7 tips for (re)putting people at the center of hybrid work policy

May 16, 2023
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We interviewed dozens of HR experts on their best practices for putting people back at the center of hybrid work policies.

Since the health crisis, many companies have been faced with a new challenge: how to manage hybrid working, the mix of face-to-face and remote working. With the practice of remote work, teams are often dispersed. Employees find themselves far from each other, but also from their managers.

In this article, discover 7 HR tips to focus on people and maintain the link in a hybrid team!

1. Be aware of hybrid schedules

With remote work, teams are no longer all in the office at the same time. This requires adapting certain HR actions and paying particular attention to the hybrid practices of each person to ensure good team and company cohesion.

To maintain links with dispersed employees, ensure cohesion and facilitate management at remote work, we recommend that you follow certain best practices. In particular, make sure that each employee benefits from at least one contact per week. The role of the local manager is crucial, and an individual weekly review with each person is essential.

A good remote manager knows how to adapt to new forms of work organization. But to do so, he or she needs to be able to keep track of remote work team members, whether on site or remotely. Transparency is key to the smooth running of a team.

2. Putting flexibility at the service of productivity

The practice of remote work has many advantages for both employees and employers. By working remotely, often from home, employees save the time usually spent in transport. But remote work also allows them to be more autonomous in their tasks, and more flexible in terms of organization.

Flexible scheduling is often appreciated by employees. It allows those who wish to pick up a child from school, play sports or simply organize the day as they want and need to.

→ Find out how Grohe's HRD articulates hybrid work, social connection and productivity to deliver an optimal and sustainable employee experience!

3. Ensuring the right equipment at the remote and office level

When employees can't see each other (literally), exchanges quickly become more complex. A good set up with well-equipped employees on site and remotely, is essential for a successful video conference: internet connection, camera and microphone.

Often, when everyone is remote, the video works. But when one group is in the office and another is remote, things can get complicated, especially when multiple offices are involved. A hybrid team has the right tools to work effectively. Adopting the right tools and processes ensures that communication is seamless, at all times, no matter where employees are located.

This is especially true in a flex office where employees do not have a designated place. But this flex desk also implies paying attention to the equipment offered according to the workstations: screen, stand, keyboard, etc. The employee therefore sits where the equipment that corresponds to his needs for the day is available.

4. Encourage collaboration with asynchronous work

Meeting the challenge of hybrid work also means meeting the challenge of sharing information in all circumstances. Asynchronous work facilitates collaboration and allows projects to progress at everyone's pace. With tools like Notion, the whole team has access to the necessary databases and knowledge bases.

The information related to a file is then available in the same place, by everyone, at any time and from any place. If all employees play the game, management and skill sharing are facilitated.

These new practices, including remote work, have become talent retention points for companies. The (future) employee needs to be guided in his or her day-to-day work, whether at a distance or on site. By encouraging collaboration, the manager enables employees to gain in efficiency and flexibility within a given framework.

5. Establish hybrid communication to maintain a strong culture

The corporate culture has an impact on the way employees interact with each other. Good communication allows for strong team cohesion. In today's digitalized working world, many tools allow to organize and keep in touch, even from a distance. This is particularly the case for instant messengers such as Slack or Teams, software that offers many advantages:

  • The creation of group discussions where all members have access to the same level of information
  • Private conversations with a specific person, ideal for working in pairs on a project or talking to your manager
  • Consultation of old messages, if needed, thanks to the history: no need to ask the same person for the same question
  • The highlighting of important messages by pinning them for easy consultation: interesting mode for the manager, who can give advice or remind important points

By adapting management and communication to these new hybrid practices, companies can maintain and even strengthen their culture.

→ Find out how Kymono puts company culture at the heart of the future of work!

6. Maintaining rituals despite distance

For some companies, seminars are the rare team moments where all members are present in the same room at the same time. They are essential and much awaited meetings by the employees.

Other formats are possible and feasible in hybrid mode. This is the case, for example, with recurring breakfasts. This can allow each team to speak and vary the speakers. Everyone participates and is kept informed of the different objectives and missions in progress.

These rituals breathe new life into office life and allow teleworkers to participate and stay connected with their colleagues.

7. Schedule team time outside of the office

Some companies organize team offsites during the year. This involves spending a few days outside the office so that all employees can get together, remote or not.

Taking this time to combine group reflection on topics that concern everyone with activities is a good practice for federating a real team spirit with a positive impact on management.

External people, such as professional athletes, can intervene to inspire and talk about a particular situation or training. These interventions energize the seminar, while generating a real cohesion.

Organizing these team moments allows managers to build trust around educational activities and to get to know individuals, beyond the professionals.

Putting people back at the center of the hybrid work policy requires adjustments and adapted tools. To summarize, we advise you to:

  • Viewing hybrid schedules
  • Adopt flexibility to gain productivity
  • Equipping employees for efficient (tele)work
  • Build on collaboration with asynchronous work
  • Thwarting distance with hybrid rituals
  • Create new opportunities for gathering
  • Maintain team moments in physics

To go further, discover the analysis of the hybrid work paradox by Jullien Brezun, CEO of Great Place To Work!