Hybrid Office: What works and what doesn’t?

by Cristina Krenzer

The COVID-19 outbreak has meant many companies are now functioning through home office. As a result, everyday working life is characterized by new challenges. Urban Sports Club employees have been working in “hybrid mode” since June, with the team able to decide for themselves whether they want to work from home or in the office.

So Urban Sports Club are sharing their tips, insight and learnings from the last few months to help other companies master hybrid mode…

Hybrid office as an opportunity – key takeaways:

Internationalism as a challenge
Urban Sports Club is active in six countries (Italy, Spain, Portugal, France and Belgium). Because the virus has impacted every country differently, Urban Sports Club was faced with the challenge of establishing uniform regulations for all employees and customers to form a cohesive strategy to handle the current crisis.

So – the most important question: how do you ensure cohesive information and cultural flow?

What could be the negative impact on employees?
Working in home office can lead to a loss of corporate cohesion. We’re no longer able to have lunch together or exchange ideas by the coffee machine so opportunities to have informal conversations are limited.

We recommend: Ensure consistent information flow
Use a range of communication channels so managers and employees can keep each other up to date. Urban Sports Club uses the instant messenger service Slack for quick or informal exchanges. Important information, however, is communicated via email. 
Tip: Establish from the outset how you plan to use each channel.

Creating opportunities for cooperation
Informal exchanges suffer under the new virtual meeting culture. Everyday interactions between teams decline when working from home which means it can become a relatively lonely experience. That’s why regular check-ins are important, and Urban Sports Club encourages managers to free up time to take care of their employees.

Our conclusion:
Hybrid Office creates an opportunity to rethink how we work.

Urban Sports Club aims to inspire companies to keep their employees active, happy and healthy. As a flexible sports and wellness flat rate, Urban Sports Club supports companies in motivating their employees to lead a healthy and active lifestyle, because regular exercise and personal exchanges are proven to make people happier. From more than 50 different sports, members can individually compile their own training plan or arrange to do sports with colleagues and promote employee health.

In the new podcast episode of Young Talent to Go, our Vice President of People Felix Berghöfer provides insight on the problems and opportunities that the pandemic has presented to the company.

You can find the full podcast here. It’s worth a listen!

Read these articles for more tips on supporting your employees:

10 inexpensive ways to reward your employees

Adjusting to the new normal with company sports

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