5 Ways to Help Your Employees Cope with a Hybrid Work Environment
April 4, 2023
Written by – Rashika Thaurani, SEB Marketing team
Hybrid work environments are becoming a new reality for many companies in Canada as they have proved to provide flexibility and stability to employees. Employees enjoy the best of both worlds, an opportunity to come to the office for a few days, to connect and collaborate with the team, and work from home for the balance of the week in the way they have become accustomed to over the past few years. Some companies report that productivity did not suffer with remote work and one of the best advantages of the hybrid work model is that it helps employees achieve work-life balance, which is high on their list of job expectations that many are not willing to compromise on.
However, some employees may struggle with adjusting to the transition back to the office even if it is just a few days. Let’s face it, no one missed the hours spent commuting or the struggle to get out the door in the morning with family responsibilities and new pets that were added to households during the pandemic. In fact, if the transition is not handled well, it can impact the productivity and efficiency of employees.
Employers can provide support to help employees shift from a complete work-from-home set-up to a hybrid work model. Here are some ways that employers can help their employees cope with the change.
- Establish and maintain a schedule
It is important for employees to establish a consistent schedule to plan their week ahead. Work with your team to decide the days that are best for collaboration meetings and then schedule these as office-based days. Employees can determine which tasks are best to accomplish at home and which are to save for the office days. These practices help employees better utilize their time which will help them thrive at work.
- Team building
Team building activities have become essential, especially in a hybrid work model where you don’t have the opportunity to connect by dropping by a teammate’s desk. Gartner’s research shows that teams that collaborate are three times more likely to achieve high team innovation than those that do not intentionally collaborate. Team building activities can take place during work hours, either in person or remotely, and tools such as video conferencing can facilitate. Activities such as virtual creative and brainstorming sessions, weekly virtual meetings, and informal sessions can help the team build rapport and feel more connected to each other, which can positively impact results and employee well-being.
- Transparent communication
In a hybrid model, communicating with employees happens both remotely and in person and managers need to ensure that employees working remotely feel included, informed and have clarity regarding expectations and responsibilities. In addition, it’s best practice to document formal communications to ensure the message reaches everyone intended.
- Organize in-person work social events
Organizing in-person get-togethers for employees is a great way to foster relationships with colleagues throughout the organization and might even motivate employees to come into the office more often. Employees that live alone and work from home can really benefit from the social aspect of these gatherings and it supports their mental well-being.
- Emphasis on employee wellness and mental health
The past two years have taken a toll on employees’ mental, financial, and physical health. It was tough for employees to transition from a full work-from-office model to work-from-home, and then adjust to a hybrid model. Some workers living alone may be suffering from social isolation after the pandemic. Employers should focus on employee wellness initiatives that support overall employee wellness and help them in every way possible.
Must Read: Employee Wellness Resources that won’t drain your budget
Hybrid work models are popular with employees but are not free of challenges. Employers need to rethink how they can support employees to adjust and be productive with this new work arrangement for the ultimate goal of having a successful and thriving team.