Tips for transitioning to a remote or hybrid workplace

It’s no longer enough for companies to just offer remote work for candidates to consider them. There are very few companies that can compete with the concept of freedom and flexibility that remote, working from home (WFH) or hybrid provide.

With flexible workplace arrangements among the top three motivators for finding a new job (Source: McKinsey) it’s no wonder that more and more companies are looking to implement hybrid workplace best practices.

Remote vs hybrid workplaces

Remote work refers to employees of a company carrying out the duties of their jobs from any location other than a central office run by the employer. Most commonly this is the employee’s home, but it does not necessarily have to be so.

Hybrid workspaces allow employees to work remotely or from home for certain periods of time or for set days per week with certain days allocated in the office to ensure that colleagues can work collaboratively and partake in a shared workplace culture.

Both remote and hybrid workplaces are wildly popular among potential employees with as many as 94% of people wanting to work from home at least one day a week. (Source: Employment Hero)

The value of remote and hybrid workplaces

With high-profile companies such as Apple, Spotify and Twitter transitioning to remote or at least hybrid workplace arrangements, the value of continued remote working has been the subject of many discussions in a post-pandemic world.

Understandably, due to the nature of the work involved, certain industries are more adaptive to remote working. Customer support, banking and finance, technology, and legal services tend to lead the march towards increasingly remote work. But it’s catching on: 58% of people in the US say that they have been offered at least one day a week of remote work. (Source: McKinsey)

Why should you be considering a hybrid workplace?

Improved employer brand

Employees nowadays value (and prioritise) working-from-home options. By offering a flexible working arrangement, you’ll be enhancing your employer brand’s appeal to potential recruits.

Increased productivity

While it might seem counter-intuitive, hybrid workplaces motivate employees to work harder and be more productive.

Decreased overheads

From office rental to utilities and supplies, much of the overheads of businesses of old fall by the wayside or at least decrease as remote working picks up.

Greater flexibility

Remote or hybrid workplaces allow employees greater flexibility and (when implemented well) a strong work-life balance.

Three WFH or hybrid workplace tips for transitioning to a new arrangement

Despite the value and popularity of working from home, there are disadvantages too. Increased distractions and feelings of isolation can be common, as well as loss of team camaraderie and collaboration and, in some cases, a blur between work/life boundaries.

However, many of these can be addressed with remote and hybrid workplace best practices.

1.     Set and communicate work expectations

Setting remote working expectations is critical. It ensures everyone is on the same page and understands what is always expected of them. Of course, setting expectations isn’t enough: They need to be communicated clearly to the entire team and managed on an ongoing and continuous basis.

Your expectations should include what levels of productivity are expected, what results constitute success (i.e., Key Performance Indicators), and be recorded in a consistent and transparent reporting system.

It’s important to set time expectations as well. Employees working from home can either be drawn into over-working well beyond fair expectations or may not realise when you expect them to be contactable and when you don’t.

2.    Put together an implementation plan

Good planning is the key to any success and transitioning to a remote or hybrid workplace arrangement is no different.

As mentioned in Tip #1, a consistent reporting system is important to hear. This will help you keep track of milestones (on an individual and collective level) and ensure that employees transitioning to new arrangements are provided the right support at the right times.

Make sure your employees set any budgets for remote team members and outline what sort of hardware, software and equipment is needed. Think about what sort of collaboration software is best suited to your needs and the needs of your team and how best you can roll out its use.

Lastly, it’s worth considering a test run. That way you can learn what works best through trial and (hopefully, little) error. As you refine your process you’ll become better and better at transitioning to remote working arrangements.

3.    Stay in touch and keep culture strong

Strong collaboration software in the form of a centralised platform is important for more than just ensuring flexible work implementation. It’s a necessary tool for ensuring ongoing team engagement and clear communication.

Continuously staying in touch will ensure your employees working remotely feel supported and part of the greater team, even when working independently and alone.

As part of your team’s workplace culture, ensure that employees know when they are allowed to take breaks instead of assuming they will just take them on their own or (worse yet) not take any. Allow employees to have casual chit-chat conversations with one another in a similar way in which they would in the kitchen or around the coffee machine at the office. These small gestures and opportunities to interact will help to promote a positive workplace culture and foster strong team engagement and connections.

Have a question about hybrid or working from home arrangements? Contact Perth’s leading recruitment agency

Whether you’re after more tips and assistance with remote or hybrid workplace best practices or simply need a hand recruiting top shelf staff, reach out to the Scotford Fennessy team. We put people first, always.

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