It is hard to deny that the outbreak of COVID-19 completely changed the way we think about business. Global lockdowns, recession, and labor scarcity forced companies all around the world to think creatively and find new solutions for ongoing issues.
In a lot of cases, these patch-up jobs proved to be quite effective and these days when the pandemic is slowing down they continue to shape the business world. One of the most critical mentions definitely comes in the form of a hybrid workforce, or in other words, the blending of in-office and remote work.
Keeping in mind all the benefits of this work model, we can see this becoming the dominant employment option in years to come and the best thing the companies can do is to prepare for this transformation as soon as possible. Let’s see what you can do about that.
Create the hybrid transformation policy
Like any other long-term business strategy like digital transformation, the wider implementation of the hybrid work model needs to have a clear set of objectives as well as a comprehensive written policy if it ever wants to be successful. That is why, before you engage in any kind of comprehensive company overhaul, take some time to assess where your company is lacking, what kind of long-term objectives can improve its operational efficiency, and finally, how implementing a hybrid model can address these issues. Revisiting your long-term development plans can help you find answers to some of these questions.
Start implementing the asynchronous work model
Hybrid work means that your employees will inevitably have to work at a different pace. That is why, before introducing any kind of dramatic change like implementing a work model like this you should first start making smaller, incremental steps and adopting models like asynchronous work. Since this work arrangement considerably loosens up established workflow, your goal would be to put a stronger emphasis on automation and the latest-gen workplace technologies that allow greater flexibility. The main foundations for this new setup should be found in your overall business goals and productivity patterns.
Be inclusive and reinforce a sense of shared purpose
Both these strategies should help you create a stronger sense of belongingness and loyalty to the brand which is absolutely necessary keeping in mind that employees will no longer have the benefit of a shared workplace struggle to bring them close together. Still, these efforts should also be taken with some sense of purpose and based on relevant real-life data so consider asking for help from experienced business transformation companies. These professionals can help you to identify any eventual personnel issues as well as suggest strategies that should strengthen your collective and set it up for future transition.
Set clear rules and emphasize accountability
One of the reasons why so many hybrid initiatives fail to take off is that since they are deprived of direct control over the staff the managers often try to review and approve all critical processes before they are set into motion which usually creates bottlenecks and delays. This is something you absolutely want to avoid so instead of asking your managers to keep track of everything that happens in your company you should introduce a set of clear unequivocal rules and emphasize a high level of accountability. Your employees will be able to find a foothold in this new system if you give them enough time to get used to it.
Create a streamlined communication infrastructure
That being said, accountability doesn’t mean you should just leave employees sent to remote positions left to their own resources. On the contrary, as much as your workers should be encouraged to take greater responsibility and work autonomously, critical communication should absolutely take place and it should take place in the most streamlined and efficient way possible. What’s also important to remember is that different problems should leverage different forms of communication. Otherwise, your communication channels and hierarchy will soon become cluttered and lose any sense of efficiency.
Leverage the latest-gen technology
This way, you will be able to address countless discrepancies and workflow issues made by the fact that a portion of your workforce is sent to remote positions. In this case, the latest-gen technologies like VR, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and, of course, the Internet of Things can serve as excellent glue bringing all of your workers together, giving them a shared collaboration infrastructure, and helping them achieve an unprecedented level of efficiency. Using these contemporary technologies can also have a very positive effect on the morale of your staff which should be one of your highest priorities.
We hope these six examples gave you a general idea of the strategies you can use to set your business up for future transformation and transition to the hybrid business model. The present-day corporate landscape is very complex and fast-paced. In such an environment, traditional business structures may no longer provide enough flexibility to keep your organization competitive. Resorting to a hybrid work model may present a solution to this problem but only if you introduce these innovations efficiently and with great sense of purpose. The strategies above make an excellent place to start.
Written by Mike Johnston