How to Create a Hybrid Work Schedule
By Amy Jacques
As many U.S. workers have not been in the office full-time since March 2020, the standard five-day, in-person model is becoming obsolete.
In fact, a recent Gallup poll noted that about half of U.S. full-time employees want a hybrid work arrangement for the future. Among those employees, three in 10 want to be onsite, five in 10 want to be hybrid and two in 10 want to work from home permanently.
“The biggest mistake leaders can make when crafting a hybrid work strategy is to select a standard approach,” says Gallup. Avoid prefabricated hybrid strategies and use surveys to kick-start conversations and create flexible work arrangements at your company.
For hybrid work to be successful, there are many factors to consider: scheduling, management processes, systems and tools, benefits policies and more. A lot of planning and conversations go into this, according to a recent article from HR Executive, and elements of company culture like work practices, management behaviors, reward systems and flexibility are all affected by the choices you make.
Make sure that employee expectations are clear — whether its requiring employees to come into the office on certain days, or mandating meeting attendance at certain times.
Reflect on what worked and what didn’t this past year. Many companies simplified decision-making and performance management and plan to make such changes permanent.
Consider integrating some collaborative tools and apps like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Guru and Loom to help make the remote to in-person transition more seamless with your hybrid work situation.
Also, listen to employees: “Listening helps with productivity, inclusion, diversity and employee retention. And this requires a set of tools and analytics platforms that make it easy, scalable and open,” says HR Executive. Feedback helps guide policies and foster innovation.
“Work is not a ‘place’ — it’s what people do. You and your leadership team have to trust people and give them clarity as well as opportunities for skills development and growth,” says HR Executive. “When you do so, you’ll see engagement, productivity, retention and innovation soar.”
Here are some considerations for returning to a hybrid work model:
• Focus on culture.
• Continue to build out collaborative technology.
• Establish a listening platform and culture.
• Double down on IT security.
• Integrate hybrid work with well-being.
• Bring leadership into the conversation.
• Keep experimenting with new ideas.
• Make sure that trust remains paramount.