In a post-pandemic world, the workplace has never looked more different.
Now that offices are slowly opening back up, many of them have adopted a hybrid approach to work, where employees can split their time between the office and working from home.
But this new method of working could create new challenges if the appropriate steps aren’t taken by management, and on the flip side, etiquette being upheld by employees.
Keeping open communication channels is vital, especially when half of your team are working in the office, and the other half at home. Communicate effectively about how you can be reached, and keep in direct contact with those you report to.
Consider holding a scrum meeting on mornings when everyone is working from home to keep your team on task and set them up for the day.
When you can’t see what your team are directly doing, distrust may start to seep in. Historically, ensuring that staff are performing their job roles when working from home typically results in one of two things; firstly, management end up micromanaging their teams, checking in too frequently, or secondly, staff overwork to prove they are completing tasks on time and suffer burnout.
To combat this, ensure you are providing your team with practical support that is directly related to their role, such as ensuring they have all the tools available to them and providing resources to support their wellbeing.
Again, keeping open channels of communication (within reason!) for your department or team are crucial, so information can be exchanged freely, easily and effectively. Tools like Project, Slack or Salesforce can help your team work on projects, whilst you keep tabs on what’s going on without burdening your team.
3. Effective planning
When you’re working between two locations it can become difficult to plan projects in a way that not only meets deadlines, but works effectively around the culture of the environment you’ll be working in. Need to collaborate with your team on a new campaign? You may be best spending the day in the office, or booking a meeting room. Or need to spend some time writing code, creating a report or completing complex tasks without distraction? You may be best working at home.
When you’re at your designated workstation, ensure you’re planning your day effectively by allocating tasks to certain times of the day, utilising a Pomodoro timer, or creating a centralised to-do list in an online tool like Trello.
4. Encourage video calls
Even though you’re working from home, the chances are the need for meetings, either internally with you department and organisation, or externally with clients, customers and suppliers hasn’t gone away.
Try and connect face-to-face with people if possible, using video tools like Enreach Meetings or Microsoft Teams. Using video calls is one of the closest ways to have face-to-face interactions, and can help you stay connected and feel part of the team.
5. Create a new digital workplace culture
Trips to the pub after work on a Friday have disappeared, but it’s important to integrate a solid workplace culture into your new hybrid-working environment.
Replace your office drinks with a morning coffee session where you can take half an hour out of your day to refresh and catch up.
And remember not everyone will want to spend time outside of their working hours – introverted employees can’t use the common excuse “I’ve got to rush home” if they’re already there. Don’t make these events mandatory.
Need support with your hybrid working setup or advice on the best communications tools to make collaboration a breeze? Contact us today via our chat function, 0333 3603 723, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.