90% of Australians want a hybrid workplace model.
COVID-19 has changed the way we work and for many workplaces, some of these changes are here to stay. Even though many people have the option of returning to the workplace, the hybrid model – in which some employees are based in the office and others work remotely – is expected to gain popularity around the world.
A recent survey conducted by PwC found that 90% of Australians want to maintain the option to work from home (1). For many people, the benefits simply outweigh the challenges. Since the hybrid model looks set to stay, it’s important for managers to establish new ways of effectively leading and supporting their teams. Read our tips below. We’ve also created a new training program to address the needs of staff and managers working in a hybrid workplace model.
Establish clear working hours.
To ensure the team knows who is working when, share work calendars and encourage employees to be as specific as possible with their schedules and hours. When employees can’t physically see each other, it’s extra important to have clear and up-to-date working calendars and regular working hours.
Encourage an inclusive culture.
With a hybrid team, it could be easy for employees to slip into a negative “us versus them” mindset. Office based staff may think remote workers have more flexibility or don’t have to work as hard. On the flipside, remote workers may think office based employees experience favouritism or better opportunities. To avoid these attitudes, provide opportunities for all employees to build strong working relationships, to collaborate on projects as well as socialise. The stronger the bonds between all employees, the less likely it will be for an “us versus them” culture to develop.
Dedicate equal time to each employee.
Make sure your remote workers have as much access to managers as their office-based colleagues. Dedicate time to check in with each employee and make sure remote staff know that support and guidance is available to them whenever they need it.
Keep remote employees in the loop and up to date on company news and changes.
In a hybrid workplace, remote employees can get left behind when it comes to finding out about changes in the workplace or company news. They don’t have the same regular face-to-face interaction and sharing of discussion and it can leave them feeling out of the loop. Be mindful of contacting remote workers promptly with any news and when possible, set up meetings to provide announcements to all team members at the same time.
Organise events to bring your whole team together.
Knowing and understanding the people we work with plays an important role in effective teamwork. Hybrid teams spend less time together and therefore have fewer opportunities to develop workplace relationships and bonds. Your organisation may want to arrange company-wide events each quarter where employees can meet face-to-face to socialise, get to know each other and establish shared goals.
Ensure employees have equal benefits and opportunities.
Identify the different benefits to each mode of working and do your best to create equal benefits and opportunities for all staff. For example, employees who work from home may have more work-life balance, with more time to exercise or spend time with family. Find ways to ensure fairness, such as allowing office-based staff to take time for exercise during the day or leave early to pick children up from school.
Upskill your managers now
In response to the growing number of hybrid workplaces, we have developed two workshops to address common challenges in a hybrid work environment. We offer a 90-minute workshop designed specifically to teach managers and leaders how to better manage hybrid teams, as well as a 60-minute workshop for employees to help them to make the most out of their hybrid working environment.
To find out more, visit our website or call us on (02) 8007 7474.