One of the long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the surge of remote work opportunities. Many employers and employees have found they can maintain productivity while performing their duties from home and collaborating with their staff and coworkers online. However, some prefer the structured environment of the office, while others like a balance of both. How can an employer handle these varying work-life preferences in their company? By adopting a hybrid work policy.
A New Style of Employment
A hybrid work policy is one that uses a mix of remote work and on-site work to meet the company’s goals and milestones. There are different ways to employ this mix of office and remote work, and it’s important for a company’s leadership to determine what works best for their workforce.
Hybridizing the way a company works has a number of benefits. It allows the staff to work where they’re most comfortable, reducing and/or avoiding work-related stress. It broadens a company’s hiring pool since physical distance is less of an issue. It enables workers to have a better work-life balance, thanks, in part, to reducing or eliminating the need for lengthy commutes to and from the office.
However, there are challenges and risks when it comes to hybridizing a company’s work practices. Most of these risks come from rushing into this model of work policy without careful planning. A sudden change in the work environment and schedule can result in lost productivity, misunderstandings about expectations and responsibilities, and a lack of connection between staff members.
To make the most of the benefits and avoid the risks, let’s look at some guidelines on shifting to a hybrid policy for your company.
No.1 – Communication is Essential
When creating a new work policy, it’s vital to get input from as many members of your company as possible. Employee surveys and meetings with department heads are good ways to find out how each department and employee works, their goals, what causes them stress, what they know about their duties and responsibilities, and what they’d like to see from the company’s leadership. Using staff input and manager/department head insight will help you customize your work policy.
No. 2 – Create a Schedule
It’s important that your policy clearly states what you expect your staff to do and how flexible you’re willing to be about their work schedules. There are two basic types of hybrid schedules: cohort schedules that have everyone in the company follow a single scheduling ruleset, and flexible schedules that allow for remote and/or in-office work as the staff members see fit. Between these two overarching types, there are several subtypes of schedules:
- 3:2 – Employees work three days in-office and two days remotely.
- Bottom-up – Each team/department decides when to work in-office and when to work remotely.
- Staggered – Each employee’s in-office days and hours of arrival and departure are specifically set.
- Flexible place – Each employee may work in-office or remotely as they like.
- Flexible time – Each employee may work whichever hours they prefer (though the number of work hours may be set).
No.3 – Make a Comprehensive Policy
Your work policy should cover more than just the hours and location where your staff works. Additional details you should cover include:
- The reason for hybridizing
- Each position’s responsibilities and duties
- Eligibility for remote work
- Sources for more information
No.4 – Loosen Up Your Hiring Qualifications
To make the most of your new policy, you need to embrace the benefits of remote work. Allowing people who don’t live locally to your company’s HQ will increase your access to talented prospects, so remove requirements to live within a certain distance from positions that you deem appropriate for fully remote employees.
No.5 – Treat Everyone Equally
Whatever policy you set, it’s vital that you treat all your employees equally. Whether remote, in-office, or a mix of the two, you should evaluate their performance based on their results, not their visibility. It’s easy to see staff members who come in person to the office as being more productive just by proximity but remember that those who work remotely are working just as hard, and their merit should be determined by the results.
Get the Resources You Need With Payroll Vault
We’re ready, willing, and able to help you set up the best set of policies and operating guides you need, from payroll to human resources. From time recording to helping create remote working contracts, from check processing to tax filing, we have a variety of services to customize your service. Visit your nearest Payroll Vault today to find out more.