As many companies transition back to in-person work, the hybrid work model has become increasingly popular. With this model, employees have the flexibility to work both in the office and remotely. However, implementing a successful hybrid work policy requires careful consideration and planning. Here are five things to keep in mind when creating your hybrid work policy.
1. Communication, Collaboration, and Employee Engagement
Employee engagement is critical when considering a hybrid work policy because remote work can lead to feelings of isolation and disconnection from the workplace. When employees are not engaged, they may be less productive, more likely to leave the company, and have lower levels of job satisfaction. By focusing on employee engagement in the policy creation process, companies can prioritize creating a sense of community and connection among their employees, regardless of where they are located. This can include opportunities for virtual team building, regular communication and feedback, and training and development programs that support employee growth and well-being.
2. Flexibility and Trust
One of the main benefits of a hybrid work model is the flexibility it offers. However, to make this work, there needs to be a high level of trust between employees and management. Trusting employees to get their work done regardless of their location is crucial. Additionally, offering flexible work hours can help employees manage their work-life balance and reduce stress.
3. Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB)
Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging are crucial factors to consider when creating a hybrid work policy because they play a significant role in creating a positive and inclusive workplace culture. A hybrid work policy allows for greater flexibility in where and when work is performed, which can increase access and opportunities for a more diverse pool of employees.
Without intentional efforts to prioritize DEIB in the policy creation process, there is a risk that some employees may be left out or face barriers to success. For example, employees with disabilities may require specific accommodations for remote work, and those with caregiving responsibilities may need greater flexibility in their schedules.
DEIB is essential for creating a sense of belonging among employees. When employees feel valued, included, and empowered to bring their full selves to work, they are more likely to be engaged and productive, leading to better business outcomes. A hybrid work policy that prioritizes DEIB can help create a workplace culture that supports employee well-being, fosters innovation, and attracts and retains top talent.
4. Performance Management
To ensure that everyone is working effectively and meeting their goals, it’s important to have a system for measuring and managing performance. This includes setting clear expectations and goals, tracking progress, and providing regular feedback. With a hybrid work model, it can be more challenging to keep track of everyone’s progress, so having a clear system in place is crucial.
5. Change Management
Change management principles are critical to use when implementing a new hybrid work policy because they provide a structured and intentional approach to managing the transition from the old way of working to the new way. A hybrid work policy represents a significant change for employees, and without a proper change management plan, there is a risk that the transition will not be successful.
According to research done by Prosci, projects with excellent change management are more than six times as likely to achieve their outcomes. Additionally, positive correlations are seen between change management effectiveness and projects staying on time and on budget! By following change management principles, companies can identify potential obstacles, anticipate employee concerns, and develop strategies to mitigate risks and address resistance to change. This can include clear communication and transparency about the reasons for the change, providing training and support to help employees adapt to the new way of working, and creating a sense of ownership and involvement among employees.