Top Hybrid Workplace Strategies to support your team

There’s an 82% chance you’re among the majority of companies who are planning to continue letting employees work remotely, at least part of the time. Given the productivity gains and reduced costs associated with hybrid work models, that can be a very smart business decision.

 

Before you make it official, ensure you have a plan to implement these hybrid work strategies to better support your team.

 

 

Modernise and Reallocate Expenditures

Cost optimisation is necessary for any business. Full stop. But in today’s hybrid work world, the focus isn’t so much on spending less as it is spending differently.

 

Instead of commercial real estate expenses, digital transformation expenses that can ramp up remote work have taken priority. Consolidating resources to the cloud is also helping companies save over the long run.

 

Investments are becoming more employee-centred with a focus on getting end-users the solutions they need to be successful from anywhere.

 

As Nirva Fereshetian, CIO at CBT Architects recently told Computerworld, “A lot of things that we paid for to optimise our office, now we're transforming to optimise our employees' [internet] bandwidth and other things that are coming through. It's because all of those locations are offices now for us."

 

 

Adopt an Evolved Approach to Security

When the office was the hub of the workday, the network and company-issued devices were easier to monitor and protect. Now that the workforce is geographically varied, every personal device and network connection used poses a potential threat.

 

Companies who want to safeguard their data need to adopt an identify-focused security stance.

 

Companies who want to safeguard their data need to adopt an identify-focused security stance. Meaning, more resources are devoted to verifying a user’s identity or monitoring third-party applications than the hardware itself.

 

After all, it’s easier to remotely wipe a stolen device or block an unknown network connection than it is to know who’s accessing sensitive company information from a far or keep track of which apps could be compromising your security.

 

Best security practices for hybrid work environments will include some mix of:

 

Consistent, ongoing employee security training

Zero-trust approaches to app and network controls

Multi-factor authentication for all accounts

Regular cybersecurity hygiene checks

Better endpoint management for all devices

Enforceable shadow IT policies

 

Don’t Lose Sight of Your Company Culture

Your company culture impacts everything from the type of talent you can attract to the level of burnout among your highest-performing staff. Even if your team is scattered across the globe, take time for team building.

 

Don’t just plan virtual gatherings either. Make it a practice for each employee, no matter how senior, to communicate better. Within individual teams, that might involve regular real-time communication on a video conferencing or messaging platform. Create policies about doing this respectfully if staff are located in different time zones. Leadership can do their part by creating clear expectations around deliverables and frequently checking in on the well-being of their team.

 

The goal is to reinvent how you collaborate with others, maintain camaraderie, and continue building relationships. Focus on creating a sense of belonging and watch for signs isolation might be impacting your team.

 

 

Prioritise Work-life Balance

Working 9-to-5 makes it easy to keep track of the hours you’re devoting to your job. Go remote and the merging of work and home can blur boundaries that easily lead to overworking.

 

According to CNN, “New research conducted during the pandemic shows that home-working employees in the United Kingdom, Austria, Canada and the United States are putting in more hours than before. Home working has led to a 2.5-hour increase in the average working day.”

 

Home working has led to a 2.5-hour increase in the average working day.

 

Reports from The World Health Organisation show exposure to these kinds of long work hours pose serious health risks like heart disease and stroke. That’s particularly true for women who also engage in unpaid tasks like caregiving.

 

Leadership can help encourage employees to strike a healthier work-life balance by focusing on outcomes instead of strict schedules. You may also consider creating a dedicated company policy that outlines how to handle after-hours communications and having managers lead by example.

 

On the outside, hybrid work may look different than anything your organisation has ever practised. Yet in reality, the most important element of good work still applies: supporting your staff.