How to Improve Your Hybrid Work Model in 2022

The hybrid work model: it’s the best of both worlds. Not as far into the metaverse as fully remote work yet flexible enough to replace the rigid 9–5 office model, it’s uniting both sides of the camp — from digital nomads to traditional employees opting for live collaboration — under the flag of personalization.

Slack’s Future Forum survey recently found that 72% of Americans want to continue with the hybrid work setup after lockdowns end and 68% consider the hybrid working environment as the ideal workplace. In contrast, only 8% of workers are considering the return to in-office work post-pandemic, preferring to resign instead.

As employers strive to keep ahead of the Great Resignation and accommodate the demands of a new workforce, here’s how to support your hybrid employees long-term and ensure that your company makes the best of hybrid work in 2022.

Contents:

  • What is a hybrid work model?
  • Benefits of a hybrid working model
  • 5 insights to improve your hybrid work model in 2022
  • Make any place your workplace

What is a hybrid work model?

A hybrid working model is a flexible working arrangement where employees can work both in the office and remotely. This arrangement may be either full-time or part-time — e.g. employees may work remotely on specific days or on a special arrangement. Alternatively, some employees may always work from home while others employ office or hybrid models of working.

“A hybrid work environment is a mix of traditional and remote working. It’s an environment where employees can choose to work from home or a co-working space, or they can choose to come into the office for meetings or other social events. It’s obvious that a hybrid work environment gives employees more flexibility and autonomy over how they want to do their job.“ — Anastasia Avgerinou, Digital Marketing Specialist at Comidor

Benefits of a hybrid working model

  • Lower costs — Hybrid remote work models save a business about $11,000 per worker per year. They dramatically lower costs on technology including hardware, office spaces (demanding less office space), and the ability to adjust remote worker wages or hire freelance workers on hybrid teams.
  • Business growth — 63% of high-growth companies use hybrid work models. On the other end of the spectrum, 69% of businesses with “negative no growth” are the ones rejecting the hybrid workforce. Company growth is linked directly to the flexibility of its working arrangements and willingness to meet 2022 staffing demands.
  • Attracting talent –When you’re no longer limited to hiring talent within a car ride from your office, you’re open to diversifying your talent pool. You may find fantastic candidates from outside your zip code, state, or even country that with a traditional working model, you wouldn’t even have considered. This, in turn, accelerates business growth.

How to improve your hybrid work model and support employees in 2022

1. Help employees feel acknowledged in a remote environment

With work from home models and hybrid setups, professional motivation and growth can get hindered as employees don’t come Moreover, managers have a harder time seeing individual achievements and fostering career growth. James Angel, Co-Founder of DYL, a business growth tool for Email Campaigns, Lead Generation, and Telemarketing advises that special tools for employee recognition can help.

“One typical complaint is that remote workers have a tougher time getting promoted since they are less visible to the managers and leaders. This is not a problem with remote work. It’s a basic fact that some people are more adept–or perhaps simply more willing–at self-promotion and drawing attention to their accomplishments than others.

“Digital ‘thank you’ tools can have a significant impact on both visibility and the development of a more supportive culture. These enable individuals to express their gratitude for coworkers with the click of a button and a few well-chosen words. Managers can have a better understanding of who deserves a promotion by examining who consistently earns appreciation from peers for going above and beyond for their coworkers.”

Employee recognition tools like Bonusly, Guusto, etc. encourage employee recognition regardless of the chosen work model and help managers in hybrid workplaces identify employee accomplishments that may otherwise have gone unnoticed.

2. Unify the technology stack and prioritize privacy

As mentioned above, “productivity anywhere” hybrid models are the choice of 63% of businesses with the highest growth indicators.

But what does the “productivity anywhere” model imply, exactly? First of all, it’s giving your team the means to do their work through a unified tech approach that gets rid of excesses in digital culture. The concern between privacy and work-life demands is especially strong in flexible working models like hybrid office work and WFH models. Many employees want companies to respect their private digital space as earnestly as their private physical space, says entrepreneur Harriet Chan.

“[In our hybrid model] what we’ve found to be unsuccessful is frequent meetings and using a more personal communication medium like WhatsApp for work. Our employees frown on that and it is understandable because in certain instances it may seem like an intrusion of privacy.”

A unified digital strategy doesn’t intrude on privacy to enable productivity. Our own example of a unified tech stack that’s cost-effective and simple to use:

  • Only necessary hardware — A phone and a laptop with a stable internet connection/Wi-FI are usually all the hardware an efficient hybrid work model needs. While printers and scanners may be essential to some work models, mobile scanning apps (including free built-in ones)are very good at replacing scanners in many circumstances. Meanwhile, occasional printing tasks can be delegated to a nearby print shop.
  • Virtual phone system for business– A cloud-based business phone system like MightyCall routes calls from your business phone to the mobile devices of your team. Use it to make and pick up business calls from any connected device (mobile phone, laptop, tablet, desk phone), and any global location with internet/WI-FI access. Plus, VoIP comes with free teamwork and customer service features you’ll definitely want to explore.

