How to Make Hybrid Work Work

Hybridarbete - några saker att tänka på It’s been called “the new normal” – a new way of working, or perhaps more correctly – a new way of thinking about where you work. Indeed, we are talking about the concept of hybrid work – the combination of working in the office and working remotely. The advantages are many: more flexibility, greater freedom, and easier to make the everyday puzzle work. But hybrid work can also be challenging – we have gathered some tips for you to make it work!

After the pandemic, hybrid work has become more common in workplaces with work tasks that enable remote working, and there are no indications that the trend is ending anytime soon. In addition, many organizations have introduced new guidelines for remote working, both to retain and attract employees. So, is there anything to consider before going hybrid, or is it just to start? Well, it may not be quite that simple, but there are effective strategies that will facilitate the hybrid work – let’s have a closer look at some of them!

Policy for Hybrid Work in Place

To avoid unnecessary misunderstandings, it is a good idea to have guidelines that clarify what the hybrid set-up looks like in your organisation. For example, do all the employees know when they can work from home, and when they are expected to be in the office? Creating a hybrid work policy will make this clear to all employees.

So, more specifically, what should this policy include? Obviously, this varies depending on the needs of the workplace, but generally it should include information about the extent of the remote work. When and how much should the employees work from home? Are there specific days or occasions (for example during meetings) they are expected to come into the office?

A policy can also establish how remote communication should be carried out between all co-workers, so that everything flows smoothly. To avoid unnecessary misunderstandings, it can also specify when the employees are expected to be available when working remotely. Also, make sure that it is clear to everyone which equipment is provided when employees are working from home.

The Work Environment Equally Important at Home

Who is responsible for the employees’ working conditions when they work remotely, and that they have a sustainable working environment? Well, according to the Work Environment Act (in Swedish arbetsmiljölagen) the employer is primarily responsible for the employees’ work environment, whether they are working from the office or remotely. On the other hand, the Work Environment Act also depicts that employer and employee should cooperate to secure a good remote work environment, since the employer doesn’t have the same insight into the employee’s working conditions as when the employee is working from the office. This means that the employees are obliged to report any malfunctions in their home work environment. In other words, the employer has the ultimate responsibility for a functioning remote work environment, but a close collaboration between employer and employee is also necessary.

Think Smart About Your Meetings!

Conduct a plan for how, when, and where you arrange your meetings. What kind of meetings are most common? Maybe some meetings work better when the team gets together face-to-face? It’s a good idea to establish which meetings will benefit from everyone gathering in the office, and which meetings will work as hybrid, i.e. when some employees are situated in the office and some are remote.

For example, hybrid meetings aren’t optimal since they may create imbalance, digital meetings are usually appropriate for information or check-in meetings, and physical meetings are best suited for brainstorming, problem-solving, or decision-making. Put together a list of all types of meetings that you have, and plan which of them should be digital, hybrid, and face-to-face. In that way, your meetings will be more effective, your employees can easily plan their time, and the opportunity to offer hybrid working conditions to your employees increases – a win-win!

The Blunders of Technology

No one can argue that thanks to digitalization, fantastic new opportunities have arisen in the world of remote working. Naturally, the technology being properly set up and working correctly is an important part of hybrid working – but not always a given. So, when you have decided which meetings will be hybrid, it is time for an inventory, i.e., checking what kind of equipment is necessary to get your meetings to flow effortlessly. No doubt, you have participated in meetings where the connection is bad, a colleague has problems with entering the meeting, or there are problems with image or sound – frustrating! And not very time-efficient. Check all equipment and make sure that every team member has what he or she needs to easily participate in digital meetings.

Keep the Team Spirit

When you are working from different locations and only get together a couple of days a week, it may be worth considering how the team coherence may be affected in the long run. For example, a person working remotely may miss out on what is planned during the coffee break, decided in the hallway, or proposed over lunch. Receiving information after everyone else, or maybe completely missing out on it, can lead to a feeling of exclusion. To prevent this, you should carefully consider how and when you and your team communicate, which channels should be used, and for what purpose. One resourceful solution to gaining control over the constant flow of information is to use a web-based personnel system that automatizes the information flow. As an employer, you will also have the possibility to adapt the communication according to the needs of your team!

Another reason for weak team cohesion is if co-workers experience not getting the right support, which could lead to decreased productivity and eventually suffering creativity. Hence, you as the manager have an important mission in offering different arenas for dialogue and feedback, and in being clear about when and how you are available, so that every employee feels validated whether they are working from the office, or remotely.

Bonus Tips: Use the Digital Tools

With the digital tools in Flex HRM you gather all important information for both manager and employee in one single place. You have complete control over working time and schedules no matter where you are located and can effortlessly assign projects and manage deadlines through the task management. With digital staff appraisals, you can also do regular follow-ups and get an overview of how the work is progressing and how your employees are doing. The onboarding process becomes smoother and simpler, and new hires get a comprehensive introduction, regardless of work location. These are only a few examples of how Flex HRM facilitates the hybrid work life. Do you want to know more? You are welcome to contact us for more information!

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