By OLIVIA LAWRENCE
For the Regina & District Chamber of Commerce
There are pros and cons of remote and in-person work for a business: remote work provides greater flexibility for the employee and is cost-effective for the employer while in-person interaction with staff is important as well. Instead of choosing one or the other, some businesses have opted to embrace the hybrid work model to reap the benefits of both work environments.
Despite the benefits, the research emphasizes that a hybrid work model needs to be well-planned out if a business wants to see success with it. Maintaining culture, collaboration and innovation are key aspects a business should consider.
One major commonality researchers have expressed about the hybrid model is it will look different for each and every business.
According to a technology company called Webex by Cisco, there are many different types of hybrid work options. For example, one hybrid work model may only require an employee to come into the office once a month, while another model may give employees the option to work remotely once or twice a week. Some businesses are offering a few different options, leaving the employee to decide what works best for them. There is even what’s called a “flexible hybrid model,” allowing employees to choose their work location and hours.
The hybrid model has really grown in popularity since the pandemic. Businesses which never thought to adopt this method had no choice but to make it work for a period time given the circumstances. However, these same businesses are now choosing to stick with the method post-pandemic. Research is indicating the hybrid model will shape the next era of work environments whether we agree with it or not.
If you think a hybrid model is a right fit for your business, here are three tips from entrepreneur.com to help make your hybrid work environment thrive.
n Communication: It is critical to communicate to keep employees connected, especially while they are working remotely. For example, scheduling group meetings and one-on-one check-ins with employees every week is a great way to maintain active communication. This is the perfect time for employees to express concerns or receive guidance or solutions. Not only will this make the employee feel important, but it will also make the employee more independent and keep the leaders of the business updated.
n Accept Flexibility: Everyone works remotely in a different way. Setting company expectations and policies is vital for accountability and staying on track, but also recognizing how employee work hours might look different from a remote setting is important.
n Focus on the employee: Turnover rates continue to be high, which costs employers time, money, resources, and energy to find new employees. Make sure employees feel valued and provide growth opportunities where it’s necessary. There continues to be a high rate of employees looking elsewhere for employment if they don’t feel satisfied.
Employee retention comes from clear job descriptions and good communication. Clear guidelines and training manuals for remote work are key, especially for new employees. As long as productivity continues, listen to what employees need and take appropriate measures to accommodate them.