As the new normal emerges, companies face a uniquely hybrid future. Remote work became a necessity during the pandemic of 2020, but with our mask game on and vaccines already rolling out, workplaces are also reopening for on-site teams. Uneven distribution of risk and safety means that some teams will need to stay home while some are eager to come back in. Remote-era hiring may have also left you with several new remote-only roles and even distant team members. We weathered jumping to remote teams. We innovated to reinvent a safe new-normal for customers and teams. Now, it’s time to face the new challenge of building a unified hybrid workplace.
How can we build new policies and methods that make everyone feel included and keep hybrid teams on the ball even with a split between those in and out of the office? Success will come from a team effort between management and HR in building new policies that work for everyone.
Building a Virtual and Hybrid Workplace Culture
Most workplaces are now dealing with teams that are split between in-office and at-home members. Some are likely allowing employees to split time between remote and in-office as well. This means your meetings and projects need to stay unified even though some people can meet in the conference room and shout over cubicles and some rely on live chat messaging. The easiest way to adapt is to go virtual.
Encourage your team to talk through online channels. An open chat line can become an off-topic chat for everyone and bring your hybrid team closer together. A running conference call can include both team members in the same room and those scattered across the country. Regular meet-ups can also help bring together remote team members so that everyone knows each other in person and shares that personal level of consideration when working together.
Flexible Hybrid Attendance Policies
Not all teams are split between those who have “come back” and those “still at home”. In fact, many teams are adapting to more flexible schedule policies. As professionals are in and out of quarantine due to regional and family COVID status, it’s reasonable to build teams that can function both on and off-site as needed. This is also evolving into a more flexible approach to at-home days for other reasons, personal or explained.
As travel opens back up, remote policies also begin to benefit those who travel for work. The infrastructure built during quarantine and solidified now during the hybrid adaptation can also make logging in and getting work done much easier for those on business trips who are logging in from hotel rooms.
Benefits That Benefit Everyone
Rethink your employee benefits package. Many of the old standards are only half as valuable when your team is half-remote or spending half of their time working from home. On-site healthy lunch and yoga classes only benefit those on-site. But sponsorships, memberships, and stipends can benefit everyone.
Companies are also getting creative with protecting work-life balance with things like Mental Escape days (extra days off for teams to relax) and home office stipends that reinforce a healthy workforce with many people at home. Reassess your benefits offering to consider the value to those at home and the recent changes in employee wellbeing needs.
Increasing Accessibility With Apps and Platforms
One of the biggest changes for a hybrid workplace is resource accessibility. Make sure everything you offer can be accessed and managed through virtual means. Apps like Benefits Zone help both your on-site and remote team access necessary employee benefits resources. Benefits Zone makes it possible to review, sign up for, and engage in employee benefits. The app can house resources from insurance plans to virtual fitness classes. Using this and other platforms unifies your hybrid workforce and ensure everyone is on the same page. For more on how to adapt your hybrid workforce to their benefits, schedule a demo today!