6 Ways to Encourage Workforce Adoption of Your Hybrid Workplace
There are so many moving parts to creating and implementing a hybrid workplace and one element you can’t skim over is workforce adoption. You can create the most seamless, efficient hybrid workplace but without your employees getting on board, it will just sit there as useless as the Six Flags in New Orleans.
So, let’s figure out how you can encourage workforce adoption of your hybrid workplace.
What is a Hybrid Workplace?
First, what is a hybrid workplace? A hybrid workplace is a flexible workplace practice that empowers employees to work where and when they want, usually by balancing their time between office work and remote work.
With a post-pandemic world upon us, this flexible workplace program brings value to employees and organizations worldwide and is a change that your employees will get excited about if presented and implemented correctly.
6 Ways to Encourage Workforce Adoption of Your Hybrid Workplace
I can’t imagine you are doing all this research on hybrid workplaces because you think it’s best for your organization and only your organization. The benefit of a hybrid workplace is flexibility and choice for your employees and, in turn, productivity, success, and resiliency for your organization.
Obviously, the workforce is key to the creation of your hybrid workplace, and thus, you need them aboard the choo-choo train right from the start.
1. Understand the different types of Modern Workers
It’s imperative to understand each worker is different.
Some people excel around others, and some do not.
Some people want to be in the office every day at 8 am sharp, and some do not.
We couldn’t come up with a modern worker type for each and every employee out there, but we created 4 groups that we think cover most at a high level.
The Workplace Warrior thrives in the office. The Dynamic Nomad goes wherever the opportunity is. The Mobile Maven is often on the road and looks for places to work wherever they are. The Master of the House is as stated, the master of their house, and has the perfect setup at home where they get their best work done.
You can learn more about each Modern Worker Type here, but the point, for now, is to realize everyone works differently and not one workplace strategy is for everyone.
2. Survey employees about wants, needs, concerns
It’s easy to get into the routine of keeping everything the same because that’s how it’s always worked.
But if the pandemic taught us anything, it’s how quickly things can change.
And even though things can drastically change in a second, productivity and success still need to happen.
- 52% of employers believe productivity has improved since working from home, according to PwC
However, with those stats and the positive returns we’ve seen from remote working, many organizations are sticking with the mindset of let’s get everything back to ‘normal’ when this is all over.
Just FYI, it’s unlikely your employees are on that same wavelength.
Of course, you won’t know until you ask them. So, to have an effective workplace post-COVID, it’s important to understand what employees want and need and to learn how the pandemic affected them.
You can Google “hybrid workplace survey questions” or “return to work survey questions” to get some ideas on what to ask.
Then, send them out, make it anonymous, and dive into what your employees are feeling and what would help them be their most productive and satisfied selves.
3. Build a hybrid workplace that takes the needs of employees and the organization into account
Through all the research done on the post-COVID workplace, one thing shines through: Employees Want Flexibility.
Employees don’t want to be back at the office, in the same workspace, from 9 to 5, Monday through Friday.
However, that doesn’t mean they want to be Work-From-Home all the time.
They want balance and choice. They want an office that offers a variety of spaces to fit their work mode. They want the right office for heads-down space, the best workspace to be close to teammates for quick collaboration, the perfect conference room for an upcoming client meeting, and so on.
And, although we have seen greater or equal productivity since pandemic WFH, companies still want employees back in the office.
It’s less about the “butt in seats” mentality and more about the comradery and conversation when having folks at the workplace.
As long as organizations listen to their employees and their wants, and build a productive, flexible hybrid workplace, everyone can win!
4. Make it easy for employees to manage where and when they work
Humans want certainty. So, it’s not just about saying “we are hybrid, go be free!” It’s about offering a way to be free and provide choice, but still have control.
With a workplace management software to manage your workspaces, desks, meeting rooms, lockers, parking, and more, your employees have a place to go to secure resources for their upcoming workdays and feel certainty in their choices.
Additionally, employees can make these choices and reservations from anywhere, whether they are in the office on their desktop, or on top of a mountain in Tanzania using the software’s app on their mobile phone.
Additionally x2, employees can manage their meeting room reservations using platforms they use every day, like Google Calendar or Microsoft Outlook, because the workplace management software you’ve implemented integrates with these well-known and often-used email providers.
The employee workplace experience is a vital thing to master so that your workforce is more eager to adopt a bigger change like a flexible, hybrid workplace.
5. Continue to optimize and improve with employee feedback and data
You gathered employee feedback upfront, you built a hybrid workplace that benefits both employee and company, you implemented software that enhanced the employee workplace experience.
But don’t stop there!!
It takes more than one survey to understand your workforce, what’s working, and what could work better. And you now have utilization data from the workplace management software to show how your workforce is using your workplace. You can take that information and mold it into questions to ask your workforce so you can have both facts and opinions regarding how your hybrid workplace is running.
Add biannual or yearly reminders to your calendar to send out a hybrid feedback survey to your employees.
Who knows, you might get feedback saying how amazing the hybrid workplace is working for everyone. In that case, pat yourself on the back!
You might get back some comments that have little or nothing to do with the hybrid workplace as a whole and may need to be discussed just one-on-one.
But you MIGHT get feedback from multiple employees all regarding one thing that could use attention. If many are affected by it, it means it is definitely something to look into and decide how best to change and optimize it.
6. Create a digital-first company culture
Company culture is one of those things that you can’t exactly point out and write down but a feeling you get as soon as you join a company and walk through the doors on the first day or hop on your first company-wide video call.
And by all means, it better be a good feeling.
With a hybrid workplace, and employees off working remotely or in different areas of the office on different days, there is this need for creating a digital-first company culture that can reach employees from anywhere.
It’s about putting people first, wherever they are. So, when you focus on your people, new processes begin to form creating a productive, efficient organization and a strong company culture that talented people want to be a part of.
But enough of the fluff, how do you actually do that?
Well, seriously, it’s hard to pin down. I can’t just write up a checklist that, if followed, equates to the perfect company culture. Every company is different.
What I can suggest is you start implementing processes and programs that improve employee wellbeing and, in doing so, your company culture will shift and encompass these changes and employees’ feelings, morale, and productivity.
With a company culture that includes everyone, the feelings of isolation and uncertainty that paired with the 2020 pandemic are minimized, and the acceptance of this new, hybrid way of working is stronger.
All Aboard! Your Workforce is Ready for Hybrid!
Just to recap, for successful workforce adoption of your hybrid workplace, there are two key things to take away from this post:
- When you put people first, ask for their opinion and feedback, and make them feel a part of the process, they get on board a lot quicker than you might’ve imagined.
- When you create something that accounts for people’s wants and needs, is really easy to adopt, and continues to improve over time, there’s no reason to reject the change.
We know there are a lot of parts that go into creating and implementing a new workplace process, we’ve tried to put it all into blogs and guides for you, but the essential thing to remember is as long as you are transparent, openly communicating your thoughts and plans, and including employee comments and feedback in your workplace strategy, you can’t go wrong.
More Information on the Hybrid Workplace
Check out the resources below for more information on the hybrid workplace or head here.