Hybrid work is nothing new. In fact, it’s the natural progression of remote work. But what does this mean for the future of collaboration and productivity with remote teams?
As companies slowly return to the office, hybrid work will be the norm in the foreseeable future. Organizations will promote this setup because it brings people, ideas, technology, and space together at will.
Employees and entrepreneurs who choose to work from home would still want the environment of an office, conference, cafe, or coworking space for interaction with other people, fresh ideas, and creative processes.
We’ve compiled these insider tips for working remotely. Whether you are a small or medium-sized company, here are a few top strategies to help you get the most out of hybrid work.
I. Provide your team with collaboration tools to maximize hybrid work set-up
It’s time to stop thinking that efficiency can’t be achieved while working from home. Start thinking about how we can equip our workforce with the tools and skills necessary to thrive in a hybrid environment.
The idea of “work-life balance” has lost all meaning. A properly equipped person can perform at her highest level at any job and any place, provided the right tools and conditions are put in place. This means that the most important component of any job is learning how to combine work and life properly.
Invest in collaboration tools and training that will make it easier for your team to work together, as they can access files and information when they need it. These tools can allow them to work anywhere – whether at home, at the cafe, or the office, as the circumstances of the time demand it.
File sharing tools – where your team can upload, store, edit, and manage files
Communication tools – there are a lot of tools out there. Make sure you use one that is easier and can easily integrate with the software you are already familiar with.
Scheduling tools – make it easy for your team to setup a time with you based on your available schedule
Phone – telephone plays a crucial role for companies. Someone would always want to talk to a person who can help them at a certain time.
HR module – makes it easy to manage a hybrid team – whether they are remote or office-based
II. Measure work quality in different ways depending on each person’s role
So each role is unique and has different ways of measurement (e.g. output-based, project-based, time-based) considers the uniqueness of their roles in the team’s dynamics.
Each person’s goals will often be different from the goals of the others and the unique measurement system makes room for ownership in delivering top-quality work. There are different ways to measure success and acknowledging this perspective helps you find ways to strategize your team in delivering superior experiences for your customers.
The key is to make sure their approach is aligned to what the company or organization tries to achieve as a whole. Ensure that managers or HR set the expectation clearly as possible so each member understands how to contribute and how to best support their team in the long run.
III. Create team bonding strategies in a hybrid workplace context
A fantastic way to keep employees engaged is by giving them bonding opportunities, but consider the risks demonstrated by the pandemic. Your colleagues are people. They are wired for connection, relation, and affirmation. So wouldn’t it make sense to create team bonding strategies to help foster an environment where mutual respect and admiration for one another is the norm?
To achieve balance, create a schedule for which shifts employees are to use the workplace where health protocols are observed. When you put safety procedures in the workplace, your team can be more productive because they feel safer by seeing appropriate measures are established.
A company that addresses health risks first is more likely to not only improve its quality of life but also increase profitability by reducing absences, sick leaves, saving employees from future medical bills, and saving society millions in productivity costs.
To help create an effective safety program at work in light of the pandemic, provide training in implementing local health protocols while giving employees the latitude to enforce their own workplace rules.
One application of the latter principle is to give them leeway in scheduling among themselves the place of work. Providing them with the right tools to collaborate regardless of location is one way you can support them.
IV. Ensure cybersecurity for remote and office-based work
Be prepared. Cyberattacks have been consistently increasing in recent months, and they’re only expected to accelerate even further into next year. The surge can be attributed in large part due to the increase of remote workers and the meteoric rise of cryptocurrency. These attacks have led to an increase in cybercrime rates, including data breaches. DDoS attacks also continue to grow, resulting in massive business disruptions.
Network security services can be expensive but they’re also worth it in the bigger picture of a business’s bottom line because of how they diminish huge financial threats and boost reputation. If your business is involved with storing and managing clients’ data, then network security is non-negotiable.
If data flows through your networks freely, then you’ve significantly increased liability for theft or damage caused by hackers. The good news is that there are some simple steps you can take to ensure cybersecurity for hybrid work ecosystem:
- Keep all accounts secure
- Keep passwords strong
- Block access to unknown or suspicious devices
- Turn-on two factor authentication
- Encrypt your company mobile devices
- Password-protect or encrypt sensitive data
- Get an anti-malware or anti-ransomware solution
- Have a secure backup for your devices
- Have a business continuity plan in case of disasters or events that can disrupt operations
- Train your team on how to deal with cybercrime tactics like phishing emails
- Make sure software is updated for up-to-date security
- Look up into cybersecurity insurance
V. Find the right people to support your hybrid work
Hybrid work isn’t just another term for working from home. It is a careful approach to work designed to make your team productive while putting their safety in check.
That’s why you need the right people who can understand and support this ecosystem. So if you’re looking for ways to make a hybrid work environment a reality, here are some things you can do:
- Find the right provider that can support a stable and secure network
- Find people with the right background, experience, and location
- Check out their cybersecurity policies
- Create a virtual team
- Have a robust collaboration software
- Communicate your goals and expectations
- Make time to connect
- Don’t forget to have fun!