The Challenge Creating a Hybrid Workplace

Online video conference landing page concept, colleague team chatting at laptop, group of men and women have meeting call and discussion, hybrid working model (istock)

It goes without saying that we’ve all learned a lot about managing hybrid and remote workforces this year.  Here at enabley, we noticed a big challenge in coming back to the office or even building a new hybrid work-from-home-office method, and we’re sure we’re not alone.  

According to a Flexjobs survey conducted in April 2021, 90% of executive hiring managers now expect a hybrid work option. Even more so, a Cisco survey in 2020 reported that 98% of all meetings post-covid are expected to include at least one remote participant. It seems like we all need a little help as we navigate a return to our offices following the pandemic lockdown. We’ll be faced with the logistical, technical, and interpersonal challenges that come with figuring out how to work in an office environment again, after the better part of two years.  

Working from home in all different styles

We collated some actionable steps and useful advice to help plan a successful return to the office, stay connected to a hybrid workforce, and ensure everyne’s well-being. 

1.     Get the whole team connected to the main goal – no matter where they are. 

How to keep remote workers from feeling disconnected?  

Without access to all departments, it is difficult for everyone to know what is happening at any one time — for example, product development. So: – 

  • Document everything – in 1 place – make it available 24/7 for everyone. 
  • Record videos to support asynchronous communication. A team member should not feel they missed out if they were unable to join a synchronous training session or team meeting. 
  • Informal communication keeps camaraderie and team bonds. Share personal news or passions. 
  • Brainstorming asynchronously. Invite your team members to come up with ideas on an online whiteboard and assign someone to evaluate those ideas to decide on which ones to proceed. 

2.       At least 1 day at the OFFICE –  collaboration requires people to work together - This is so important to keep your team aligned. Even if this is for 1 day only – the impact is HUGE, and these critical direct discussions are the basis for all the greatest ideas and team bonding.  When the time comes for more work in the office, this one day makes it easier for everyone to get used to it quicker.

3.    Build a healthy workplace culture 

  • Give employees more control over their work. It’s stressful having no say where, when, or how one’s daily tasks are completed. It’s well known that stress is caused by low job control and high demand. Some team members might get more stressed in an office environment, so its important to make sure its a calming atmosphere.
  • Tame excessive work demands: deadlines, complex decision-making, prolonged physical labor. Without a supportive environment, those demands can lead to employee burnout. 
  • Improve social relationships.  Workplace social relationships can provide benefits like emotional support and protection against stress. Employee enjoyment increases and a happy team is a productive one. 

4.     Keep Hybrid meetings to 25 minutes MAX! – No matter if working from home or office, as a fast-growing community, keeping meetings short ensures everyone in the room remains focused. Many issues revolve around how businesses can (most effectively) use whiteboards in hybrid meetings, how remote and onsite meeting participants raise their hands to be seen and noticed equally, in addition to how in-room participants join in the virtual chats.  

5. Most importantly – Preparation! If everyone is prepared to deal with the event of returning to a work environment, then they’ll succeed. As they (hopefully) transition back to the office and settle into hybrid working, it helps that a relationship has been managed during the work-from-home phase. This is where enabley steps in.  

Screenshot from enabley training platform

What can we do to help?

Here at ENABLEY, we are shaping a new workplace experience and ensuring the new hybrid work model works for all industries. To be successful, you’ll need to lean into opportunities to collaborate cross-functionally, understand employees’ needs, and upgrade the use of technology. 

Enabley provides the option to remotely Onboard and Train your team members by creating eLearning content or holding virtual live sessions. Using enabley will help you distribute critical business knowledge and monitor comprehension and retention levels.  Moreover, with enabley’s help, the whole team sees the same bigger picture. Help the whole team feel connected to the main goals, and allow the whole team, especially remote workers, see themselves as part of the plan.  We’ve already helped so many clients from all sorts of work environments align their teams to a collective goal and leading into a more hybrid work model, we see the sky is the limit in terms of capabilities.  

In the next few months, there will be many success stories, as well as cautionary tales of good ideas that might have missed the mark. Let’s work together to share best practices and learn from each other as this pattern of hybrid working is most definitely here to stay. 

It’s time to find out how enabley can benefit your business!