Hybrid Office – Navigating Work Through Tough Times

by Cristina Krenzer
hybrid office

The future of work is neither strictly at home nor solely in the office. Hybrid offices are named as the safest bet when it comes to reuniting multiple employee needs and balancing them with your work demands.

In the long run, the benefits of a hybrid office strategy keep your organization running:

  • Providing a safe work environment
  • Eliminating fatigue
  • Keeping productivity in check
  • Maintaining high team engagement
  • Preventing communication problems
  • Equipping individuals to work on their own terms

Shifting towards a new normal in the workplace

As employees got used to working remotely, their expectations also changed. They’re now more likely to openly voice their thoughts and ask for the perks that will positively change their life and professional development. 

Still, there’s one long-term difficulty they need to overcome if they want business processes to flow smoothly: 

Navigating a new situation and adapting management systems to it.

That’s where hybrid work comes in. 

Now, where do you start today to ensure you’re set for an unexpected crisis?

Preparing for new restrictions

No more jam-packed meeting rooms and lifts. Higher number of dedicated spaces for one-on-one meetings. Rethinking office paths. New tech and office furniture. Room booking systems to prevent overcrowded areas.

These are just a couple of aspects to consider when debating the future of the office.

But these “restrictions” also provide endless opportunities for companies to prosper.

Maintaining a balance between your in-office and remote workforce allows you to tap into top talent worldwide and create diverse teams. Sure, you want to consider new hiring methods too as job interviews will be held virtually.

Implementing the switch one step at a time

A 2020 Gensler study found that 74% of employees miss the human interactions they had in the office. 

This said, a good idea is to support communication and socializing. 

In a hybrid office, this translates into calling your team to work on projects together and having them interact via fun virtual team building activities. Approach the change one week at a time within the first three months. Dedicate one week for common projects and the next week for working remotely and seeing each other for a Live Class.

Making sure employees stay healthy and motivated

Next are some of the up-and-coming trending strategies that let you keep employees engaged and motivated in a hybrid office environment:

Physical wellbeing

Through our research with forsa, we discovered that 86% of employees want their employer to support them financially in health-promoting measures. 

Measures well-being

The promotion of wellbeing activities will become a leading factor in differentiating an exceptional workplace from one that doesn’t care. Company wellness programs are a sure way of getting people closer to their health goals, boosting motivation, and stabilizing their routines.

Mental matters

After the first stages of the pandemic, 27% of employees said they had experienced stress-related health issues, and 23% have dealt with the negative effects on their mental health.

health problems due to corona pandemic

Here are some fixes to common issues you might find difficult to handle:

  • Employees are losing motivation and focus at work. ➝ Provide for their meditation classes and make a list of the best ones.
  • Employees feel depressed and lack the willingness to get out of the house or come to the office. ➝ Get them to try new activities and expand their horizons.
  • Loneliness is becoming a common feeling within your team. ➝ Set up weekly bonding activities and rotate your team’s in-office participation.

Building trust from zero

Trust holds a fair share in employee wellness. 92% of employers consider employee wellness as part of their business strategy, and for many, it has become a business metric.

If you’re not sure where to start, here are three vital steps to go through:

  1. Maintain transparency. Make all policies and company-wide decisions public no matter how tiny they might seem. Take it to the next level by being honest when things don’t go well and you’re forced to cut down on costs.
  2. Give your team a chance to provide their dependability and be a good listener during the process. If you’re willing to support them as they improve their work styles, they’ll showcase skills they wouldn’t in a regular setting.
  3. Act upon feedback. Frequent complaints, suggestions, or requirements? Make sure you deliver upon them even if you can’t afford to do it all at once.

Meeting independent needs not just collective ones

Truth is we’re all too different to be placed in the same category as our deskmate. Every single one of us can estimate having one more need when part of a hybrid working model.

Here’s what to expect from the individuals in your own company:

  • Rethinking communication. Like some prefer some (virtual)face-to-face interactions, others will be fine with email exchanges or demand complex materials such as presentations or videos to clarify concepts and specifications.
  • Improved workspaces. If your employee has a better desk at home, you bet they won’t be coming in. The office space itself needs to be reconsidered from the setting of your desks to the technology people can use.
  • Focus on results, not on time. Progressive employers have taken to assessing team performance based on achievements. This positive trend will prosper as more teams rely on how many results a person can have regardless of how much time they spend working.

Making the hybrid office work for you

Office or not, work has to continue and employees should never lose their motivation. An employer who doesn’t care about their team and their work will soon lose trust no matter where work is done.
At Urban Sports Club, we support companies in their attempt to provide a safe, productive and healthy workspace to their teams. You too can join the ranks of thousands of companies who have taken the step towards improving their employees’ health.

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