As we navigate the shift to hybrid work models, managers and teams need to consider how their hybrid work programs impact employee productivity. How will they foster collaboration while appealing to employees’ desires to keep a flexible schedule.
We have collected insights to help employers understand what employees are looking for in a hybrid work schedule. Companies who put in the effort to understand their employees' needs for a work life balance may be in a better position to retain employees and reduce turnover.
Rising Demand For Flexible, Hybrid Workspaces
Employers need to respond to the rising demand for a flexible, hybrid workspace. According to Mckinsey’s recent survey, 85% of employees want to keep a hybrid work model. And this is important because flexibility is now a deciding factor in employees' decisions to stay with their organization. 71% of the employees who stated they prefer hybrid work also stated they are likely to look for other opportunities if not available where they work now.
In the paper “Why working from home will stick”, the authors note that most employees want to work from home at least 2 days a week. In order to remain competitive, employers can create policies that allow employees to create a schedule that best meets their needs.
According to the Gallup Polls Spring Survey, about 4 in 10 employees want autonomy over their schedules. Although everyone’s preference for hybrid work schedules can vary, this does show demand for flexibility. Ultimately it’s up to the organization and managers to define what works best for their team. And providing flexibility still leaves room for collaboration. Digital tools can help employees understand who will be in the office to coordinate team events and in office collaboration. These tools also make it easier for employees to collaborate and create a schedule that works best for them.
It takes dedicated resources to manage a hybrid work policy and measure outcomes to ensure smooth and productive operations. With a hybrid work dashboard, employers can easily communicate policies and keep track of who is in the office. These features reduce the administrative workload for HR to manage these initiatives.
Thinking about the culture you want to foster
How do you create flexible, healthy, and productive hybrid teams? Think about why employees are looking for a hybrid work schedule. They want to be in control of which days they are in the office and this may impact their overall wellbeing and performance. Mckinsey’s survey showed that underrepresented groups had a stronger preference for hybrid work models. Taking the steps to create flexible work options can help you create a more inclusive workplace.
Given these shifts, employers should consider how they will foster collaboration and engagement in a hybrid workspace versus mandating it. Today’s workers are no longer as interested in creating friendships at work, which is what has previously created a committed workforce. Contrastingly, with new working arrangements Gen Z is encountering obstacles connecting with the company culture.
With this news in mind, what are other ways employers can incentivize loyalty? Employers can help employees feel connected by making it easy to coordinate schedules and social activities in a natural way. Additionally, they can create mentorship and learning opportunities to help employees accomplish their long-term career goals. Taking mental health into consideration is also important, especially now, as many employees are leaving their jobs due to workplace stress.
Creating a collaborative space to improve employee productivity
While some tasks can be accomplished well in virtual settings, some employees may prefer to do some projects in-person. Knowing when team members are in the office can be helpful information for managers as they plan collaborative time. With digital tools employers can log when they plan on coming to the office and plan activities with their fellow coworkers. Managers can access this information to help them plan team events, monitor the success of their hybrid program, and measure productivity outcomes.
According to a meta-analysis conducted by Gallup, companies scoring well in employee engagement saw higher productivity, profitability, and lower turnover. Gallup defines engaged employees as people who are involved in and enthusiastic about their workplace.
Employers who adapt to the changing workplace by prioritizing employee engagement have the potential to see better business outcomes. Being intentional about your hybrid work program can help you find opportunities to optimize the employee experience.
How are you currently managing employee hybrid work schedules?
Do you have a dedicated manager creating the policies and monitoring outcomes for your hybrid work program?
Outlining the goals and outcomes of your hybrid work program can help businesses ensure their policy is beneficial for them and employees. For example, a goal may be to see if your new hybrid working arrangements are impacted by productivity by _% over a period of six months. In this case, the goal is to increase productivity by trying a new hybrid working arrangement. The outcome is that productivity changed by _%. Policy is the first step, and it’s important because miscommunication can be a headache for employees and HR. However, just as policies are important so are the results, to ensure desirable outcomes for the organization.
Creating an efficient hybrid work model
Employers need to accommodate the rising demand for flexible work options to stay competitive as hirers. At the same time, they need to ensure their new hybrid work initiatives are leading to productive outcomes across their organization. Knowing who appreciates an office space versus a zoom can is helpful information for office managers, finance, and HR teams.
Candidates today expect more from their employers. Employers can take initiative to become a great place to work by reviewing how their current policies impact culture and engagement.
Creating a space where employees can work their best requires dedicating resources to planning and monitoring success. How do you juggle managing schedules for 1000s of employees? Don’t leave the decisions up to managers. Create an intentional hybrid program for each department with goals and outcomes in mind.
Start giving your employees the tools to create their optimum working arrangement and give managers and HR teams a platform to monitor the success of your program with WorkEQ’s hybrid experience toolkit.