Will your team stay partially away after the pandemic ends? Here's how to make a hybrid workplace a huge success.
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The coronavirus pandemic has put all of us into a reset mode and offers companies, executives and employees the opportunity to redefine their workplace and decide on a new normal.
As more executives see that their teams are successful while working remotely, many are considering a hybrid workplace to give employees a mix of virtual working and meeting in a traditional office setting.
As in any other workplace, the hybrid model can fail if it is not properly set up and maintained. If you are considering this model for your own team, use these three tips to make sure your new normal is healthy for everyone.
Take it slow
As catchy as it may seem, one of the best things to do in times of uncertainty, such as: B. Redefining your workplace is slowing down. The slowdown, both mentally and physically, provides the perspective necessary to formulate a clear plan of action for the future.
Use your slowdown time to think about your current business model, team structure, processes and more. Use a simple framework like SWOT analysis or a "T-Chart" to evaluate what works, identify what doesn't, and create a step-by-step plan to transform accordingly.
Focus on what you can control
As a leader, so much is beyond your control right now. Focus on what you can control in both your personal and professional life and structure around these elements. Encourage your employees to do the same as you lead by example:
Personal structure: Create stability every day with a solid morning and night routine. When you consistently start and end your day in the same way, your mental energy is released to focus on those parts of your day that fluctuate in a hybrid workplace.
Team Structure: One easy way to structure your team is to identify the "who, what, and when" of each virtual meeting. For a hybrid workstation to be successful, all remote workers – C-suite executives to entry-level team members – need to know (in advance) when they will be expected in front of the camera. If you can reduce the number of meetings you hold, do so. These quick status check-ins could be phone calls or some messages in an online chat app like Slack. Video conferencing is not required for every meeting (#ZoomFatigueIsReal).
Staff Structure: Encourage hybrid team members to create a structure based on their schedule. Ask them to plan and communicate when they will be in the office, on site, or at home. As you create these schedules, remind them of the benefits that consistency provides for their own wellbeing and for the health of the company.
Related topics: Managing a Hybrid Workforce
Create a supportive environment
When moving to a hybrid workplace model, keep in mind that your team's needs will vary from person to person. For example, some need more flexibility to look after their children, others need more structure to stay on track. To create a supportive environment, you must be willing to give each team member what they need to succeed.
How are your employees really doing? Do you know what you need or want? If you're not sure, meet up with each person and ask personalized, open-ended “what” and “how” questions. Ask questions like:
How do you deal with distractions?
What obstacles do you encounter?
What do you need to be successful?
How is that important to you?
Make sure you listen deeply to show that you understand and respect the way they see the world. When you meet each person where they are and authentically navigate through the conversation, your team members feel heard and seen. When they know that they can trust you, they are more willing to find out what they need to create more work-life harmony within the hybrid workplace model.
Related: What Is The Real Future Of Work?
Keep communication lines open
Open communication is critical to keeping your team engaged as your company adjusts to the new normal. Make sure you stick to the end of the deal when it comes to this open communication. Be as open and honest as possible with your team about your expectations and don't make promises that you can't keep. The future is still uncertain; Even now, local, state, and national responses to COVID-19 are constantly changing. During this time, embrace open communication and greet them back from your team.
As you plan and start your new normal, remember that every step you take towards a healthy hybrid workplace is only one on an ongoing path of transition and transformation.
Related: 5 Ways To Avoid Burnout Working As A Hybrid Entrepreneur