The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way businesses operate. The concept of work from home is here to stay, as both organisations and employees are moving towards the hybrid workplace.
A report prepared by NASSCOM and Microsoft titled ‘Technology Reshaping the Future of Work: India Perspective’ gave essential insights into the changing work model, especially in the technology industry. As per the report, 70% of the organisations have adopted the hybrid work model, while 85% of the tech workforce is functioning with work from home or a hybrid setup. The report also stated that about 93% of the tech companies plan to adopt the hybrid work model even after the pandemic.
So, as the hybrid work model is gaining traction, you need to create a flexible office space for your hybrid workforce. How do you do that?
Here are some tips for creating a flexible hybrid workplace
Invest in the right technology
The success of a remote workplace is solely dependent on technology. Technology bridges geographical barriers and helps employees connect with the organisation. Besides high-speed Wi-Fi at the office, you need the desired software that allows your employees to stay connected, wherever they are.
Furthermore, you would need software that allows your employees to complete their tasks and be productive.
So, when it comes to technology, do not skimp. Buy the right technology and IT facilities for the organisation to help your employees work remotely or from the office at their convenience.
Interweave the digital and the physical interaction
The hybrid workplace model doesn’t simply imply working from home. It combines work from home with work from the office, giving flexibility to employees to work in a mixed manner. This might create a lack of interaction between employees who work only from home and those who interchange between working from their homes and at the office. It is, thus, your onus to interweave the digital and physical experience of your employees so that they feel that they are a valuable part of the organisation.
Motivate your employees to interact with each other. Engage in team-building exercises and games.
Add a social space to the office
While office spaces are becoming fluid with the hybrid work model, the need for a social space is increasingly being felt. Employees need a place to connect, gossip, share their experiences, and socialise. You need to provide this place for your employees.
So, instead of a rigid workplace, create a flexible type of office by adding a social space wherein your employees meet informally to interact and bond. Opt for quirky and creative office wall designs to add a bit of fun to work.
Create an online employee community
To keep all your employees connected, you need an online community. It can be social media groups or other platforms that bring your employees together.
Employees can use the online community to connect, express their thoughts and experiences, and seek help from others.
So, create an online community for your workforce and motivate them to use it for bonding with their fellow team members.
Make use of the ‘hot desking’ concept
The ‘hot desking’ concept is relevant to the hybrid workplace model. As a limited number of employees attend office on any given day, you can cut down the use of unnecessary space with ‘hot desking’.
As per the concept, office desks are not reserved for specific employees. Instead, any employee can use them if they come to the office. The usage is on a first-come-first-serve basis and allows your employees to work at any desk that they find convenient.
The ‘hot desking’ concept makes sense as reserving desks for each employee does not prove fruitful when the employees do not attend the office regularly. It can be a part of the modern office.
Create an equal environment
Dissent and unrest might arise if some employees are allowed to work only from home while some have to attend office every day. Moreover, employees might feel that they might miss out on opportunities or that their KRA would be impacted if they work only from home.
This sense of inequality and insecurity needs to be eliminated, and you can do so by building a harmonious and equitable workplace.
To do so, allocate specific days when employees have to work from the office and days when they have to work from home. Assign rotational shifts for every employee. Appraisals should be based on productivity and performance, and this should be communicated to every employee so that they can work without fear.
Your organisation needs talented and loyal employees to grow and prosper. In the modern era, employees look beyond the compensation that they receive when joining an organisation. They also consider the ease of working, the work culture, the flexibility in the workspace, and the X factor that you offer.
Organisations can, thus, engage in employee welfare programmes and activities to ensure that their employees get the most productive environment where they can thrive. With the hybrid work model gradually becoming the norm, you need to create a flexible office space for your employees. These tips help you do just that.
Use these tips and design a flexible and fluid office space that makes your employees look forward to coming to the office. Also, keep your employees’ well-being in mind, especially in these trying times. Provide your employees with wellness benefits, like a group health plan or a group term life plan, so that they also enjoy financial security in times of emergency.
Make your organisation the best place to work in, and you would not only attract the right talent, but you would also be able to retain them.
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