Hybrid Workforce: What HR Managers Need to Prepare

January 4, 202111:36 am2536 views
Hybrid Workforce: What HR Managers Need to Prepare
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Business leaders were not the only ones that had to adapt quickly in these unprecedented times. Their employees have also had to adapt to changes in their work environments, homes, and lifestyles. With mandated office closure across most non-essential sectors, nearly every organisation has had to send their staff working from home. 

Now, as offices reopen, many employees are signalling that they are not ready to return to business as normal. Forrester’s survey found that employees have lingering concerns about their safety and are divided on where they prefer to work. Forty-seven percent of respondents in Forrester’s PandemicEX survey prefer working from home while 42 percent look forward to heading back to the office. 

See also: 5 Tips to Boost Collaboration in Today’s New Normal 

Stay adaptive amidst the ambiguous future  

While the survey showed that nearly half of employees are not really looking forward to work life as it used to be before COVID-19, organisations need to stay adaptive in the ambiguous future. One of the ways is by adapting a hybrid workforce. Hybrid workforce is 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. 

According to Forrester, to accommodate more flexible working arrangements for a hybrid workforce, many organisations are considering changes to their office floor as hybrid workforce might need more spaces in the office. 40 percent of surveyed decision makers say they are implementing a transition to a hot desking arrangement. Forty-six percent will be increasing the number of meeting rooms to allow on-site workers to collaborate more effectively with their remote co-workers or clients. The survey also showed that most organisations are also considering the impact on office capacity. While some are considering a reduction in office floor space as more workers go remote, others are considering an expansion to accommodate social distancing. 

While there might not be a one-size-fits-all approach to managing organisations’ return-to-work plans, the key guiding principle for organisations should be to place employees’ safety and emotional needs first and ensure that employees are well supported wherever they choose to work. 

Other things HR managers need to prepare:  
  • Clarify team structure and expectations prior to the transition. For example, there might be set groups who need to be on-site to meet clients or handle specialised equipment. These individuals might have set days when they are required on-site, with one or two optional days where they can choose to work remotely. 
  • Clarify hybrid working policies and procedures. Make sure the policies and procedures allow the team to maintain consistency and increase visibility across the organisation.
  • Have the equipment ready. With hybrid work on the horizon, HR managers need to determine how your communication frameworks need to change to reflect your new team structures. 

Read also: Asian Workers are Desperate to Get Back to the Office, Demanding Hybrid Workplace Model 

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