Creating a Hybrid Workplace Set up for Productivity and Collaboration
September 23, 2021
Today, many companies are making the transition to a hybrid workplace model due to the many benefits it offers them and their employees. Many businesses can still function effectively while allowing employees to work from wherever makes the most sense for them. And with improved technologies, teams can work together despite being separated by miles.
This article will explore productivity and collaboration in a hybrid workplace model and how you can make the transition.
What Is a Hybrid Workplace?
A hybrid workplace is a business model that supports both in-office employees and employees who work remotely. A hybrid workplace has the technology and culture in place to support and fully integrate workers from the office and home.
The hybrid model effectively brings together the features of both a fully remote and in-person workforce to create a dynamic and engaging workplace. Employees have the flexibility to come into the office or work remotely as their schedules and preferences allow. Some organizations may institute guidelines regarding the number of hours they expect their employees to work in the office but, overall, this type of work model provides employees with a considerable amount of flexibility.
Benefits of Hybrid Workplaces
There are several benefits to having a hybrid workplace, including:
Work-life balance for employees: With a hybrid work model, employees may find it easier to achieve a work-life balance. For example, on the days when they work from home, they don’t have to worry about a commute, giving them extra time to spend as they please. Some hybrid workplaces also have flexible in-office hours, meaning employees can come and work the hours that are most convenient for them. Those with children in school, for instance, may start their workday before the traditional start time and then finish closer to the time when their children leave school.
Smaller office spaces to maintain: When employees only come into the workplace for part of the week, businesses don’t have to maintain a workspace large enough to have an office or cubicle for every employee. This can help them save on maintenance costs and rent by housing their business in a smaller space.
Creating a desirable workplace: As more employees seek the flexibility to work from home — at least part of the time — a hybrid work model can help employers attract stronger talent and create desirable benefits packages that help them hold on to talent longer.
Increased productivity: With employees reporting higher degrees of satisfaction from home — having the ability to choose a flexible work schedule and the technology to help them remain connected with their colleagues — it’s no wonder that hybrid teams can be at least as productive, if not more productive, than fully in-person teams.
Types of Hybrid Workplaces
There are a few different hybrid work models from which to choose, making it easier for a business to select one that fits their goals and objectives..
With a remote-first work model, businesses default to remote work; in other words, employees are expected to work from home. While businesses using this organizational setup maintain a physical location, most employees don’t spend the majority of their work time there.
Some benefits of a remote-first workplace include:
Businesses can easily tap into a wider talent pool since the expectation of remote work allows them to hire people regardless of location.
Businesses don’t need as much physical space since the majority of employees will be working remotely.
Employees tend to appreciate flexibility, positively influencing the workplace culture.
However, a remote-first workplace can also have some drawbacks. Specifically:
Building and maintaining a collaborative workplace culture when people rarely see each other in person.
Choosing the right tools for employees to stay connected and effectively coordinate their workloads.
Equipping a distributed workforce with effective cybersecurity systems.
Companies that already run a considerable amount of their business, such as client meetings and team projects, virtually may find it easier to transition to this model.
Occasionally In-Office Workplaces
With this type of work model, businesses expect their employees to report to the office for work at least a portion of the time. How this is set up can vary from business to business. For example, some organizations might ask people to come to the office two or three days a week. Others might institute core hours, requiring people to work from the office for a few set hours each week but otherwise giving them the flexibility to work where they want.
The following are some of the benefits and drawbacks of this model:
Businesses can offer employees considerable flexibility without losing the benefits associated with bringing people together sometimes.
Businesses may have to maintain more office space than a remote-first environment.
Businesses won’t be able to hire people who live too far to come to the office, potentially limiting their talent pool.
Businesses will still need to prioritize cybersecurity associated with a remote-first environment.
Businesses that benefit from in-person meetings with clients or rely on in-person coordination for certain projects may find this model more suitable.
With the office-preferred model, businesses expect employees to work from the office. However, they offer remote work for certain times or situations, such as allowing employees to work from home when a local event is expected to cause significant traffic.
With this type of work model, businesses may experience the following benefits:
There are fewer disruptions to the workweek, as employees can continue their jobs from different locations.
Employees may feel more confident in their job, as they know some flexibility is allowed when necessary.
However, drawbacks include:
Businesses can’t tap into the benefit of a wider talent pool by hiring regardless of location.
Businesses are also likely to need a larger office space so employees can work effectively from the office.
How to Create a Hybrid Workplace
To tap into the benefits of a hybrid workplace, create a plan for the transition. Businesses that rush this process may create a disruptive environment for themselves and their clients, so proper preparation remains an important part of navigating this change successfully.
However, while there can be challenges to becoming a hybrid workplace, the outcome can be beneficial to your business.
The Initial Integration of a Hybrid Workplace
If you’re interested in converting your business to a hybrid workplace model, here are a few strategies to consider for the transition:
Speak with employees to learn more about what they value in remote and in-office work arrangements.
Use your business goals and employee feedback to determine the hybrid model that’s right for to implement.
Investigate the technology and cybersecurity systems that will make your hybrid model possible.
Develop and communicate guidelines to help your employees through the transition.
Regularly solicit employee feedback throughout the process.
Things to Consider for Hybrid Workplace Employees
If you transition to a hybrid work model, consider what type of technology and equipment your employees will need to maintain productivity and engage with the rest of their team.
Some products you might want to consider investing in as a hybrid business include:
Video conferencing and teleconferencing products: Hybrid office essentials also include products to help employees remain connected with each other and collaborate effectively. For example, the Lenovo Google Meet Series One Kit or Lenovo Series One Video Conference Equipment can help employees jump right into remote conferencing.
Security software to keep your business safe: With employees sharing communications and data over unsecured computers or networks, it’s important to prioritize cybersecurity.
Business software options: This will help your business maintain its efficiency and keep teams on target with their projects.
Creating a hybrid workplace requires careful planning and the right equipment. When done correctly, it can be very beneficial to your organization.
Tips to Maintain Hybrid Workplace Productivity and Collaboration
Even when your business becomes a hybrid workplace, you’ll still need to maintain productivity and communication between employees. Here are a few ideas to help keep your employees engaged:
Setting standards for communication, including using email, a company chat option, or calling when they have a quick question.
Developing technology standards that encourage engagement and full participation from employees in and out of the office.
Asking for feedback from those working in and out of the office. Guage how they feel about their level of engagement.
Fostering a social workplace culture by encouraging employees to have time to relax as a company with meetups or even virtual coffee hours.
Encouraging teams to meet regularly either in person or virtually.
Hybrid teams can accomplish great things and keep your business moving forward. It is helpful to create a culture that nourishes collaboration. Guidelines like these can help with the transition.
Reap the Rewards of a Hybrid Workplace
There are many benefits to transitioning to a hybrid work model. It just takes a bit of planning And the right tools, including laptops, video conferencing equipment, antivirus software, and more. Take the first steps today to reap the rewards of a hybrid workplace.
About the Author
Jessica Burshtynskyy has been a freelance writer for over 10 years. When not at her computer writing, you can usually find her outside by water.
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is,” and neither the author nor Office Depot warrants the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions, or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
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