Before 2020, most workplaces would operate with a traditional setup. But all that changed once the pandemic hit. Companies that weren’t interested in going fully remote found themselves needing to develop and implement a hybrid work policy that suited their business goals and company culture.
Hybrid work allows workers to operate from spaces other than the company’s offices at least part of the time, and it became a hit among employees globally. But employers have hit learning curves in finding the right hybrid work policies: the right balance of in-office time and remote work; the right cadence of independent work and collaborative time; and the right real estate strategy to accommodate the use of flexible space.
Because of these learning curves, some companies are not certain about hybrid work for the long-term, despite its benefits when it comes to hiring and talent retention. And some employers are certain they want to get their employees back in the office five days a week. New research is linking constant on-site work to higher turnover. In fact, it’s driving the Great Resignation.
Here’s how the right hybrid work policy can serve your workplace as an employee retention tool.
What are the current problems employees are facing?
Some of the current problems that employees are facing today are:
1. Lack of flexibility — and the lack of motivation that comes with it
When organizations regress to the comfort zone of their old way of working — putting employees to work on a tight schedule, working from a single location — motivation wanes, and productivity suffers. The “quiet quitting” trend is on the rise.
An aspect that results in increased employee turnover is low motivation. In order to encourage employees to operate at their best, employers must communicate efficiently with them.
2. Poor work-life balance
Flexibility can have its pitfalls, too. Employees may have freedom of choice in where they work, but being out of the office, and on virtual communication tools that allow for constant communication, some employers seem to expect their employees to be available all the time. This constant requirement from any employer wears people out, and ultimately, it’s a lose-lose: Work suffers.
3. Lack of technology or equipment
At the office, slow systems or malfunctioning equipment can cause frustration and hurt work ethic. But these same problems can get in the way of work at home — and there’s no IT department on call to swoop in and rescue the workday. Employers need to provide the right set-ups and resources for off-site employees, just like they do in the office.
4. No group connection
Remote-first employees who suddenly transitioned from the office to home might feel out of the loop or isolated, with no IRL connection with their fellow employees. Research shows the result of this is decreased engagement, decreased job satisfaction and, ultimately, higher employee turnover.
Employers are leveraging solutions like Upflex, with a global network of on-demand desks, meeting rooms and private office space, to give their teams access to desks where and when they need a change of scenery or a more social workspace, or to facilitate the booking of common space where teams can come together.
Ultimately, coworking spaces are giving the workforce on-demand networking opportunities and human connection — in doses that suit their work styles — even in a remote-first world.
5. Lack of nurturing
Some employers only focus on employee nurturing in the nascent stages. However, it’s equally essential to foster employees every now and then. It helps keep them motivated and strengthens their connection with the organization. Of course, in a remote-first or hybrid work world, managers need a new set of skills to make this happen.
How hybrid working helps employees
While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to hybrid work, when implemented efficiently, distributed work can have various advantages.
Here’s how the hybrid working policy can counter employee turnover.
1. Hybrid work policies reduce occupational stress
A hybrid working policy allows employees to choose their own work environment, so they can work at their own pace and convenience. It allows them to break free from the shackles of management and enables them to focus on their core job.
As a result, they experience less anxiety and stress.
2. Flexible work is redefining collaboration
A hybrid working policy calls for organizations to undergo digital transformation. The goal is to unite, support, and engage distributed teams. Due to the adoption of modern technology, they can communicate and collaborate from any location on the globe.
Thus, it makes employees feel like they’re a part of a community and that they can rely on their fellow workers. Besides, with the right technology, employees can work efficiently.
3. The hybrid workplace helps employees maximize their time
Employees perform best when they understand what is expected of them and are given the resources they need to succeed. In a hybrid working model, workers can use their time effectively and remove unnecessary distractions. Plus, it allows them to align their working hours with their personal lives.
Wondering how to use your hybrid work policy as an employee retention tool? Read on to know.
Tips to enhance employee retention a hybrid work policy
Many studies link autonomy, freedom, and workplace flexibility in terms of both location and hours with higher job satisfaction rates. But flexibility can be complicated.
Your hybrid work policy must be efficient, well thought-out, and intentional. Here are some strategies you can follow to establish this model and boost employee retention.
1. Gather data to design your hybrid work model
Hybrid work models perform best when they are designed according to data — not guesses or leadership preference. Consider an employee survey to gather honest feedback from your employees about how they’d like to work.
2. Communicate with transparency and consistency
One drawback of remote work is that traditional management styles don’t always work the way they did when teams were constantly seeing each other in person every day. Remote employees can feel neglected and isolated in a hybrid setup — especially if some of their team is on site while they work independently elsewhere.
It can lead to some team members feeling disconnected. Managers need to try new strategies to keep them engaged. Consistent communication across departments keeps teams on the same page — and it builds trust, which is linked with higher employee happiness and less turnover.
3. Focus on the employee experience
Successful hybrid work policies are built around flexibility, work-life balance, and well-being balanced evenly with employee engagement initiatives and collaborative time. Leadership should be sure to budget and plan for on-site time for the whole team to be together at a regular cadence. Particularly for new hires, focus on providing them with engaging onboarding.
4. Design the right hybrid tech stack
Employees working in a hybrid setup require reliable technology that accommodates ongoing collaboration. Individual employees need the right equipment and tools to collaborate remotely without compromising cybersecurity. And leadership needs the right tools to manage all the moving parts of a hybrid work policy — including workspace booking and management tech that is secure, user-friendly, and data-driven. Upflex designs these solutions for enterprises.
Hybrid work for happier workplaces
Post-pandemic, more and more employees have started emphasizing their mental health and work-life balance. That is why flexible schedules and remote work options are essential offerings now.
Employees who can work flexibly and align their work hours with their personal lives are likelier to stay with an organization for longer.
By crafting a customized hybrid working policy, you can solve employee issues like lack of flexibility, lack of connection, low motivation, and more. You can define hybrid work for your employees, the work you expect, geographic parameters, employee provisions, and training techniques to be followed in your policy.