As it becomes clear that neither fully remote nor full-time office roles are returning, companies are having to make hybrid schedules permanent fixtures. This should be easy in theory, but implementing and adjusting to hybrid work schedules can be a challenge.
In this post, we’ll discuss the best practices for hybrid work schedules so that you and your employees can get the most out of the schedule.
Hybrid Work Schedule Meaning
A hybrid work schedule is a combination of remote and in-office work, allowing employees to balance their professional and personal lives. Hybrid work schedules can offer a variety of benefits, such as increased productivity, improved morale, and better work/life balance.
Hybrid Work Schedule Best Practices
Establish a Clear Calendar
The first step in implementing a hybrid work schedule is creating an organised and consistent calendar company-wide.
There are various hybrid schedules to decide from, and which works best for your employees depends on the individuals and the company.
Getting the foundations of a hybrid schedule right is crucial. If you want to explore the different kinds of schedules and which is best for your company, please refer to our in-depth guides.
You’ll also want to make sure you are educated on what hybrid work is and its complexities to be able to lead your employees effectively. This will ensure that everyone on the team is aware of when they are working remotely and when they are expected to be in the office. Additionally, it’s important to set expectations for the team - make sure everyone is aware of the team’s goals and responsibilities while working remotely vs in-office.
Next, establish clear communication protocols across the whole company. Make sure everyone knows how to reach each other if they have questions or need help.
Here’s where different technology shines, there are a variety of tools that can help you stay in touch with your team, even when you are not in the same physical space.
Ensuring that everyone is on the same page and that tasks are completed on time will make everyone’s life easier in the company.
One of the key benefits of a hybrid work schedule is the flexibility it affords, for both employers and employees. Employees are able to fit their work around life, instead of the other way around, which results in them feeling happier. Employers then benefit from increased job satisfaction which correlates to increased productivity, making it a win-win for everyone.
As a leader, you have likely enjoyed being able to adjust the workday around life admin prior to the advent of remote working. Now, you need to adapt to hybrid work and extend the same flexibility to your employees.
Additionally, it’s important to prioritise communication when it comes to different working hours - make sure that everyone on the team is aware when others are working or not working, and how they can help each other out if needed.
Tracking Vs Trusting
It can be tempting for employers to start monitoring hybrid workers' attendance or productivity, but is this a healthy long-term strategy?
Conversely, monitoring attendance and activity levels can result in decreased productivity: Employees who have been tracked report higher levels of anxiety and stress, which is known to negatively impact productivity levels by up to 41%.
Surely, what matters most is output. If employees are consistently hitting targets and delivering on deadlines, then their activity levels shouldn't matter. Making sure that employees feel valued and trusted is vital for maintaining hybrid schedule best practices.
It can be more difficult at the start to manage hybrid workers; keeping everyone aligned when there are multiple time zones and locations involved is a challenge. Avoid this situation by agreeing on shared goals and clear KPIs to keep employees on track and working towards the same objectives.
Is a Hybrid Work Schedule Worth It?
Yes. Ultimately, a hybrid work schedule is a great way for a growing or established company to maximise productivity and efficiency.
By allowing employees to adjust their hours based on their personal needs and preferences, employers can provide more flexibility while also boosting staff morale. It also allows employees to manage workloads better so that they don’t become overwhelmed with too much work at once.
Additionally, having the option of both remote and in-person work gives individuals a much-needed balance between professional and personal lives, so they can work on goals and passion projects, energising them ready for work. This improved balance often leads to higher levels of performance on the job.
Overcoming Challenges Of Hybrid Schedules
Of course, there are always going to be challenges associated with any new work style. The potential drawbacks of a hybrid work schedule are the same ones that could apply to remote work. Including the risk of getting distracted by home life; if employees don’t have an established workspace at home free from distractions then this can lead to difficulties concentrating and completing work efficiently.
Or perhaps, some individuals can find it difficult to stay connected with colleagues, leading to a shift in work culture. This can be mitigated by initiating an intentional focus on creating and fostering a strong company culture via various strategies such as team-building events or encouraging employees back to the office.
Other employees may find it hard to manage workloads when not in a structured environment with their manager overseeing their work closely. To overcome these common challenges, it’s important to create a shared goal or mission statement to keep everyone motivated and on track.
As mentioned previously, the use of technology to stay connected, and establish an efficient communication system is vital for hybrid work to be successful. Finally, setting clear boundaries between work and home life, prioritising communication, and embracing flexibility.
When evaluating whether a hybrid work schedule is worth it, consider the benefits of hybrid work schedules for both the company and employees versus the old office-based jobs, assess the impact on productivity, evaluate the potential savings in time and money, and consider the impact on employee morale.
In conclusion, there are best practices that can help you navigate hybrid schedules. These best practices include establishing a clear calendar, setting expectations for everyone, using technology to stay connected, embracing flexibility, prioritising communication, and being willing to adjust as needed.
Ultimately, take the time to weigh up the pros and cons of hybrid work schedules before making a decision that works best for you or your team. If you’re looking for more information about implementing a hybrid work schedule successfully, please read our guides.
- How To Create A Hybrid Work Schedule
- Choosing The Best Hybrid Schedule For Your Company
- How To Write A Hybrid Work Policy
Graham Joyce is co-founder of DuoMe, a flexible working advocate and a frequent panellist/commentator on the issues of flexibility or hybrid working.