Many are wondering about the future of offices. According to Pew Research study conducted in the United States, more than half of employees who can work from home want to continue working remotely even after the pandemic is over.
Employers are expected to achieve a hybrid work model for the post-pandemic world, with many allowing local employees to go to the office only a few days a week, and some, more distantly based, fully working remotely.
- Recreate a physical space
- Recreate a virtual space
- Recreate the advantages of the office
- Rethink remote work as a resource
Hybrid Work Best Practices: 4 Tips for Executives
However, the hybrid type of work still has some complicated situations for employers: how to manage a meeting for example when half of the team is physically in the conference room while the others use video conferencing tools such as Zoom or Voxloud?
How could collaboration be strengthened when some employees never see each other in person while others get together multiple times a week?
When half of your employees are in the office and half are working remotely, you need to focus on creating a fair space for all groups of employees, no matter where they are.
Here are four ways to create fair experiences for all employees, both on-site and remotely.
1 - Recreate a physical space
From the moment in which only part of the team physically works in the office, its feature changes from being a place where employees carry out their work to one of ideation and collaboration.
For example, Dropbox announced that its offices would be used for collaboration and group activities. This means that Dropbox employees spend most of their days working from home, going to representative offices or the new “Dropbox Studios” for team projects only.
Other companies are similarly renovating their current offices, replacing individual desks in favor of meeting rooms, communal living rooms, and limited shared desk space.
Although offices are designed for collaboration, some employees who work remotely may still feel excluded and more distant from their colleagues who work face-to-face.
To solve this problem, some companies are implementing new facilities, similar to telephone booths, specifically designed to try to recreate a more concentrated and engaging space for video meetings.
Even if the most obvious and least expensive solution is that of video conferences that allow you to reach and be in contact with your team from all over the world.
2 - Recreate a virtual space
Hybrid teams should continue to use a videoconferencing tool for all meetings as a best practice: this way, even if almost all members are physically present in meetings, using videoconferencing still makes it normal and almost predictable.
Having the camera always on, however, represents a psychological difficulty for many employees, so make sure that all team members know when it is allowed to turn off the camera, or also consider the idea of using another tool mainly focused on audio. Furthermore, having written and shared procedures makes it even easier to use these tools even for those unfamiliar with technology.
In the era of remote working, confrontation and collaboration regarding innovative proposals or ideas can be difficult to achieve.
The hybrid work model, on the other hand, allows you to bring employees together in the office when there is a need for constructive comparisons.
To facilitate these meetings and also involve remote employees, consider investing in virtual whiteboards or tools that allow you to create concept maps to keep all meeting participants focused on the same concept.
3 - Recreate the advantages of the office
The sudden shift to remote working has suddenly made all the advantages of working in the office obsolete, such as business lunches, wellness activities organized with colleagues, or going out to drink with all the employees on Friday nights.
While employees may not be looking forward to resuming certain activities, returning to the office does not necessarily mean reintroducing these activities immediately. Doing so could highlight the disparity and make team members who work from home feel excluded.
4 - Rethink remote work as a resource
It is clear that 2020 and 2021 have been years of enormous change and difficulty for all and the effects of the pandemic will be felt for years to come.
To ensure fairness in the "hybrid" work environment, the hiring of an individual must be eliminated as a factor that can actually affect performance assessments and also considerations on pay. Indeed, last year demonstrated that many, if not most jobs can also be done from home and often in a more productive way.
To get the work done, allow your employees to work from where they want and pay them what they deserve.
One of the less talked about effects of remote working is what it has on younger employees, many of whom struggle more than their older colleagues. Finding alternative ways to allow insertion can help solve this problem.
It is certainly more difficult to be able to follow and train young or newly hired employees when you are not physically together and cannot pop into your office and ask you a quick question or have coffee with a more experienced colleague. But with some effort and planning, the insertion can become more effective.
Here is the ace in the hole to use in these cases that will simplify your life remotely: a cloud phone system that activates in 59 seconds and that you can configure in complete autonomy, without the need for a technician or an expert.