Learn more: 6 reasons to stop using your personal mobile line for business

  • Project management tools — SaaS companies like ours often use Jira for project management and love its Kanban boards. For non-tech teams, platforms like Monday.com, Basecamp, or Trello boards are simpler co-op options.
  • Internal communication — Use whatever app works best for your work model (Slack, Microsoft Teams, etc.) but stick to one that all of you are comfortable with. It’s best to avoid personal chats like WhatsApp and Skype. Since the pandemic, MightyCall’s team switched to Discord for all work chats, daily stand-ups, 1–1 meetings, and urgent communication.
  • Cybersecurity — supply your hybrid team with anti-virus software and VPN protection, especially for those in hybrid work from home environments and co-working spaces.

3. Recognize scheduling flexibility

As we learned to adapt to pandemic demands and understand that it’s quality of communication that matters over quantity, keeping a flexible scheduling strategy remains key in light of the volatility of 2022 realities. If you want an optimal hybrid work environment, discuss the level of flexibility your team will have, says Taylor Murchison, SEO Growth Director of marketing agency On The Map.

“Some organizations can run smoothly without having a clear timetable for who comes in on what days. If this is the case, inform your personnel as soon as possible. Also, let them know if they just need to show up or if they should schedule their visits ahead of time. [Others] may require employees to report on specific days. This could assist them in confirming that particular individuals will be able to collaborate or ensuring that the office will never be overcrowded.”

Over here at MightyCall, hybrid employees in various departments know the hours and days when they have more flexibility, so they can adjust their work-life balance accordingly. Even though we ship our product on deadlines, we know that trust builds way better achievements than rigid regulations. Want more trust in your team? Adopt a flexible approach and discuss scheduling as a team.

4. Connect employees with mentors

Up to 50% of new employees in organizations leave within two years — that’s a pretty frantic turnover rate. But the good news is that when onboarding processes are curated by mentors, that number drops to just around 8%. In a hybrid model, mentorship is often missed out on. However, virtual mentorship should be part of both onboarding and employee development in any growing business says Emir Bacic, Co-founder at Pricelisto.

“People need to know what is going on and how they fit in the whole process. Employees working from home cannot see other team members, so it’s essential to ensure that everything is available over the phone or video conference. People working remotely usually need advice from more experienced colleagues in their area of expertise. As long as the mentor is available over video conference, this shouldn’t be a problem. There are other options [companies may consider] like mentorship by email or phone.”

For other employees, bi-weekly 1–1 meetings where not only ongoing job issues but hybrid work, remote work, and even personal challenges are openly shared, are just as important for empathetically motivating your team, advises Andrew Lokenauth, Finance Executive & Career Coach.

“A great hybrid work environment strategy is to hold 15 minute weekly one-on-ones to discuss the prior, current and upcoming week, and how things are going. [Employee] coaching is important, so hold periodic meetings to discuss the goals of each member, provide feedback, and answer questions. This will also help to build a great rapport among your reports, as well as learn their skills. Because we are missing out on many small conversations that come with working in an office, this will help to build relationships.

5. Encourage team-building but respect each other’s boundaries

A long-term hybrid work model means that the whole employment process — from hiring to onboarding, to daily communication, is done remotely. This work model also means that it’s particularly important to find the balance between virtual team building activities and respect for boundaries that many employees felt violated in the first waves of COVID-induced remote work. David Ciccarelli, technology entrepreneur and CEO at Voices shares an approach that worked for his company:

“Our social committee continues to amaze by recreating events that were once in person and now done virtually. [However] we’ve shied away from mandatory attendance or volun-telling people to participate. Our approach has been to create the opportunity for engagement and those would like to attend, do so. Others have family commitments, pressing deadlines or rarely the activity simply doesn’t appeal. We make a point of mixing up social committee activities so there’s eventually something for everyone.”

Make any place your workplace

Hybrid work is no longer a lockdown survival measure. It’s our permanent workplace reality. With the Great Resignation in full swing and employees leaning into hybrid environments and digital nomad jobs, businesses that will see rapid growth in 2022 are those that combine digital stability with human empathy.

Understand how to combine both with a communications system that’s “productivity-anywhere” centered and will provide your team with both privacy and digital freedom.

Learn more about MightyCall’s virtual phone system ideal for hybrid work, starting at just $9/month!

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