Over the past couple of years, hybrid work has exploded in popularity, but as a result new challenges for organizations have begun to pop up. The challenge for many companies is managing flexibility, communication and a more coordinated use of resources across physical and virtual environments without set office hours.
Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution that will be effective for everybody. What options do companies have to work through these challenges?
In this article, we’ll help quickly identify some common obstacles and provide some solutions for team managers to build a more effective hybrid work environment that benefits everybody in your organization.
1. A Lack of Structure and Strategy
A Remote Work Survey conducted by Georgia Commute Options shows that 40% of employees would most likely seek another job if their employer doesn’t offer hybrid working. The catch is that hybrid work requires some structure across the organizations that choose to implement this policy.
For example, when people make their own decisions, most people will choose to work at home on Monday and Friday and come in Tuesday through Thursday. But this could result in a lot of traffic on the road Tuesday through Thursday, worsening perceptions around what people have named as their top barrier to in-person work: the commute. When you consider the idea of multiple companies operating without a true hybrid structure, it makes midweek traffic in the metro Atlanta area particularly daunting.
Simple solutions to mitigate traffic may include dividing up and assigning work location days among employees, offering incentives for coming into the office or working remotely on specific days or even simple commute alternatives like carpooling. Learn more about scheduling strategies here.
2. Not Enough Flexibility
Data suggests that employees are more productive when they have more control to personalize their work experience. With this approach, workers can customize their working environment to meet their personal and professional goals. According to LinkedIn’s 2022 Global Talent Trends Report, certain generations are less willing to work at an office than others. For example, older employees prefer more remote work, presumably due to family priorities.
The takeaway here is important: Flexibility is a differentiator and will be key to attracting and retaining loyal employees. Well-crafted hybrid teams tend to have better flexibility that gives people ways to balance work and home life.
Workday flexibility cannot be decided without hearing from your employees. Collect feedback from employees (more on that below) so that a schedule and agreed upon plan can be created that mutually benefits the needs of the company and your teams. Ask us about our hybrid team plan toolkit to help you build common ground around hybrid expectations and set a plan with your team.
3. Employees Don’t Always Feel Like They’re Being Heard
Workers today have so many options when it comes to where they work that they’re unlikely to stick around for too long if their workplace isn’t willing to accommodate or consider their most important needs. As competition for talent becomes increasingly fierce, creating an organizational structure that doesn’t take into account employee preferences can lead to high levels of turnover, as employees seek out opportunities elsewhere.
More than ever, employee relationships and feedback is a business imperative.
As you continue to refine and adapt to hybrid work plans, take the time to solicit employee feedback along the way to ensure that employee needs are being met throughout the process. Employee feedback can be collected in several different ways. For example:
- Short 3-4 question surveys done weekly or biweekly (also known as a Pulse Survey)
- Monthly one-on-ones
- Exit interviews
- Keeping an eye on review sites
- Frequent encouragement by management to share your feedback and ideas
Looking for additional resources to gather feedback from your team? Use our hybrid work team survey template here.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org