The COVID-19 pandemic permanently changed our workplaces, with hybrid and remote work options becoming the nation’s new normal. But how do you know if making the shift to these new ways of working is the right move for your business?
Here’s what you need to know to make an informed decision.
What’s the Difference?
Hybrid might be right for you if you want the benefits of a remote workforce but need onsite support. Even if you don’t need employees on site, a hybrid model could be a good fit if flexibility is a core value of your organization.
Challenges: Coordination and communication can be difficult without clear policies defining what a flexible schedule means for your organization.
Onsite might be right for you if the nature of your company requires onsite work. Organizations that put a heavy emphasis on collaboration may also benefit from having all employees on site.
Challenges: In addition to higher overhead costs, companies with onsite workforces may experience some employee frustration due to the time and money needed for travel. There’s also no opportunity to easily hire top talent from across the nation or globe.
Remote might be right for you if you’re looking to curb overhead costs, boost productivity, improve job satisfaction, and retain top talent. Now more than ever, remote work is a major deciding factor among job seekers.
Challenges: Without the right technology and best practices, you may experience gaps in communication. The distance between team members could also cause employees to feel isolated and lonely.
Before Deciding, Consider These Factors
What values are important to your company? If, for example, you put a large focus on teamwork and collaboration, ask yourself how remote or hybrid work would align with those values and impact your current work environment.
Depending on the size of your team and plans for expansion, you might not need to maintain an expensive facility. In addition to your office needs, consider your technology resources. If you don’t already have the right tools, such as a remote-friendly communication system, you’ll likely need to make some investments.
YOUR COLLABORATION NEEDS
Some companies just can’t function without an onsite or hybrid workforce. For example, certain engineering teams would likely need to be onsite to drive innovation and ensure proper collaboration.
Boost Employee Engagement No Matter Your Work Model
There are some employee engagement tips you can, and should, follow no matter which work model you choose, like providing new training opportunities and recognizing high performers. However, you’ll also need to tailor your strategy to account for the differences between onsite, remote, and hybrid work.
Make your work spaces more comfortable. Work from home models skyrocketed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and many individuals still prefer them. To compete with these new ways of working, consider asking employees how you could make the space more comfortable (and then do it).
Put together engagement activities. Whether you throw birthday parties, have theme days, or put together office games, giving employees a chance to forget about their desk is one way to keep them interested and fight burnout. Just make sure you’re hosting activities during office hours.
Offer online training opportunities. It can be difficult for employees to see how they’d progress within your company if they live across the country. To show them that their development won’t slip through the cracks because they aren’t in an office, offer various online training courses.
Conduct one-on-one meetings. The more your employees feel heard, the happier they’ll be working for your organization, but you can’t understand their individual desires and concerns over a group video conference. Take the time to connect with each employee during a one-on-one meeting.
Consider how you communicate. Do you have more than one channel of communication? Do remote and onsite employees have equal access to company resources? Making communication as accessible as possible is key to limiting knowledge silos and information gaps. No matter where your employees are working, give them the tools they need to be active participants in your organization.
Allow employees to speak up about any biases they’re experiencing. Proximity bias, an employer’s tendency to give preferential treatment to onsite employees, is a real problem among hybrid teams. Keep things fair by conducting regular reviews and soliciting employee feedback.
No matter which way of working is best for your business, we’re here to help you attract and retain top talent with our holistic talent acquisition and management services. Need help adjusting your IT strategy to fit your work model? We can help with that too. Connect with us today to learn more.