Ms. Sarita Das is the co-founder and CHRO of 3SC Solution, an eight-year-old supply chain tech company, led by professionals all across the globe. Their supply chain solutions are comprehensive, customized, and guarantee enhanced customer experience by reducing the cost and improving asset productivity as they are powered by advanced analytics. Earlier in her career, she has been a Human Resource professional in various Multinational Corporations (MNCs), including Visteon, Bayer, Nunhems, Zimmer Biomet, and Elekta. Here at 3SC, she has been closely working with the IT executives to help work on their in-house tools on WMS, TMS, FBA.
Employers all across the world are straddling the line between yesterday when most workers were physically present at work, and tomorrow, when vaccination or successful treatment will allow a safe return to the standard workplace. Even if that happens, remote work will have cemented its place in the employment market. This situation poses two difficulties to leaders: How to manage distant working conditions in the face of today’s uncertainties, and how to prepare for and maximize hybrid working models of the future, in which fully in-person and remote work will be two extremes of a fluid spectrum of choices. The former is a requirement, whereas the latter is an opportunity.
According to Gartner’s 2021 Hybrid Work Employee Survey, companies that revert to their previous in-person environment and force employees back into an office-centric work paradigm risk losing up to 39 per cent of their staff. As a result, if done correctly, hybrid work models can help firms better recruit people, accomplish innovation, and create value for all stakeholders. They can define a more flexible, digital, and purposeful future of work by acting boldly now. However, transitioning to a hybrid work model necessitates revisiting and revising outdated employee handbooks, as well as establishing new expectations for the future of work. Thus, let’s take a closer look at how to maintain efficiency, flexibility and safety as you redesign HR policies to support a hybrid work model:
WFH: Not a Privilege
It’s critical to treat remote and in-person work equally and legitimately. Organizations must grasp this since it is not a favor they are offering to their employees; instead, it is a wise move because it will only boost the efficiency and agility of the professionals, assisting the company in its pursuit of success. Supervisors should be more concerned with outcomes than with how or where people work. It will assist in the creation of a more equitable hybrid workforce, resulting in an increase in the company’s growth rate.
Continue the Care
Many organizations implemented or supported mental health, physical health, social connectedness, collaborative tools, and family care programs in the early days of the pandemic. This is not the time to let up on your compassion and caring. The disadvantages of remote employment, including burnout, are as real as the advantages. Organizations can provide their employees with more flexibility in terms of how and when they work as long as their performance remains high. They can also enable teams to establish email-free times or pre-scheduled time blocks for meetings, allowing employees to complete non-deadline work when it is most convenient for them. HR professionals must continue to design programs and policies that foster an empathic workplace culture focused on employee well-being.
Pre-set Work Guidelines
Undoubtedly, a hybrid model is more difficult to manage because the workers are navigating a totally new reality, but they will gradually get a hang of it. It takes time to adjust to change, which is perfectly acceptable. Simply make sure that the organization has flexible and pre-determined work norms in place to allow employees to work effortlessly regardless of location. Regional working hours, responsibility, and the opportunity to select a ‘do not disturb’ mode when on a break should all be included in these policies and guidelines. This technique does not have a silver bullet. Every leader must make their own decisions about what is best for their organization and their employees. Learn, grow, and most all, it is important to be adaptable in the approach!
Be an International Laggard
Change is the only constant, so you must learn to embrace it with an open heart, they say. So, don’t be hesitant to adopt the hybrid workplace paradigm; it’s an emerging idea! It’s perfectly acceptable to stroll at the pace of a turtle in order to get it correctly the first time. Be a laggard on purpose. When it comes to determining who will work from the office and how often, it is surely puzzling. It will be different for each company, but if not done correctly, it will paralyze the organization’s processes and advancement. On the other hand, a well-designed hybrid workplace model can operate as a magnet, drawing people together and encouraging them to work together for the greater good.
This model is functional, realistic, and gives professionals freedom of choice as well as flexibility. If employees are given the luxury of picking where they want to work, productivity is likely to grow in the long run. Early on, organizations must have open and honest dialogues with their employees to learn about their feelings about working from home. Similar to that of a study by Gartner (mentioned above), a report by Fuze states that two-thirds of professionals contemplated changing jobs if it offered more flexibility. So, if employees want to adapt to the “new hybrid normal,” it’s time to rethink the company’s strategy. After all, if the organization’s plans do not meet the expectations of its employees, it can risk losing its key employees.
The Bottom Line
Hybrid work will continue to exist in the future. The new model’s obstacles are significant, but so are the opportunity to save real estate expenses, boost productivity, increase engagement, and so much more. We are no longer restricted by the typical work culture setup. So, put your long-held beliefs aside and prepare your mental space to accept these changes. Building a hybrid workplace may appear to be a difficult endeavor at first, but staying with it has its own set of benefits. Recognize them, and the consequence will be a more resilient and inclusive culture that caters to varied professional needs and working styles.