As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses have been forced to transition their employees to work from home arrangements. With pandemic restrictions beginning to ease, the return to work has been a hot topic – what will it look like? Will remote work become the new normal, or will employers transition their teams back into the office? And if remote work is a thing to be continued, how will workplaces ensure their teams remain engaged and productive?
While it’s not clear yet which direction businesses will take, in the meantime, we’ve seen organisations across the globe find a middle group and adopting a hybrid work model. With employees balancing remote work and working in the office, both employers and employees have been faced with a range of challenges affecting culture, productivity, and work life balance.
Here are a few of our top tips to help manage a hybrid workplace to keep up social connectivity and productivity.
1. Encourage open communication
With employees working together in the office, it’s much easier for team members to communicate with one another. Without the ability to connect as easily as team members would working face to face, it poses a range of hurdles, including team members and management being on different pages with what is expected.
To avoid issues like this arising, it’s important to encourage open communication between your teams. This can be done through frequent chats, creating communication channels, giving clear directives, and letting your employees understand how their opinions contribute to your company’s wins.
2. Provide Support
With employees working form home more often, it can be hard to gauge how they are really coping. Encourage managers to regularly check in on colleagues and ask how they are managing their physical and mental workloads. Simply listening to what team members have to say will go a long way in providing support. It will also help Manager’s understand what resources may or may not be available – (not to mention promote positive-based workplace relationships.)
3. Encourage boundary setting to promote a healthy work life balance
Hybrid work is a new concept for many, and this has resulted in many individuals struggling to separate and balance their home and work life as they’re quite intricately meshed. Communicating to your employees about setting boundaries is important for hybrid working to be a success.
Setting up an agreement from the onset on work from home hours verse working in the offices, is a great way to set boundaries with team members. Holding regular meetings will help provide structure for those working from home and will keep teams accountable.
Not only will this help employees stay focused during their work hours, they will also have clear boundaries in place to help them separate work life and personal life.
4. Self-Care Should be a Priority
With working from home blurring the lines between personal life and work life, self-care for many has fallen to the wayside. As we transition to make hybrid working a more permanent setting, prioritising self-care will be paramount to achieving positive wellbeing. Encouraging team members to take breaks, and finish on time, along with making healthy choices regarding ergonomics and posture in the home office, through to preparing healthy lunches instead of ordering take away are some simple ways to promote a healthier lifestyle.
The hybrid work model is still an evolving phenomenon as most organisations are trying out different approaches to see what works for them. Although the hybrid model has some challenges, there are ways to manage it and maintain productivity among your employees.
If you are looking for guidance in this area, Healthworks can help. Get in touch for more information.