7 Hybrid Work Model Best Practices for Employers

hybrid work model best practices for employers
Hybrid working is the leading trend in post-pandemic. Explore these best practices of hybrid work models to be among the top employers.
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In 2020, most employees all around the world were working remotely, while 2021 sees a hybrid work model on the rise.

As countries shift to endemic and slowly open up their borders, some employers might think that finally, everyone can return to the office. However, that’s not the case.

According to surveys conducted worldwide by various firms such as JobStreet, McKinsey, Microsoft and IWG Plc, employees are not keen to give up on remote working.

Previously, I’ve shared several reasons why companies should consider hybrid working and effective tips on how to manage remote employees.

In this post, I’ll let you know about seven hybrid work model best practices that employers can adopt.

These approaches will benefit your workforce and business.

1. Give employees the option to turn their cameras off

Online meetings play a pivot role in the hybrid work model. However, it’s best to keep in mind that some employees may feel uncomfortable turning their cameras on all the time. 

Some common reasons are feeling insecure about how they look, Zoom fatigue and wanting to snack while joining the meeting. 

But, they don’t want to come off as impolite (this is me, sometimes). Thus, make sure your team members feel comfortable turning their cameras off. 

Better yet, create a policy where employees should turn on their cameras at the beginning of the meeting to say hello before hopping off video. Another alternative is to mix video tools and audio-focused tools to avoid fatigue.

2. Level up your cyber security

improve cybersecurity for hybrid workforce

Strong cyber security is key to an effective hybrid work model. Risks of cyber-attacks and data loss are more likely to happen when working from different locations.

Hence, it’d be great to update your software regularly, use multi-factor authentication and implement robust password management.

On top of that, advise your hybrid workforce to use secured WiFi and back up their data. You may also educate them on cyber-crime through training or sharing articles (e.g. how to spot phishing emails).

3. Offer the same benefits for remote and in-office employees

Employees who work remotely may miss some benefits that they used to enjoy pre-Covid such as free office lunches or beer Fridays. Thus, it’s best to adjust company benefits to show that you care despite them working in the office or not. 

Think of some benefits that work for both remote and in-office employees. It may be food delivery allowance or turning unused paid leave into reimbursement for groceries or online workout classes. 

By offering the same benefits, your hybrid workforce will feel equally appreciated, no matter where they work.

4. Think twice before encouraging leaders to work from the office

rethink decisions to bring leaders back in office

What’s wrong with encouraging leaders to work from the office? Isn’t that normal, as they could inspire their team members to do the same? Well, there are pros and cons. 

Apparently, it’s not the best practice for a hybrid work model. Encouraging leaders to work at the office will unintentionally shift the model back to office-first culture. 

Consequently, other people who are hybrid working want to work from the office as well. This approach will create pressure on those who prefer to work remotely.

5. On promotion and recognition: Be fair

As a company that adopts Virtual First culture, Dropbox raised a significant issue about the hybrid work model. “Hybrid approaches may also perpetuate two different employee experiences that could result in barriers to inclusion and inequities for performance or career trajectory.”

Surprisingly (or not), it turns out that employees who work from the office are more likely to be promoted. A survey by Gartner found that 64% of managers tend to give office-based workers a higher raise than remote workers as they believe office workers are higher performers.

However,  according to the data, full-time remote workers are 5% more likely to be top performers. Talk about being biased! Thus, it’s crucial to discuss this issue with your business leaders. Make sure they’re experts at identifying biases against remote workers during performance reviews.

6. Provide a space for “walk-in” employees

There are days when your hybrid workforce can’t work remotely. Often, they are parents who need to focus on projects or employees who wants a sudden change of working environment. 

If your firm decides to keep the office desks as they are (belong to their original occupant), create a space where walk-in remote employees can be comfortable completing their tasks.  

Otherwise, you can implement a free desk policy.

7. Take care of employees whose roles demand them to work from the office

Some of your employees may be required to work in the office due to their job roles. Depending on your industry, they could be consultants, trainers, salesmen or bank tellers who see clients daily. 

Having them work remotely will create a different experience for clients who have gotten used to face-to-face services. What if my employees resent me because I ask them to work from the office?

Don’t worry, here are some ways to help you retain both your clients and employees. First of all, be honest to those employees about the business concern and explain why you need them to work onsite. 

Next, ask if they’re comfortable with the idea. If not, what you can do next is to make them feel safe coming to the office. Generally, taking care of workplace hygiene will make employees feel safe returning to the office. 

That being said, you may want to consider these safety measures: 

  • Sanitise the office regularly
  • Place a thermometer and hand sanitiser near the entrance
  • Set up the desks and chairs according to the social distancing rule
  • Only allow people who are fully vaccinated to enter the office
 
In reality, you may encounter more challenges in adopting the hybrid work model.
 
If you’re not sure about a new rule or employee benefits, have open communication with your employees. Ask about their feedback before implementing any strategy. 
 
May these hybrid work model best practices offer a positive experience for your remote and onsite employees.

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