How To Create A Successful Hybrid Work Culture in 2021 & Beyond
The landscape of work is shifting. Now, more than ever, employers and employees understand that most white-collar jobs can be performed remotely. Remote work benefits both the company and its team members, but many employers and employees are concerned that a 100% remote workplace would erode their company culture.
PWC’s June 2020 survey shows that:
- 83% of participating employers said that they successfully shifted to remote work. Less than 1 in 5 executives want their office to return to the pre-pandemic status quo.
- 55% of participating employees stated that they still want to work remotely at least 3 days a week once COVID-19 concerns subside.
- 68% of employees surveyed stated that they need to work in the office at least 3 days a week to maintain their company’s culture.
With the clear shift to hybrid workplaces upon us, employers need to prepare for the return to the office by focusing on:
- COVID-19 health and safety procedures,
- inclusive employment practices, and
- hiring people who excel in a remote or hybrid workplace.
COVID-19 Health & Safety Procedures
Employers need to decide how best to keep their returning employees, vendors, and customers safe. Under OSHA, employers have a general duty to keep their employees safe by maintaining workplaces that are free from recognized hazards. This includes keeping them safe from workplace exposure to Coronavirus.
Requiring all office employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 is an obvious step to prevent the spread at work. Due to the various federal, state, and local laws that may apply, employers may want to consult HR and their legal teams prior to requiring employees to prove that they have been vaccinated.
Employers also need well-documented safety procedures that address COVID-19. In addition to a written safety policy and procedure, employers must be willing to enforce their policy by taking any needed corrective actions(i.e. disciplining employees who fail to follow the policy). Without the fair and consistent application of sanctions, the safety procedure cannot be fully effective.
Inclusive Employment Practices
According to the Harvard Business Review, equality and inclusion need to be prioritized in a hybrid workplace. Some employees working together and bonding in an office environment, while others work remotely makes bias and perceived fairness major concerns.
Inclusion for hybrid workplaces may mean:
- Team building activities and meetings that include the entire team (no in-office side huddles!)
- Updating the company’s travel and expense policies to account for people working from home, in the office, or partially remote.
- Reasonably accommodating someone on the basis of religion or disability with regards to allowing remote work.
- Using collaborative, transparent communication tools for messaging, project management, meetings, and employee engagement activities.
Hiring People Who Excel In A Remote or Hybrid Workplace
Not everyone is suited for remote work. Many employees need the face-to-face interactions, managerial oversight, and mental separation from home life that only working in a physical office space can provide. Other employees, particularly in tech, now flat out refused to work in the office.
It’s important for employers to screen applicants for their suitability to work remotely or partially remotely, based on the needs of the position. This means checking references and including the right questions in your interview process.
The following questions can be particularly helpful to identify successful remote workers:
- How do you set yourself up for success when working from home?
- What is a challenge that you have encountered with working remotely, and how did you overcome it?
- How do you decide which delivery method to use to communicate a particular message? (i.e. email, phone, video call, instant message, text, face-to-face, etc.)
- Describe your ideal working relationship with a remote supervisor.
Reach out to Summit Human Capital, to take the burden of screening off of your plate and deliver you best-fit candidates for your hybrid, remote, and onsite technology workforce.
Glenn R. Diersen Jr.
Founder & President
2201 W. Broad Street, Suite 208
Richmond, VA 23220
Looking for a great place to work in the tech sector? Contact us or call us at 804-799-2329