Successfully transitioning to a hybrid work model
By John Maniscalco, Vice President Customer Success, Mainstay
While work policies have ebbed and flowed, once seemingly temporary changes to our work models are now becoming part of the long-term “new normal” in this post-covid era.
Covid raised new questions about how to manage the safety of employees, changed the way we communicate and the way we work from a technology perspective, making it more important than ever for human resources teams to think more about the people side of technology.
Hybrid Work Is likely here to stay
According to a recent FlexJobs survey, fewer people want to return to the office and more want to blend the at-home and office workplace model once the pandemic subsides. In other words, more are in favor of a hybrid workplace model, and statistically speaking, it shows. Apollo Technical reports 63% of high-growth companies use hybrid work models as of January 2022.
Additionally, the same FlexJobs survey noted that employees enjoy the flexibility that at-home, remote work offers them. Some even feel more productive than in the office. In fact, 51% of survey respondents say they’ve been more productive working from home thanks to fewer interruptions, more focused time, a quiet work environment and a more comfortable workplace. On top of increased productivity at home, survey respondents said they feel they have a better work-life balance. This includes spending more time with family (46%), more time with their partner (42%), and the ability to take care of their pet (37%).
Based on the research cited above and many other surveys like it, the question is no longer ‘how do we transition to a hybrid work model?’ but ‘how do we transition successfully?’
How to successfully blend technology from the home office to the office
To successfully move from a mostly remote workforce to a hybrid workforce, companies need to communicate change creating awareness of their technology and processes. Communicating the upside to any change in process, or new technology will help workers understand how following procedure and using technology will benefit them on a day-to-day basis. In addition to clear communication, targeted training and support materials go a long way in helping employees become more effective managing change. Although workers are more comfortable utilizing collaboration technology than ever before, reintroducing them to the office and potential travel creates a new challenge facilitating the need for a more robust change management approach. Focusing on the needs of your workers and giving them the tools to navigate their changing landscape is a top priority for all of the companies we’re currently engaged with.
The Next Step
Success will require work on the people-side of your operations—specifically for continued communication and executive support. To achieve ongoing and long-term success, it’s imperative this transition start from the top down, and have a comprehensive change management approach including not only IT, but other key business units including Marketing and Communications.
Though many companies have already embraced the new way to work, one thing’s for certain: Hybrid work is here to stay. But making the best of this ‘new normal’ requires a concerted effort to effectively communicate with employees and ensure that everyone feels safe, informed, and appreciated when returning to the office in a hybrid work model.
If your HR team is interested in more solutions to change and communicate to the people-side of your organization, we can help. At Mainstay, our Prosci-certified change management professionals are uniquely qualified to help address post-pandemic changes in workplaces. We can identify a change management solution to fit your company’s new initiatives and policies—we might even find a solution to an issue you didn’t know you had! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.