More and more small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are turning to hybrid work arrangements that allow employees to split their time between working in the office and working remotely. If you’re thinking of implementing hybrid work in your organization, it’s crucial that you create a hybrid work policy that takes into account the unique needs of your business and employees.
Here are five steps to creating a hybrid work policy that works for you:
1. Encourage employee buy-in
The first step to creating a successful hybrid work policy is getting buy-in from your employees. After all, they are the ones who will be splitting their time between the office and home, so it’s important that they’re on board with the idea.
There are a few ways to encourage employee buy-in. First, you can explain the benefits of hybrid work, such as increased flexibility and improved work-life balance. You can also give employees a say in how the policy is implemented, letting them provide input on things like which days they work from home and what hours they work in the office.
Finally, you can make sure employees understand that your SMB’s hybrid work policies are not set in stone and that you’re open to making changes to the policy based on feedback. By getting employees involved from the start, you can create a hybrid work policy that everyone is happy with.
2. Define employee eligibility
The next step is to define which employees are eligible for hybrid work. In most cases, it makes sense to allow all employees to work from home and at the office, but there may be some exceptions. For example, new hires may not be allowed to work from home until they’ve been with the company for a certain amount of time.
It’s also important to think about which roles are well-suited for hybrid work. In general, roles that are more independent and don’t require a lot of face-to-face interaction are good candidates for this setup. On the other hand, roles that require a lot of collaboration or have customer-facing responsibilities may need to be in the office more often.
This doesn’t mean, however, that ineligible employees don’t have the right to work from home on occasion. You should have a process in place for employees to request alternative work arrangements, and you should consider each request on a case-by-case basis.
3. Establish clear guidelines for in-office work
Your hybrid work policy should include clear guidelines for in-office work schedules. For example, you might require employees to be in the office four days a week and allow them to work from home one day a week. Or, you might have employees come into the office for specific tasks or meetings and allow them to work from home the rest of the time.
It’s also vital to set expectations for how employees should conduct themselves when they are in the office. For example, you might require employees to wear masks and maintain social distancing when working on site. Or, you might ask employees to limit their interactions with other people and stick to their own work areas.
By setting clear guidelines for in-office work, you can help employees stay safe and productive.
4. Set expectations for remote work
Just as it’s important to establish guidelines for in-office work, it’s also essential to set expectations for remote work. For example, you might require employees to be available during specific hours, or you might ask them to check in with their supervisor at the beginning and end of each work day. Communicate your expectations clearly to employees to help them stay on track while they’re working from home.
It’s also a good idea to set up a system for tracking employee productivity when they’re working remotely. This can help you identify any issues that need to be addressed, such as employees’ struggles to stay focused or complete their work.
By setting clear expectations for remote work, you can help ensure that employees are productive and meeting your company’s standards.
Related reading: Productivity tips for hybrid workplaces
5. Regularly review and update your policy
Reviewing and updating your policy on a regular basis is crucial to keeping it effective. As your company grows, you might need to make adjustments to your policy to ensure that it still meets your needs.
Getting feedback from employees is also vital to keeping your policy effective. Employees can provide valuable insights into how well the policy is working and what changes need to be made. You can collect feedback through surveys, focus groups, or one-on-one conversations.
Creating a hybrid work policy can be a challenge, but it's important to take the time to do it right. By following the steps outlined above, you can create a policy that works for your SMB and your employees.
Having the right technology is also critical to making hybrid work a success. Contact outsourceIT today to learn more about how we can help you create a productive and efficient hybrid work environment.