According to research found by Microsoft regarding hybrid work, “There’s a huge disconnect between employees reporting being productive at work (87%) and leaders not having enough confidence their teams are doing their best (12%)”. In my circle, there has not been a week this year where HR leaders and business owners haven’t discussed what they should do about “return to office” and the hybrid work model. Amid these discussions with other HR leaders, I’ve usually seen various emotions brewing—ranging from exhaustion, to frustration, to empathy in how to address these impending changes to employees. Most companies we partner with at Versique have fully adopted the hybrid model, allowing employees to work variable days between the office and at home. We at Versique also adopt this model for our employees and have seen great results.
Here are a few tips for HR leaders and companies on how to navigate the era of hybrid work:
Mind Your Language
In the evolving landscape of hybrid work, our choice of words can impact how employees perceive this transition. Instead of using phrases like “back to work”, it’s more accurate and inclusive to say “back to the facility” or something similar. This wording acknowledges that employees have been diligently working, even in remote settings.
Acknowledge The Human Experience
The hybrid workplace introduces the unique challenge of going back to sharing a physical space with coworkers. To navigate this effectively, it is essential to be transparent and clear about who, what, and when:
- Who will be in the office on what days?
- When will the changes take place?
- What will the in-office environment look like?—including options for conference room bookings to allow for private conversations and meetings, etc.
Open and honest communication is key to ensuring employees feels valued and secure in their new work environment.
Lead With Respect and Clear Expectations
A successful transition from remote work to the hybrid model hinges on striking the right balance between flexibility and accountability. Employees appreciate the autonomy that remote work offers, but it is important to also communicate how hybrid work can also maintain a sense of responsibility and commitment to the role. Employees need to feel valued and trusted to show their best work, whether they’re in the office or at home.
Technology is Worth the Investment
As we embrace the hybrid model, investing in the right technology becomes essential. Technology allows for a smoother transition, increased collaboration, and streamlined processes. By making strategic technology investments, we equip our teams to thrive in this evolving work landscape.
According to Daniel Newman from Forbes, “Still, two years later, more than 70% of those surveyed said their workplace culture has changed – for the better. Point being the future of work is hybrid. The future of work is employee-led. To succeed at work in the future, businesses must follow suit. As HR leaders and professionals, it’s our responsibility to pave the way for the future of work. This means finding technologies that make their lives easier and finding better ways for employees to work.”
While hybrid becomes more of the norm for businesses, it’s also shown to couple well with culture, talent planning, engagement, and employee retention—all of which are the key components of all the tireless efforts that you and your teams are working on day in and day out to improve.
I would love to hear what’s worked well with your organization as you make these transitions. Connect with me or my team today, and explore more tips and trends in HR by connecting with our HR interim network.
For more information regarding the era of hybrid work click here.