Hybrid work, which combines office and remote work, is now THE working model of the modern world. Although it has been around for several years, it is only since mid-2020 (and the first lockdown due to the COVID pandemic) that it has really taken off. This new way of working presents many challenges for human resources and internal communication. To help you address it, we’ve compiled a list of HR best practices to adopt:
[This article is taken from our White Paper “Future of Work: Here Comes Hybrid Work! “>>> access the full white paper for FREE]
Clarifying working conditions
Although you are not obliged to do so, we advise you to formalize in writing the hybrid work mode you wish to implement, for example by drawing up a teleworking charter. This will help you avoid misunderstandings or violations on the part of your employees.
This document will allow you to clarify the following information:
- the authorized teleworking frequency
- people who can adopt a hybrid work model
- places where employees can work (home, a co-working space, a holiday home, etc.)
- availability and disconnection times
- the equipment and tools available
Promoting the right to disconnect
According to an Ifop study, more than a third of employees work and/or answer their business e-mails outside of work hours. This hyperconnection can be amplified when teams work remotely. It is therefore important to remind hybrid employees that they, too, have the right to disconnect. This means that they are not obliged to be permanently connected.
In order to enforce this right to disconnect, the company can decide on the time slots during when the employee must be available, which will be included in the teleworking charter. In addition, you need to raise awareness of this issue among employees. For example, encourage them to communicate only during these hours, or to include in their e-mails a statement such as “If you receive this message outside your working hours, you are not required to respond immediately”.
Redesigning the employee experience
Implementing a new way of working also requires you to rethink the employee experience: from recruitment to integration and retention.
- As soon as you start the recruitment process, be clear about the working conditions, and emphasize the fact that you are looking for someone who can work both remotely and in the office.
- In order to integrate your new recruit, assign him or her a mentor and make sure he or she can meet all team members, either physically or in a video conference meeting.
- Once the employee has been integrated, stay tuned to his or her needs and encourage him or her to give you feedback, for example through surveys.
When you change organizational models, the corporate culture can quickly metamorphose as well. In order to continue uniting employees and generating engagement remotely, internal communication must regularly share a variety of content: company news, new products or an employee’s success story. In addition, you need to organize events (both physical and virtual) where all teams can discuss something other than work.
It’s also the company’s responsibility to maintain an inclusive work environment, where teams do not feel they’re “missing out” on something because they’re not in the office. To foster this inclusion, it’s important to think about how current traditions and modes of exchange can be adapted to hybrid work. For example, if employees used to get together for a drink every Thursday, you can organize an equivalent informal event by video conference.
This transition period is also an opportunity to set up new modes of interaction. On your internal social network, dedicated groups can then be created to discuss upcoming outings, or even to exchange on different interests (food, culture, sports, etc.). You can also encourage employees to suggest other activities.
Using the right tools
One thing is certain: collaborative tools have become an essential component of the collaborative experience. With features such as chat, video conferencing and document sharing, they make it easy for teams to collaborate and communicate with each other—no matter where they are.
You now know all the best practices to successfully implement hybrid work in your company. Of course, opening oneself up to a new way of working does not only requires you to change your work habits. To become a hybrid company, it is also necessary to train your managers and to adopt tools that offer more flexibility to employees.
Also read: Hybrid Work: Management Best Practices
Access White Paper
This article is excerpted from our White Paper “Future of Work: Here Comes Hybrid Work!“, where you will discover: the 8 main challenges of hybrid work; the best practices to follow for managers, HR, internal communication, IT and employees; as well as the tools to implement to facilitate hybrid working.
Author: Emmanuelle Abensur