3 Tips to Create a Successful Hybrid Work Environment

Drake Editorial Team

Hybrid working is a growing trend in the workplace. It allows employees to work in the way that suits them best, and it can also help retain talent and improve employee satisfaction scores. Employees can choose where they want to work - be it from home or in an office - while still having access to their colleagues, bosses and team members on a regular basis.

We all want to live in a world where remote workers and on-site teams can move seamlessly between locations and still feel connected. But this isn’t always easy in practice—especially when there are so many factors involved, including communication, company culture, and equipping your team with the tools for success.

“Like it our loathe it, working from home/hybrid/flexible working is something to embrace if you want to continue attracting top talent.” 
Claire Collins, General Manager, Drake International UK

In a recent survey of 2,000 respondents across the UK conducted by Owl Labs, the key takeaway was that hybrid work is now the norm and flexibility is quickly becoming table stakes – in fact, 34% said that being required to work in the office full-time would be a reason to cause them not to accept a job offer.

Owl Labs “State of Hybrid Work 2022: United Kingdom”

So given the high stakes in getting this right, here are some tips for ensuring a successful hybrid working practice:

1.     Encourage a sense of community among co-workers.

A sense of community is important for a number of reasons. For example, it makes employees feel like they belong and are part of something bigger than themselves, which can help to foster loyalty. Additionally, it gives them the opportunity to connect with each other on a personal level; this may facilitate collaboration and teamwork in the office.

Though some companies have tried to create an atmosphere that encourages social interaction between colleagues (for example by implementing game rooms), making time for this in your own business is also possible. Weekly ‘wind-down’ meetings on a Friday afternoon can be a good opportunity to review the week together in a more informal manner that bridges the gap between ‘work’ and socialising.  Alternatively, you could organize events such as movie nights or bowling outings so that team members can spend time together outside of work hours.

“Two of the key things I have had to learn and embrace are how I manage my time and how I work with my team.  My two top tips are:

  1. Schedule your day and stick to it allowing for down time – contrary to belief I find I am sat at my desk far longer at home than I ever was in the office.
  2. Secondly it’s communication with the remote team. Regular sprints for business updates coupled with social time – we have a Friday afternoon ‘Wind down – Wine up’ it’s a great way to round the week off and build our relationships”

Claire Collins, General Manager, Drake International UK

2.     Set expectations.

Setting clear expectations is key success in any workplace. Whether they're in-office or remote, everyone should know what is expected of them and their responsibilities.

In addition to this, you should also make sure that all work is equally distributed among your team members—for example, if there's an important project that needs completing quickly, don't just assign it to one person in particular (unless they've already proven themselves as a go-to person for urgent assignments). Instead, distribute the tasks among several different people so that no one feels overwhelmed with tasks or excluded from opportunities for advancement.

3.     Equip staff to succeed.

When considering the steps to take, it’s important to consider the entire process from beginning to end. To be successful with hybrid working, you will need:

  • The right tools. This includes equipment that allows workers to perform their jobs remotely and easily. It might also include software for collaboration such as Slack or Trello, platforms for remote meetings like Zoom or GoToMeeting/Cisco Spark, and video conferencing capabilities such as Google Hangouts or Microsoft Teams.
  • The right infrastructure. This is not just about having the latest and greatest technology, but also about ensuring that it meets the needs of your team members in terms of their individual work styles, their preferred ways of communicating with each other (email vs chat vs video conferencing), as well as any technical or operational requirements.
  • The right mindset. Your team will need to be committed to the idea of hybrid working and ready for it to become part of their everyday lives. They will also need to understand the benefits of remote work, such as flexibility and productivity.

For hybrid working to be successful, you have to make it easy for employees to do their best work, wherever they are.

Hybrid working can be a powerful tool for businesses, but it requires a lot of thought about how to use it effectively. People need the right tools, skills and mindset—and a support network that includes colleagues in the office as well as remote workers.

If you’re considering bringing in remote workers or allowing employees to work from home, make sure that you have the infrastructure in place to support them.  Also remember that this kind of work doesn’t just affect your physical location—it affects your business culture as well. You need to create an environment where everyone feels like they belong and know their role within it, no matter where they are when they do their job.

Looking for talent or work opportunities? Contact Drake today!

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