Hybrid work culture has spread its roots deeper into the corporate landscape. Whether working from home or the office, all that employers care about today is productivity and performance quality.
The popularity of hybrid work models is increasing day by day as it supports the much-needed and long-sought work-life balance. In a nutshell, hybrid work culture is here to stay. Managing a hybrid staff, on the other hand, involves certain challenges.
In this article, let us explore the challenges associated with a hybrid work culture followed by various ways to manage a hybrid workforce with ease.
Top 3 Challenges Associated with a Hybrid Workforce
1. Maintaining Productivity
The first and foremost thing that employers dread while adopting hybrid work culture is employee productivity. Even while working from the office, maintaining a decent level of productivity was always a challenge. Now that businesses have decided on making hybrid work models an option for employees, this challenge comes naturally.
According to a Boston Consulting Group survey, 24 percent of managers believe it is more difficult to control and drive productivity while working remotely. In a hybrid workplace, collaborating with coworkers is a little more difficult than collaborating in-office.
2. Interrupted Employee Engagement and Collaboration
Casual conversations are a natural method for humans to connect, particularly in the workplace. Some of the most innovative and profitable business ideas have arisen from these conversations, whether it’s over a cup of coffee or the office water cooler.
Increased communication, increased transparency, and appropriate technology are all essential ingredients for any organization to grow and succeed.
With a hybrid workforce, collaboration and engagement remain an issue, especially when the organization size is huge and the workforce is scattered across different time zones.
3. Unmanaged Mobile Devices and Overburdened It
IT departments across industries have to brainstorm a lot to upkeep with the changing workplace paradigm. The hybrid workforce includes the use of various types of mobile devices for work. IT teams have to struggle with the hefty task of managing and monitoring mobile devices.
The BYOD trend has added to the IT troubles. While working remotely or in a hybrid model, employees face technical issues that may cause prolonged device downtime. IT teams throughout the world are struggling hard to keep the devices up and running.
Also, in addition to it, cumbersome tasks like formulating security policies, BYOD policies, WFH policies, remote access, and various compliance policies are overburdening IT teams.
8 Ways to Manage a Hybrid Teams in 2024
A hybrid workforce indeed comes with its own set of challenges, but nothing should refrain a business from succeeding. Today with the help of technology almost everything is possible. Let us discover some efficient ways to manage a hybrid workforce.
1. Establish Clear Guidelines and Set Clear Goals and Expectations
If you want your team to be effective in a hybrid workplace model, they must have a clear understanding of what they must accomplish and how they must accomplish it. As an employer, spend a few minutes at the beginning of each day to prioritize your tasks and establish clear and achievable goals for your hybrid workforce.
Some employees may choose to have the video on all the time, while others may prefer to keep it off unless essential. Outside of working hours, some people may be quite receptive, while others may not. Set clear expectations from the start so that your team may communicate without hesitation.
2. Respect Your Employees’ Time
Respect the time of your employees, even if they are on the clock and don’t plan meetings at strange hours or for too long. Make sure everyone understands how they should communicate with one another and how others can rely on them.
Once you gain the trust of your team, you will see the results in their performance and productivity.
3. Support Empathy
When people switch back and forth between their homes and offices, they may face difficulties or feel compelled to explain why they are unable to perform as they used to.
As an employee or administrator, keeping basic empathy is important because it creates an atmosphere in which employees feel comfortable asking for help and sharing information.
This is not just a way, but indeed a vital step in managing a hybrid workforce.
See Also: How to Motivate Employees as a Leader
4. Flexible Schedule
Employers with a hybrid workforce must be open to a flexible schedule to properly embrace a hybrid workplace. This means that hybrid workers can set their working hours, after discussing with their managers.
As long as they follow the protocols established by the company and complete their work on time, there shouldn’t be a problem.
5. Create a Culture of Transparency
Create a daily report template for your team members to fill out before leaving the office or log off for the day to ensure that they understand what is expected of them each day.
While working from home, establish a set standard that they have to report their production before signing off. This helps maintain work-life balance and keep a track of their productivity.
While working in a hybrid model, it is not necessary that all the team members are available for meetings at all times. Clashing meetings can cause conflict and lowers productivity.
The best way to manage and maintain a hybrid workforce is to set a hybrid calendar so that everyone knows whether they will be at work or at home.
6. Create a Virtual Environment for Employees to Socialize, Relax and Have Fun
Providing a virtual space for employees to socialize, take a breather and have fun together via non-work-related social activities using video chat or phone calls is a great way to engage your remote workforce. You could organize an online gaming event or a virtual happy hour.
If all of your employees are in the office on certain days, you may organize some fun team-building activities in the workplace or a team outing.
7. Ensure Transparent and Open Communication
Communication is one of the most effective tools when it comes to managing a hybrid workforce. Maintain regular contact with your coworkers by using video calls whenever available. Email is the most obvious method of communication, but you can try creating groups on work phones to connect and talk about anything and everything.
8. Enroll in a Mobile Device Management Solution
IT teams struggle the most when it comes to securing corporate data and important information. Also, the hybrid workforce operates on BYOD and COPE devices, which pose a threat to corporate data and network security, if left unmanaged.
These mobile devices have access to sensitive corporate data, which is not encrypted and secure. If the devices used by your hybrid workforce get stolen or lost, it can prove hazardous to any organization. The need of the hour is to have an efficient MDM solution in place to manage and monitor mobile devices and endpoints.
Mobile device management comes with a kiosk lockdown feature that converts any mobile device into a single-app or multi-app kiosk with limited functionalities. This ensures that employees are not distracted and are engaged all the time.
For BYOD, these MDM solutions offer containerization which allows employees to have two separate containers for work and personal use on a single device. Thus, saving them from the chaos of maintaining multiple devices.
Apart from this, enrolling devices in bulk and deploying hybrid work policies becomes easier with MDM solutions. They facilitate remote wipe-off and remote locking facilities so that your sensitive corporate data remains secure, even when your employees are outside your office premises.
Businesses are still trying to get used to the hybrid work model. However, by managing transitions, keeping teams engaged, and building trust, the productivity of a hybrid workforce can be increased manifold.
Having a flexible hybrid work culture does not necessarily mean neglecting essential corporate security and business goals. With an efficient mobile device management solution in place, businesses can ensure security and success.
A hybrid workforce is a boon as it promotes work-life balance and employee productivity and engagement. Therefore, organizations should focus on making the most out of it. After all, happy employees make happier workplaces.