Many businesses are now adapting to the era of hybrid work, in which employees are no longer limited to working remotely or in an office. But despite the advantages of a hybrid workplace, it also comes with challenges that prevent employees from being productive.
What ultimately enabled teams to remain productive during an unprecedented global pandemic was workplace flexibility. Now more than ever, businesses should learn how to be flexible in solving various productivity challenges, whether employees work in the office, on the go, or at home.
What makes a successful hybrid work environment?
First, you need to define what employee productivity is and how it will be measured. In measuring employee productivity, consider metrics like the number of finished tasks, the rate of tasks completed on time, activity levels during work hours, and clients’ feedback.
Second, you need to provide employees with flexible work options that maximize their productivity. This means offering flexible work hours, locations, and roles. Employees should have the ability to choose when they want to start and end their workday, as well as where they want to work. For example, some employees may prefer to start their day early and work from home in the morning, while others may prefer to work in the office in the afternoon. By giving employees this freedom, businesses can ensure that each employee is working when and where they are most productive.
However, being able to measure employee productivity and allowing flexible work hours are not enough. Business managers must also address the following areas where hybrid work challenges typically arise.
Hybrid work strategy
Adopting hybrid work can be daunting for many companies, particularly in terms of providing the necessary structure to distributed teams. Employers and employees may also have different expectations when it comes to work-life balance. What’s more, employees may not have the necessary tools and resources to be productive outside the office.
To solve these challenges, businesses should develop a hybrid work policy that clearly defines when and where employees are expected to work. This policy should also set expectations for communication and collaboration, establish guidelines for managing work-life balance, and provide the necessary tools and resources for employees.
Organizations must deal with the numerous security risks that hybrid workers face from day to day, and security can be especially challenging for hybrid teams. Here are some of the biggest hybrid work-related security challenges that organizations face:
- Data security: When data is stored in both on-premises and cloud systems, it can be difficult to keep track of who has access to what. This can lead to data breaches or leaks.
- Device security: Employees may use their own devices for work, which can make it hard to manage the devices used to access sensitive business information. This can also lead to data breaches or leaks.
- Staff security: With employees working in different locations, it can be difficult to monitor or verify who is actually accessing data or using a particular company device. This can lead to unauthorized access or even theft.
To overcome these challenges, you need to have a comprehensive security plan that includes data encryption, firewall deployment, device management, and staff training. XBASE cybersecurity solutions offer comprehensive protection against numerous attacks for Toronto businesses and can help boost the security of your hybrid teams' data and devices.
Related reading: 5 Ways to keep hybrid working setups secure
Ensuring seamless communication can be particularly tough when you’re working with a team in different locations/time zones and/or on different work schedules. This is why it’s important to equip your teams with functional, feature-rich communication tools.
There are a few different communication tools your hybrid teams can use, including the following:
- Cloud-based chat tools like Microsoft Teams or Yammer allow employees to easily communicate with one another, no matter where they are.
- Video conferencing can help bridge the gap between remote and on-site employees.
- Project management software like Asana or Trello can help keep everyone on the same page, no matter where they are.
Managers should be proactive in asking employees about their thoughts and feelings on the hybrid work model and what changes they would like to see. Additionally, regular check-ins with employees can help identify any areas of concern or confusion before they become bigger issues.
By being proactive and creating several channels for feedback, managers can ensure that they're getting the most accurate information possible from their employees.
Work-life balance and burnout
Employee burnout can lead to negative consequences like poor mental health, low job satisfaction, and high levels of stress.
One way to help employees achieve a better work-life balance is to allow them to choose their own hours or work from home more often. Companies can also offer more support in terms of resources and training. This could include access to mental health support or coaching on how to manage work-life balance more effectively.
Finally, companies can create a culture of open communication and understanding. This means creating an environment where employees feel comfortable talking about their struggles with productivity and work-life balance, without fear of judgment or reprisal.
Ensuring your hybrid team achieves maximum productivity can be challenging. Contact XBASE’s IT professionals so we can set up the right technology solutions that can make your teams productive and secure.