We help companies by training people and consulting them on developing a productive work culture.
Contact us with your questions