Today’s workforce expects more choice in where, when and how they work, and many are now floating their days between the home and the office. While hybrid work offers organizations and their employees’ much-desired flexibility, some still feel uneasy about coming in at all. Returning to the office—even for part of the week—creates circumstances that may cause stress for some team members. Addressing these concerns is vital to successfully managing a hybrid team. Win over your employees with these four strategies.
Easy Wins to Address Employees’ Concerns About In-Office Workdays
1. Mitigate Productivity Loss
As employees transition back to the office, they may fear harming their productivity—a top-perceived benefit of remote work. The office environment needs to be adapted to support high productivity. Here are some ways to help hybrid employees work at their full capacity:
- Limit distractions by providing access to quiet, disturbance-free spaces, especially when they need a way to access virtual meetings or simply need to concentrate.
- Help employees avoid forgetting to bring equipment to work by retrofitting workspaces with power cords, adaptors, and other office supplies to support a seamless transition between at-home and in-office work.
- Consider flexible arrival times and other scheduling strategies for in-office workdays so employees can avoid congested travel periods that cut into the workday.
2. Optimize In-Office Time
Positive team dynamics are best built through in-person connection, which is essential for employee satisfaction and retention. Consider encouraging your employees to find a couple of days a month to come in for meetings to encourage collaboration and bonding.
A regular change of scenery can be helpful for productivity and motivation. Find opportunities to have employees hard at work to re-energize and break away. Try walking meetings or, if the meeting allows, host a tech-free meeting to engage directly with employees.
3. Survey Your Team About Their In-Office Needs
Give your team opportunities to voice their concerns and needs to create their ideal hybrid work environment. Surveys offer structured feedback from your team that can spark new ideas for achieving a productive, comfortable, and well-equipped in-office experience. Craft questions that help guide decision-making around workspace enhancements, such as:
- The average number of days they want to spend working at home versus working at the office
- Whether people are coming to the office for full or partial days
- Preferences for dedicated versus shared workspaces in the office
- Top priorities for in-office activities/top reasons employees come into the office
- Current computer and charging types (for in-office equipment provision)
- In-office etiquette preferences, such as where calls should be taken
- Top challenges posed by hybrid work arrangements
Are you interested in getting a starter set of survey questions? Ask us about our survey toolkit for hybrid workplaces.
4. Put Together a Hybrid Team Plan
Managing hybrid teams can be challenging. It requires managers to discard established norms about where and when work happens and to create new ones on the fly. To do this, managers must balance the unique needs of their team members with company-wide policies, all while ensuring work can get done efficiently. A hybrid team plan is one solution for finding common ground and building commitment with your team.
The key to building this plan lies in getting your team’s feedback on workday expectations, including scheduling, commuting, communication, meetings and more. Discuss expectations in one-on-one meetings so employees can privately share their situation or specific desires. Consolidate the feedback you gather in a team plan. Once a draft has been written, review it with your team to incorporate their feedback and gain commitment.
Georgia Commute Options has a toolkit for managers of small teams (approx. 3-20 people) to help them seek clarity on their team’s approach to hybrid work. Reach out to us to access this resource, which includes a template plan that you can fill in the expectations you’ve established with your team.
Find Hybrid Work Success with Georgia Commute Options
Georgia Commute Options works with metro area employers to develop commuter programs that improve air quality in the Atlanta region. These services are made available at no cost to metro Atlanta employers. We achieve this by providing resources and consulting services that focus on removing barriers to hybrid work, designing effective programs and supporting policy implementation. If you are interested in improving hybrid work for your employees, reach out to us to discuss ways we can help your team, including conducting and analyzing workplace-wide surveys, focus groups, hybrid workplace agreements, telework guidelines and much more: email@example.com