Virtual communication and collaboration tools have enabled businesses to rethink their operating models. This has encouraged a growing number of businesses to adopt the hybrid work model.
With this model, employees interchange between working virtually and in the office, depending on their preference or the task. Applying this system to make it work for your company can be a smooth and structured process with the right strategy and planning.
Here’s how to set up a hybrid office in five steps:
Determine Employee Preferences
Since a hybrid office model will affect the office arrangements of the entire workforce and business results, the first step is to find out what employees prefer. It’s best to survey the company leadership, managers, and team members from every department.
This questionnaire should determine what employees want from a hybrid office environment, as each individual has different needs to fulfill their work-life balance. Some employees prefer coming to the office for a few days, then working remotely for the rest of the week. Meanwhile, others want to continue working in an office full-time due to unfavorable working conditions at home. This is important data for your company to analyze and utilize for planning your hybrid office strategy.
Establish An Employee-centric Workplace Policy
The next step is to use the survey data to define and establish a hybrid workplace policy that suits your employees. This will get the whole company on board with the new work arrangements and make everyone aware of their options so that they can choose the best one.
This policy should lay out the flexibility afforded to each department by identifying the most and least remote-friendly jobs. Plan a coordinated work schedule that’s reliant on in-person and office presence, such as engineers, designers, technicians, and equipment operators.
This can be grouping teams into shifts where one team works half the week while the second team works the latter. You can utilize the 3-2-2 workweek for remote-ready work, where employees work three days in-office and two days remotely. You can also hire serviced offices for teams who want the best office and remote working environments. These can work best for workers in the same location looking to reduce commuting.
Redesign The Office Space For Flexibility
An office redesign will help accommodate and implement the new work structure. This can be done by opening up the space and converting traditional cubicles or department desks into hot desks, coworking areas, and enclosed conference rooms optimized for different work activities. These areas should cater to quiet work, team building, and interactive spaces to socialize.
Then you can add amenities that enhance comfort and balance the formal and informal workspaces, such as a living room, lounge, cafeteria, standing desks, and patio if the office is connected to the outdoors. Finally, you can implement a desk hoteling system using software that allows employees to book desks and meeting rooms when they come to the office.
Provide Tools For Remote Collaboration
To make the hybrid office model fully effective, providing employees with the right resources to maintain seamless communication and collaboration is essential. These online tools allow remote workers to participate in the workplace in real-time, so they remain engaged, high performing, and can easily transfer knowledge.
They’re also important to foster company culture, trust, and values and connect employees to career opportunities and professional development. Thus, you can invest in technology that includes the following:
- Teleconferencing and video software
- Interactive screen-sharing programs
- Content management systems
- Task assignment software
- Live document editing
Remote workers should be provided with company laptops with the hardware and software to support their work needs.
Monitor Feedback And Satisfaction
This period of disruption and implementing new work arrangements will involve constant refinement to determine the most suitable system. Therefore, as a final and ongoing step, your company should monitor employee experience, collect survey feedback and measure satisfaction rates.
Identifying challenges and determining areas where your staff needs improvement is an excellent way to create positive work experiences for them. If employees have difficulty adjusting to changes, slow down the rollout of your hybrid strategy into phases and assess satisfaction at each stage. Begin with a single department switching to remote and onsite office work and examine their experience first.
Setting up a hybrid office model is a gradual process that begins with surveying your company’s employees to determine their work arrangement preferences. This data can then be used to draft a workplace policy that suits everyone’s needs and maintains productivity.
Then the physical changes can occur with an office redesign and integration technology that enables remote and onsite workers to stay synchronized. Finally, collecting continuous feedback and analyzing the responses will reveal areas needing improvement to refine work satisfaction.