How to HR managers can prepare for a hybrid work model

hybrid workforce

With hybrid work on the horizon, you’ll need to determine how your communication frameworks need to change to reflect your new team structures. If the majority of your organisation moves back to working from a shared office space, while some continue to work remotely, there will need to be a strong foundation of digital communication tools that are updated regularly to ensure employees don’t fall out of the loop, writes Alison Hill

For HR professionals across the world, the sudden and widespread move to remote work has been quite the challenge. However, for many organisations the changes made thus far have opened up a world of opportunity.

With countless noticeable benefits to flexible work practices, many HR managers are preparing for a long-term adoption of this approach to work. Remote work policies have been adjusted, as well as learning objectives and training delivery schedules moved to accommodate the distributed nature of work.

But this is only the beginning. As we look towards the new year, preparing for ongoing uncertainty and continued social distancing practices, there is a new workplace structure that is set to take centre stage. Hybrid teams are made up of individuals who rotate between working on-site and working remotely. This is seen as one of the most realistic ways to offer flexible working practices while also maintaining a ‘home base’ where teams can complete specific tasks on-site.

HR managers need to begin familiarising themselves with hybrid work, and in doing so, prepare their strategies and structures for a widespread adoption of the hybrid workforce model. In this article, we’ll explore the most important considerations for HR managers to make as they prepare for the shift to hybrid teams.

For hybrid workplaces planning learning and development it’s worthwhile incorporating components of feedback, virtual leadership and coaching skills.

Clarify your hybrid team structure
There are quite a few different combinations of hybrid teams out there. Most commonly a hybrid team structure is defined by the roles and responsibilities of those working in a hybrid model. For example, there may be set groups who need to be on-site to meet clients or handle specialised equipment. Those individuals may have set days where they’re required on site, with one or two optional days where they can choose to work remotely. In order for a hybrid model to be successfully adopted, you’ll need to clarify your team structure and exceptions prior to the transition.

Identify your hybrid working policies and procedures
Speaking of exceptions, it’s worthwhile talking about hybrid working policies and procedures. While a lot of what’s included in your remote working policies will apply to hybrid teams, there are additional considerations to be made.

For example, in other hybrid workplaces such as HubSpot, they allow individuals across the organisation to make changes to their split schedule between the office and remote work yearly. This allows the team to maintain consistency and increase visibility across the organisation.

Review your workplace communication tools
During the shift to remote working it’s likely that your organisation has adopted certain communication frameworks and established digital communication and collaboration tools that are updated regularly.

With hybrid work on the horizon, you’ll need to determine how your communication frameworks need to change to reflect your new team structures. If the majority of your organisation moves back to working from a shared office space, while some continue to work remotely, there will need to be a strong foundation of digital communication tools that are updated regularly to ensure employees don’t fall out of the loop.

As we look towards the new year, preparing for ongoing uncertainty and continued social distancing practices, there is a new workplace structure that is set to take centre stage. Hybrid teams are made up of individuals who rotate between working on-site and working remotely.

Assess your training delivery schedule
What does training look like when you can’t bring everyone together in the same space? And with all the changes to the way we work over the last 12 months, what new skills need to be developed in order for our organisations to remain competitive and our people to perform at a high level?

For hybrid workplaces planning learning and development it’s worthwhile incorporating components of feedback, virtual leadership and coaching skills. It’s also very important that when virtual instructor-led training is utilised that the streaming service, facilitator and filming equipment is of a high quality in order to be engaging and deliver on key learning outcomes.

Now’s the time to take action. Prepare yourself and your teams for the shift to a hybrid workforce model with these practical steps.