In many areas of our lives, we are still discovering the after-effects of COVID. And work is a massive part of that for most of us. With the offices and the management seeing how well Work From Home can and has worked for their organizations, more and more offices are adopting the Hybrid Work Mode as a default setting. But this has not been an entirely smooth transition. There have been many kinks along the way that different organizations have had to face just so that they can have a smooth-sailing hybrid work environment where all of their employees feel appreciated, encouraged, and motivated to log in every day, even on the days when they are working from home.
Needless to say, Hybrid Mode comes with its own set of Des and Don’ts. And we are here to list down 2 dos and 2 don’ts that you as HR can follow in your hybrid office for a better all-around office environment.
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The 2 Dos of Hybrid Mode:
A Rotating Schedule
During the COVID times, a lot of offices downsized, not just in terms of the number of employees but also in their locations and office sizes. What that means is that even though your number of employees might not have gone down as much, your office area might have reduced drastically. And if your office is operating in a Hybrid Mode, it means that not all the employees need to come in together.
Make sure that you have your employees divided into proper groups and that you have a rotating schedule for each one of those groups. You can either have a flexible schedule wherein you can call in the team that needs to use the office amenities for a particular project or a meeting with the client. Or you can have fixed days for fixed groups. For instance, group A can come in twice a week on certain fixed days, and the same for the other groups as well. Whatever the case, make sure that your office space never gets too crowded on any single day of the week.
Just because your employees might be working from home, does not mean that their well-being and rest should not be your priority. Make sure that even when your employees are working from home, they know that their well-being, physical and mental, is on your priority list. Take steps to remind them that you are thinking about and concerned about their well-being. An organization that makes it a point to let its employees know that their well-being is important to them, is more likely to have better employee engagement rates.
The 2 Don’ts of Hybrid Mode:
Don’t Cut Down on Bonding Time
One of the greatest advantages of working from the office, we realized after the work-from-home culture was that the employees got plenty of time to bond with one another. Being in the same physical office space played a massive role in forming those bonds, not just between the employees but also between the management and the team. And now with the option of Hybrid Mode, there is a possibility again for a re-connection between the employees after 2 long years of working from home.
So the last thing you want to do as management is to cut down on or be a hindrance to this bonding experience. And while accountability and deadlines are important and should not be compromised, when your employees do get the time to bond with each other, give them the physical and mental space to do just that.
Don’t Expect Issues to Resolve Themselves
While a more non-involved approach would have worked during the Pre-COVID era when the employees were coming into the office every day, things are not the same anymore. With less face-to-face time in the office, the issues between employees have a longer time to fester. This can lead to an unnecessary blowout between employees, teams, or the employees and the management. And while micromanagement is never an option, with Hybrid Mode as the new normal, non-involvement is not an option either. So as soon as you as HR find out about any issues that might be troubling your team, make it a point that you are doing whatever you can to solve the issue as quickly and as effectively as possible.
Each organization has different things that work for them and ones that don’t. At the end of the day, you have to sit with your team of HR and figure out the things that might help you get the best results in terms of productivity, management, and growth.