Hybrid work? This is how you develop a future-proof policy [5 themes]
By Annemijn Broek | April 19, 2021
In the past year, many organizations have had to make rapid adjustments for hybrid work. Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis in March 2020, we have started working from home en masse. But even now that relief of the lockdown is just around the corner, the expectation remains that this will (largely) be partly permanent. After all, many employees no longer want to go to the office five days a week, now that they are used to working from home. And to properly safeguard that balance between home and the office, or hybrid work, it is important as an HR professional to develop a long-term policy.
And many more organizations are already working on that. For example, Spotify recently introduced a policy whereby employees have the choice to work remotely or from the office. They can also opt for a combination, hybrid work, as long as they communicate this in time. Dropbox also developed a policy plan, in which working remotely remains the norm. Current workplaces in the office will be converted into co-working spaces, called "Dropbox Studios", so that employees can still work together in the office when it is safe again.
Everything starts with the basics
How is that in your organization? Are you already working on the development of a future-proof hybrid work policy? And how do you approach this? 2DAYSMOOD believes that everything starts with the basics. By collecting (frequent) feedback from your employees, you gain insight into where you stand as an organization. From there you can start looking at what is already going well, and where possible action is required. We have developed our latest survey especially for hybrid work: Future of Work. Do you want to test how your employees are doing under hybrid work? You can!
Here you can read which 5 themes are essential for the design of your future-proof organization. What do you have to take into account when designing a hybrid work policy?
Hybrid work checklist: the five themes for your policy
When designing your hybrid work policy, you cannot just rely on your gut feeling. By collecting employee feedback you can set up the policy based on real-time data. That is why we have listed the five most important themes for you.
Tip: If you ask for feedback in advance and then continue to monitor whether your actions have the desired effect, you can make adjustments if necessary and keep employees satisfied in the longer run. This is possible with 2DAYSMOOD's real-time measuring method.
The theme "Wellbeing" is about maintaining good physical and mental health of employees in the long run. If you often see your employees or team in the office, you will sooner notice how they are doing. But with hybrid work you don't see each other as much, which quickly makes it more difficult. Ask your team, employees and of course the HR department the following questions:
How do we ensure that we organize our future-proof (online) hybrid culture in such a way that we can guarantee good employee well-being? Do employees feel safe enough to return to the office?
The theme "Organization" refers to the core of the organization and how you strive to communicate the same message to all internal and external stakeholders (including all your employees). Coherence, credibility and ethics are very important to radiate as an organization. Hybrid working is not an end in itself. The challenge lies in how you continue to communicate with employees who work partly at home and partly in the office. Not everyone reads that flyer at the office, and people who do spend a lot of time in the office may find themselves less in the online communication channels. For this theme, you can ask the following question when creating your hybrid work policy:
How do you ensure that everyone is kept informed of important matters and that employees continue to feel connected to the mission and vision of your organization?
The theme "Connection" refers to the mutual (experienced) connection between employees, managers and the organization. In the case of hybrid working, this connection is anything but self-evident. It may differ per personality type who works from home a lot and who doesn't. How do you ensure that those employees still remain in contact with each other, and that no groups are formed? How do you ensure that as a manager you pay just as much attention (if necessary) to employees working from home as those in the office? To prepare your hybrid work policy for this, you can ask yourself the following questions:
How do we ensure that we organize our future-proof (online) hybrid culture in such a way that we also guarantee a good interconnection from a distance?
The theme "Leadership" refers to all executives who lead the organization and who are responsible for effectively managing the resources within the organization, inspiring employees to do their best work, and cultivating a successful organizational culture. The design of a future-proof (online) hybrid work policy has a major influence on leadership. Therefore, consider the following questions:
What will the role of managers be? How do we also guarantee good leadership from a distance? And what is needed for this?
5. Design hybrid workplace
The theme "Design hybrid workplace" is about the sustainable design of the future-proof (online) hybrid workplace. Whether they work at home, at the office or a combination thereof, employees must be able to do their job well and have the resources to do so. If this falls short, it will mean that people come into the office more often to look up those resources - and then your hybrid work policy has failed. Therefore, consider these questions:
If we permanently want to work partly at home, and partly at the office, what do we need for that? What will the function of the office be? And how do we together ensure that the IT infrastructure also allows us to (partly) work from home?
Start your hybrid work policy!
Is your policy ready for hybrid work? You can already get started with these five themes. But this is just the beginning: to optimally set up the hybrid working experience, you need feedback from your employees. To this end, 2DAYSMOOD has developed the new questionnaire "Future of Work": so that you do not organize your hybrid work policy on a gut feeling, but on actual real-time data. Do you want to get started quickly and easily?
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Questions for our strategic happiness expert?
Dr. Marvin Deitz
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