OHS Canada Magazine

7 tips to successfully manage a hybrid workplace


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A hybrid workplace is one that involves both in-office and remote working. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen many employees working from home.

Over the next couple of weeks, more employees are set to go back to the office at some capacity, and it becomes very important for the transition to be managed effectively. With a combination of clear communication from management teams and tools that will help facilitate a workplace with health & safety policies, the transition will be successful.

Andrew Caldwell, HR Advisory Manager at Peninsula, has provided seven tips on how to best manage a hybrid workplace.

1. Set clear goals and expectations

“Communicate clear work briefs, goals, and deadlines with all your employees, especially work from home staff. You may want to hold daily or weekly virtual meetings to bring your hybrid employees together to discuss projects and share progress. Communicating regularly is essential to keeping remote staff engaged and motivated”, says Caldwell.

2. Create a hybrid work policy

Developing a policy for hybrid or remote work will set the rules for breaks, attendance, and ratio of home-to-office hours.
You should update your employee handbook with your hybrid work policy. Make sure you share it with your hybrid workers through a cloud-based HR management software such as BrightHR to help keep track of all employee data.

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3. Change parameters for assessing performance

To get the best out of your hybrid team, tailor your management style to their needs. Some workers perform better with detailed instructions and frequent one-on-one video meetings. While others only need clarity on objectives and deadlines.

Micromanaging or monitoring your remote staff all day might lead some employees to become more stressed or feel pressured. It’s best to put focus on results rather than how many hours a task took or how much work an employee completed within the day.

4. Organize in-person or virtual work socials

Monthly or bi-monthly team get-togethers can help your hybrid staff catch up. Team bonding will help increase overall company communication with staff.
Feeling connected to co-workers may help improve the wellbeing of your work from home staff, especially those who live alone.

5. Take steps to ensure home-based staff don’t feel left out

Since some employees are working from home while others are in the office, it’s important to keep everyone in the loop. Managers and team leads should include employees who work from home in decision-making through virtual meetings and internal communications. Livestream or record any office-based events (business talks, seminars, or training workshops) for the benefit of employees working from home.

6. Focus on employee wellness and mental health

The stress and uncertainty over the past two years has had a toll on many people. Mental health is important now more than ever and it’s vital for employers to be aware of that.
Having wellness programs and activities in place is a great source of stress-relief for employees. If you don’t have any programs available, you can offer an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). An EAP provides confidential counselling services to employees who may be going through personal challenges, such as domestic violence, substance abuse, mental health issues.

7. How to deal with hybrid in different time zones

Remote work has made it possible for employees to work in different parts of the country or abroad. Employers need to be aware of all the different time zones their employees are working in. This will help when it comes to scheduling meetings and setting deadlines for projects in each time zone. When setting up meetings or deadlines be mindful of the time. You don’t want your staff to have to stay up all night or wake up super early. Employers can create a shared calendar where all the employees can share their time details to help minimize or avoid any possible time zone mistakes. Use time management tools to keep track of all the different time zones and working hours of employees.