How to create models for hybrid work, working from the home office, and the office

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The world of work has changed, remote working is here to stay. Before the pandemic, companies were reluctant for their employees to work from home in the belief that productivity could drop. Since then, they have realized that it’s not so; workers are equally or more productive and can reduce costs.

For co-workers, the home office lets them manage their time, avoid long commuting hours and above all, spend more time with the family. Some prefer working from home, while for others, a combination with few days in the office is a better option, because the pandemic has led to people working more hours in front of the computer, even after work hours.

For women, childcare and household chores complicate staying at home while working, especially since schools closed and education became online.

Although the landscape is expected to change with the return to face-to-face classes, a Zoom survey of U.S. employees who working from home over the last year shows that 65% say a hybrid work environment is their ideal model. Of that percentage, 33% prefer to work primarily from the office, while 32% like the idea of working more from home.

Nowadays, companies are opting for a hybrid model, combining work from home and the office, according to data from the study by the consultancy KPMG, Perspectives of Senior Management in Mexico 2021, and nine out of 10 large companies plan to maintain a hybrid model, for small and medium enterprises, the percentage is 42 percent.

Use coworking as a support

With a hybrid work model, companies can reduce costs in rent, electricity and other supplies that allow them to keep operations running. Achievable for large corporations by changing how they use technology and coworking spaces; areas where employees can go if they need to conduct in-person meetings, close a deal, or simply a change of scene.

An option is to rent these spaces in a strategic area for the company, and have employees come in once or twice a week, giving them flexibility and autonomy, which translates into greater satisfaction and productivity.

According to KPMG, 14% of companies will look for coworking spaces and 13% will take advantage of flexible schemes with short- and mid-term leasing.

Guarantee equal opportunities

Companies are facing the challenge to ensure the same opportunities for employees working from home, in an office or in a hybrid mode. Bear in mind that these modes will depend on the work the staff perform as well as conversation beforehand with the bosses to define the best way of working.

How to strengthen the corporate culture? It starts with a change in mindset because your online interaction is not the same as the one that done in person, where you can bump into a co-worker in the hallway and engage in talk or assign a task.

Prioritize remote culture

Plan remote meetings, one or two a week, but be careful not to fall into the trap of unnecessary meetings or ones without substance. Remember that home office schedules may be different. Discuss beforehand as to when is the best time to connect.

Don’t try to apply the same rhythm:

The way of working in the office and at home is completely different, so you should look for the best of both worlds for employees to feel appreciated by the company and to give the best of themselves.

Define schedules

For both the days to work from home and for the days to spend at the office. The best option is to work to goals, so the employee can manage their schedules and deliver work on time and in a timely manner, producing successful outcomes.

Build bridges

Remember those office get-together moments when a colleague had a birthday or when everyone agreed to go to lunch at the same place. Don’t let that socializing get lost. The fact that some employees work remotely and others in the office does not mean that there is no communication, on the contrary, it should be cultivated more so that work is smoother. Hold informal weekly online meetings like Zoom Fridays and encourage interaction.

Make them feel appreciated

Provide a good employee experience, even if they are teleworking. Buy gifts for employees on their birthday or work anniversary, do an online meeting or make a call to congratulate, that will increase their engagement and affinity with the company.

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