5 tips to make your hybrid working model more efficient

5 tips to make your hybrid working model more efficient

5 tips to make your hybrid working model more efficient

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As today’s employees seek more say in where they live and work, hybrid work models are becoming increasingly popular. So how can you make a hybrid workplace work for both in-office and remote team members?

Hybrid has its challenges – it costs more, it takes an intentional effort to build relationships, and you need to be strategic about spending on resources. For some organizations, these investments may seem prohibitive. If this is the case for you, you may prefer an all-in-person or all-remote model.

But hybrid is possible…if you approach it and invest in it in the right way to make it work. Here are five ways to harness hybrid working and make it work for your team:

Related: How to Manage a Happy and Healthy Hybrid Workforce

1. Intentionally design social experiences

Be committed to creating social activities that transcend location. Design rituals that foster a sense of camaraderie, belonging and community. Bring team members together in the office and remotely with:

  • Random pairs, recreating the desktop water cooler experience (try Donut!)

  • Virtual happy hours and games/contests (we are big fans of GeoGuessr)

  • Questions to get to know you on team calls or in Slack (know your team has great ones)

2. Choose remote tools and systems first

When an organization chooses tools, systems, and software based on cost savings, it often sacrifices ease of use. These types of thrifty products often make simple tasks more complex for the people who ultimately have to use them.

Now add the reality of remote work into the equation, and remote team members find themselves with even more hoops and hurdles to jump through. The impact? This robs them of time, mental space and energy. Choose third-party tools designed for remote teams. Start by discovering the best tools and services such as:

  • Enthusiasm: an easy-to-use HR platform for payroll, benefits, and more.

  • Soft: a communication platform designed to help teams collaborate

  • Loom: a screen recorder that simplifies collaboration and presentations

  • Brexit: a financial platform for payments, cards, expense management and more

3. Offer additional perks to remote staff

There is no doubt that remote staff have a very different work experience than team members in the office. It is a reality that you have to face. Find ways to offer perks that help offset some of the in-person benefits that remote staff lose.

Need ideas?

  • Provide a stipend to help cover the cost of coworking spaces.

  • Design and send exclusive gifts to remote staff that reinforce your brand.

  • Offer gift cards that approximate the value of office snacks and meals.

  • Ship Sonos speakers to remote staff so they can have fun with the office team.

Related: Succeed in Your Hybrid Workplace by Following These Rules

4. Encourage remote work sessions

While some employees thrive working solo all day, other remote team members lack the camaraderie and easy collaboration that come with the office experience. Help them overcome this inconvenience by encouraging and facilitating remote work sessions.

In your team calendar, schedule optional blocks of time when team members can hop on Zoom and work “side-by-side.” This can facilitate friendly banter and opportunities to ask random questions.

Some leaders might be tempted to view this as counterproductive. Don’t. Many people are wired for greater productivity when around other workers.

5. Take advantage of your space

Office spaces are great for getting the job done, but they’re also expensive, especially if part of your team isn’t using them. To make a hybrid environment work, leverage your space to go beyond office work. Reframe it as a resource for sales and brand expression. Think about how you can turn your office into a versatile space. At my company, we use our space to hold live design sprints with clients. Here are some other ideas for you below:

  • Social content: Use your space to create social media content.

  • Studio: Turn your office into a temporary studio where you create content with and for clients.

  • Gatherings: Design your space to be suitable for all-staff meetings and parties.

When designed well, a hybrid model can fuel faster productivity, more creative innovation, and better collaboration. To launch a hybrid model for your team, start small and pick one strategy to tackle at a time. Pick the idea that will have the greatest ROI for your remote staff, then execute on it.

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