In the latter stages of 2022, it became increasingly evident that 2023 would bring a fresh dawn in the working landscape.
According to the People at Work 2022 global report, 64% of employees would consider finding another job if they were told to return to the office on a full-time basis. This figure is representative of a larger theme: the growing resistance on the part of employees to stick with the classic model of in-office work.
Employees in 2023 want flexibility from their jobs, and since fully remote employee management isn’t an option for many companies, a hybrid work model is the most appealing compromise - albeit one which can benefit both parties.
The question is - how can you transition to a hybrid work model without sacrificing office productivity and hindering collaboration?
Create and Communicate Clear Expectations
Clear expectations are a cornerstone of any successful hybrid work model.
To transition to part-time remote working without a hitch, it’s important that you keep your employees in the loop from the outset. It isn’t enough for senior leadership to understand the changes and what they’ll mean; there needs to be a deep understanding of expectations from the top to the bottom of the company.
There are several questions to consider here:
What are your company values?
You can break your company values down into three factors:
- What your company stands for
- How it operates on a day-to-day basis
- The standards you expect from your employees
Without a clear idea of each, you can’t expect your employees to readily embrace and thrive with a new way of working.
How will you measure success?
When you give employees license to work from home for a few days of the week, you’ll need to find new, reliable ways to improve employee performance.
Create remote work metrics that you can use to ensure that switching to a hybrid work model will drive you forward rather than feel like a step backward.
It can be a good idea to use work monitoring tools, for example, to monitor internet activity for employees and see how much time they’re engaged with work-related activities while working from home.
What will meetings look like?
Meetings present a unique challenge in a hybrid work environment.
There are several questions to consider:
- Will you stick to in-person meetings?
- If you switch to virtual meetings exclusively, which tools will you use?
- Will you have more or fewer meetings than before?
- Do you have employees in different time zones, and if so, how will this impact your ability to stick to regular meetings?
Going into a hybrid work model, everyone needs to be on the same page regarding meetings to minimize the impact on productivity. Set up a regular schedule and stick with it.
Personalize and Prioritize
Once you’ve clearly communicated how your hybrid work environment will look to everyone involved, the next step is to delve into the details.
There are two core pillars to uphold if you want to ensure productivity remains high and progress is sustainable:
Personalization and prioritization.
In 2023, there’s going to be an increase in focus on slow productivity and the benefits it can bring to both employer and employee.
It takes time to adjust to a new way of working, so focusing on a more sustainable way of being productive is an excellent way to make the transition seamless. With slow productivity, you run less of a risk of pushing employees towards burnout and give them a better chance of performing at consistently high levels.
So let’s take a look at how personalization and prioritization can help you build a strong work environment based on sustainable productivity:
Personalize your Communication
When you make the decision to go hybrid, one of the biggest challenges you face is disrupting the status quo. If you can reliably expect one team member to produce three deliverables a day, for example, then you need to know that this will remain the same under your new hybrid model.
By understanding that for a hybrid work model to succeed, you need to empower every individual to work in a way that suits them.
While you don’t have to give each team member full autonomy in a hybrid work model, you do need to appreciate that their work day will look a lot different. One day they’ll be in the office, the next they could be working from home.
To assist them with this transition and avoid a situation where team members struggle to adapt, check in regularly and provide personalized advice and feedback:
Check in regularly:
For the first month, check in once a week with each team member to make sure they have all the resources they need to succeed when working from home.
Understand how each team member feels:
Ask individual team members whether they feel more or less connected to their coworkers, and if it’s the latter, ask how you can assist so they can continue to collaborate effectively.
Provide tailored feedback:
Be sure to tell each team member when they’re on the right track, and when there’s room for improvement. With individualized feedback, you can help each individual to do their best work in the hybrid work model.
Focus on Prioritization
Another important way to commit to slow productivity in a hybrid work model is to instill the importance of prioritization in your team.
When the work week changes, and you throw working from home into the mix, the result can be a drastic increase in procrastination on important tasks. When working remotely, it’s much easier to get caught in the trap of work about work as team members get to grips with new communication methods and work schedules.
To prevent this from eating into meaningful productivity time, help your team members to prioritize their workloads.
Here are some methods your team members can experiment with:
- Eisenhower Matrix - Create a grid with four squares labeled ‘urgent and important’, ‘urgent and not important’, ‘not urgent and important’, and ‘not urgent and not important’. Use these four squares as buckets to categorize work-related tasks and realize what the most urgent and important tasks really are.
- Eat That Frog - Find the most pressing task in your to-do list, and tackle it first thing in the morning.
- Ivy Lee Method - List the six most important tasks for the following day, and when you start the day work on completing them one by one from most important to least important.
Use Employee Monitoring Software
It’s natural to feel concerned that your team’s productivity will dip in the face of significant change, so you need a way to measure it accurately for both in-office and remote working.
With work hours tracking app Insightful, you can do just that.
By measuring time down to the hour and minute with computer activity monitoring, you can get a clear sense of how the transition to a hybrid work model has impacted your team’s productivity. You can also get granular with the website tracking software and monitor specific app usage to see if the various tools your team relies on are being used effectively.
Finally, you can try screenshot monitoring to see if that helps to boost accountability and work from home productivity. As an activity monitor for PC and other operating systems, Insightful is an all-in-one workforce analytics platform for any work model.