The workplace has recently undergone some dramatic changes and will likely continue to do so in the coming years.
With more companies offering remote work options, it’s important to know how to adapt to a hybrid work environment. However, what exactly is hybrid working?
Hybrid working refers to a mix of remote and in-office work. This can mean anything from working at home a few days a week to being in the office full-time and working remotely occasionally.
There are many benefits of hybrid working for both remote employees and those in the office. Nevertheless, all team members must be on the same page for hybrid working to be productive and effective.
As an accounting job agency in Ontario, the AHK Accounting Recruiters team knows all about bringing employers and employees together.
Keep reading below for tips from us that will help you adapt to this new normal.
Even if it’s not daily, employees will benefit from occasionally seeing each other in person. When working with a large number of employees that are not centrally located, though, flexibility is a must.
Employers can be more flexible by giving employees autonomy regarding where they work. You can maintain structure and fairness by creating a rotating schedule for remote work.
For example, three days in-office and two days remote can be a great start to create a balance.
Encourage employees working remotely to line up their working hours with in-office workers. It doesn’t have to be mandatory, but it’ll make collaborating on projects much more effortless.
Human interaction is a significant factor in good mental health, but the ongoing pandemic has limited it.
A Salesforce survey revealed that nearly 60% of Canadian professionals thought a hybrid work setup would improve their psychological well-being.
Employees should aim to improve their mental well-being, whether at home or in the office. Get up and move around every few hours or take a break to do something you enjoy.
For employers, recognizing the differences in stressors employees face working remotely versus in-office is vital to creating procedures that address good mental health.
Loneliness and lack of communication play prominent roles in workers’ mental health.
Not everyone has someone to keep them company while working remotely, so keep that in mind when scheduling.
Get Comfortable With Asynchronous Work
Asynchronous work is just a fancy way of saying that not everyone involved in a project will be working on it simultaneously.
In traditional office settings, work is most often done synchronously.
Online tools are perfect for introducing this work style. Teams used to collaborating in person can try programs that allow real-time collaboration, like Google Docs. You may not have realized it, but emails are also an asynchronous communication tool.
This is because you don’t expect to get an immediate response, unlike if you were to just walk over to the recipient’s office or call them.
When working asynchronously, however, be mindful of how you communicate. The same tools that allow for asynchronous work can cause issues if you’re not careful.
Nobody wants to spend hours on a Zoom call or wait days for an email because a colleague is replying at their convenience.
Treat Remote and In-Office Workers Equally
Work is work, so why would employers view remote and in-office employees differently? Promoting a hybrid work environment can be hard when remote workers sense a bias against them.
Despite their productivity, studies have shown that remote workers are less likely to receive promotions because of reduced interactions with managers and coworkers.
In-office employees are often regarded by management as harder workers and higher performers without any evidence to suggest this.
This results in your hybrid office model falling apart. Employees that would like to work remotely will now feel obligated to work in-office to be treated fairly.
In a hybrid work environment, focus more on work quality and less on where it was produced. Managers can set a precedent by making sure they spend some time working from home.
Remote working is an integral part of hybrid working, but employees won’t see that if management is always in the office.
Rules and Expectations
Don’t be afraid to set some ground rules before switching to a hybrid work setup. As a manager, it can be a good idea to reign in some of the freedoms of working remotely.
Do you need your remote employees to be “online” for a set number of hours daily? How often will employees be allowed to work from home? Will there be changes to dress codes for in-office work?
Hybrid work environments work best when everyone knows what is expected of them.
As for employees, they can set rules for themselves, too, no matter where they’re working. For example, in-office workers could commit to connecting with remote staff via video chat a couple of times per week.
Remote workers can make working from their desk or table a rule (instead of working from bed).
Just because you’re not working side-by-side with your colleagues doesn’t mean you can’t stay connected.
So, make an effort to keep in touch, whether through regular check-ins, video chats, or group chat applications.
It’s also essential to keep the lines of communication open to ask for help or clarification when needed quickly. After all, the goal is to work together effectively, even if you’re not in the exact location.
Businesses should also look for services that make connecting to staff easy.
This is crucial for all employees, but especially new hires. It could be as simple as using an accounting job agency in Ontario to liaise between managers and potential staff for a large accounting firm.
It could also mean improving a LinkedIn page or online presence for a small business.
With so many changes taking place in the business world, it’s important to be able to adapt and thrive in a hybrid work environment.