Ilkley (UK), October 2022 - As remote working reached an all-time high during the lockdown period of COVID-19, many organisations had to quickly adapt to the new ways of working. Although remote working isn't a new concept and has been adopted by many organisations across the globe, it wasn't the norm, especially remote working on a full-time basis.
Post-pandemic, instead of reverting to the old ways of full-time working in the office, many organisations have chosen to adopt a hybrid working approach, whereby staff work from both home and the office.
Remote working has many pros and cons, but it isn't effective for every organisation. It appears to work well for call centres, public sector, and technology companies, but others have reported finding it difficult to empower their staff and keep the culture and motivation alive when everyone is in different locations. Here are some tips provided by Virtual College to help you empower your staff when having a hybrid workforce.
It's good practice to develop a goals and objectives plan with all of your staff to help empower them to plan their workday according to where they will be working. When out of the office and in a more relaxed environment like the home, it can be harder for staff to stick to a routine, although being in the office can be equally distracting. Encourage your managers to work with employees to write down goals together so they have a clear aim to work toward, which will help keep them focused wherever they work.
Hybrid working can sometimes feel like a lonesome ride, particularly when working remotely. To help reduce this, you can invest in virtual team building activities to help employees feel included and part of the organisation no matter where they choose to work. Team-building activities don't have to be limited to people within the same department; you can also roll it out across the organisation to give everyone a chance to meet each other. If possible, why not try an organise a day once a week, fortnightly, or monthly when everyone comes into the office to catch up face to face.
Setting aside a regular check-in time between managers and teams is also a great way to empower your employees. Giving them dedicated attention and time will allow them to discuss any issues and queries they may have. It is also a nice way to have a general chat and see how they are getting on. Feeling included and looked after also helps build trust between employees and managers, which can increase their motivation.
A critical aspect of any job is growth and development, and there is currently a huge demand for personal and professional development training. When working remotely, organisations are provided with the perfect opportunity to empower their staff with the tools and training they need to develop. Help create personalised training plans with employees and consult with them on key skills they wish to develop.
Hybrid working means your team is often split up, with some employees in the office when others are at home, and so wins can often go amiss. The lack of interaction and communication with the wider team can sometimes mean that goals achieved or positive feedback take a back seat. As an organisation, it is important that you create a dedicated time or space to share wins - whether it's a new sale, a new client, or something small, as sharing these wins helps empower staff to perform better and feel positive about themselves.
A mix of setting goals and objectives, checking in, sharing wins, and providing the opportunity for development are key to helping empower your hybrid working team. It can be difficult for organisations that are used to having employees within a physical space, whether that be solely at home or solely in the office, to adjust to hybrid working; however, with the right tools and techniques, it can be highly beneficial for both you and your employees.