Before COVID-19, only 33% of companies managed a remote team. However, as many businesses have experienced, working remote, or creating a hybrid workplace, has become the “new normal.” In a May 2021 Remote Work and Compensation Pulse Survey, 48% of employees reported a desire to be fully remote and 44% reported a desire for a hybrid workplace, whereas 51% of employers supported a hybrid workplace and only 5% supported a fully remote workforce.
Since employers are more open to a hybrid workplace, here are some common hybrid workplace mistakes and how to avoid them.
- Lack of Planning and Policies. Like many major changes to an organization’s structure and operation, approaching with an inflexible or rushed plan (i.e. instead of breaking the process into phases to be tried and tested) can set your organization up for failure. The first step should be outlining a hybrid workplace policy and determining if it will temporary (i.e. are you allowing employees to have the right to a hybrid working arrangement permanently, or is this a temporary solution until the pandemic settles?) or permanent. The policy should highlight important details, such as expectations of employees, including the number of hours expected to work each day, designated work hours they should be available, and which days or number of days a week they are expected to come into the office.
- Mistrust. One of the most difficult transitions employers face in remote workplaces, including hybrid working arrangements, is trusting their employees. Some leaders may have worked through the era that believed employees are only working when physically present. However, many have accepted the evolving changes to the workplace as they continue to navigate the pandemic. The best way to establish trust with employees is by setting the right tone. It is common for managers and other leaders to engage in micromanaging, but 69% of employees consider leaving their job because of micromanagement. Additionally, 85% of employees reported a negative morale impact resulting from micromanagement. Instead of micromanaging, open a dialogue with your employees to establish clear expectations, deadlines for projects, and the resources to achieve their goals. By communicating your expectations and giving employees the space to complete them allows a mutual sense of trust to build.
- Not Investing in Technology. Making the investment in remote work equipment is vital to business operations, not just from an employee functioning standpoint but also from a business security standpoint. Technology plays a key role in managing company data, employee communication, and other business-related processes. If a company isn’t willing to invest in their remote work technology, they’re creating security and employee retention vulnerabilities. Your technology solutions should include communication tools (i.e. Zoom, Microsoft Teams, GoToMeeting), project and performance management (i.e. Asana, Wrike, Slack), file sharing (i.e. ShareFile, G Suite), and cybersecurity protections (i.e. company VPN).
Navigating a new business structure can be complex. If you need help creating a hybrid workplace or strengthening the one you already have, explore a professional employer organization (PEO) like AccessPoint. AccessPoint has seasoned HR representatives who know human resources management ins and outs and can help you develop and/or improve a hybrid work arrangement. Contact AccessPoint to learn more about how our team can help your business.