Many companies are moving toward a hybrid workforce model, which is a model that includes both in-person, office-based employees and remote employees who work from home. What if you’re considering moving to a hybrid workforce model? Here are some important considerations to keep in mind.
1. What kind of model will you use?
Perhaps the first decision to keep in mind once you’ve decided on using a hybrid model is what kind of model will work best for your company. There are roughly three approaches to a hybrid workforce model, and they each have different strengths and weaknesses.
The first approach is to keep your in-person and remote employees distinct. That is, if an employee is in-person, they remain in-person full time, and if an employee works remotely, they almost never come into the office. This model gives employees a more consistent work environment, and it also makes it easier to know who will be in the office on a given day. On the other hand, this approach is less flexible and may give some employees the sense of being cut off.
The second approach is that every employee spends some time in person in the office and some time working remotely, utilising a hybrid work schedule. This model is more flexible and still gives the lower overhead costs you can expect from a hybrid workplace model. Additionally, any money that is spent on equipment and new technologies is worth more because more people in the company will be able to make use of it. However, not all potential employees are comfortable working both remotely and in-person.
The third and final approach is a combination of these first two approaches. In this model, employees are either in-person or remote, but may periodically break from these roles based on a company schedule. This combines the strengths of both models. However, it’s much more complex to set up due to its uniqueness. This model is also the most chaotic, and gives employees less time to know each other and make connections.
2. How will you handle leadership and promotions?
Once you’ve begun implementing a hybrid model, it’s important to keep in mind how you’re going to handle leadership and how you’ll reward employees. Whether or not your leadership is in-person or remote will greatly affect how employees interact with the leadership. This can even affect the ratio of in-person and remote employees.
If a leadership position is held by a remote or in-person employee, it’s likely that more employees will want to imitate that leader’s employment style. Additionally, some employees might find it more difficult to work with a leader who is using a different work style than the one they are used to. It’s also important that leaders are educated in how to interact with groups both online and off, so that interaction and communication is as smooth as possible.
Similarly, who the company promotes will signal to the other employees what kind of work is most valued by the company. So, having a mix of promotions from both in-person and remote employees is usually beneficial.
Because adding online and remote infrastructure to any company increases cybersecurity threats, it’s essential for a company to improve their cybersecurity as they transition to a hybrid workforce model. Improving cybersecurity is easiest if it’s scaled alongside the company’s online infrastructure. It’s much harder to go back and add more features after the infrastructure has already been created.
Cybersecurity takes many forms, but it especially involves increased anti-virus systems and training for employees against cybersecurity threats. Employees should be trained to be critical of suspicious emails and to not access potentially dangerous sites on the company’s network. And these are only a few of the many ways companies should protect themselves from cybersecurity hazards.
Every company is different, and every company has different challenges and opportunities to consider while they’re transitioning from one workforce model to another. Not all of these considerations can be listed here. Hopefully, these ideas will help you as your company becomes a hybrid work model and generate other ideas that will make the transition easier. The tools to build up a successful remote and in-person workforce are in your hands.