3 Steps To Building a Hybrid Work Culture That Will Last
As we emerge from the pandemic, it’s clear that the way we work has changed forever. Many organizations have adapted to the new normal of remote work, but as we move forward, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that going from one extreme to another is not a universal solution.
A hybrid work culture offers the best of both worlds, combining the flexibility of remote work with the collaboration and connection that comes with in-person interactions.
However, building a hybrid work culture that lasts requires a deliberate and strategic approach. It’s not just a matter of sending your employees back to the office a few days a week and calling it a day.
In this article, we’ll explore the key components of a healthy hybrid work culture and offer practical tips and insights to help you build something that will stand the test of time. Whether you’re a small startup or a household name, this article is for you. So, grab a cup of coffee and let’s dive in!
1. Make sure no one feels disconnected
While hybrid work models bring us a step closer to the future, they also come with a set of unique challenges. One of the most notable issues is that in-office employees can sometimes be prioritized over others who are primarily working from home.
This tendency can leave a portion of the team feeling excluded, disconnected, and undervalued, which can harm their job satisfaction and productivity.
It’s important for employers to recognize this bias and take steps to ensure that all employees are treated fairly and given equal opportunities to contribute.
One potential solution is to create clear guidelines and protocols for communication and decision-making. This can help ensure that all employees are kept in the loop and that decisions are made based on merit, rather than proximity to the office. It’s also important to make a concentrated effort to include remote employees in social events and team-building activities, both in-person and online.
Another solution is to invest in technology that can help bridge the gap between people, no matter where they’re working from. Collaboration tools, such as Jitsi, Slack, and Notion, make everything from communication to project management easier.
Companies that use these tools understand they are there to help everyone feel more connected and involved in team projects and discussions.
If you come up with a new idea, don’t just share it with the colleagues sitting next to you. Embrace asynchronous communication and share it on Slack to invite feedback from everyone.
If you’re after more tools, we recommend Spock—a reliable leave management app for Slack designed with hybrid and remote work in mind. Let your employees request leaves directly in Slack and stay updated with instant notifications that let them know who’s working from home for the day.
2. Motivate Your Team With Flexible Schedules
One of the key advantages of a hybrid work culture is the flexibility it offers to employees. After all, they can choose if they feel like commuting to the office or brewing a coffee and working from home.
The flexibility doesn’t have to stop with location, though. Why not combine hybrid work with flextime to help your team improve their work-life balance?
Flexible schedules can be particularly helpful for employees with children or other caregiving responsibilities. By allowing people to adjust their schedules as needed, you make room for them to better manage their personal and professional commitments, which give you a better chance at retaining them.
Spock helps manage teams with flexible schedules by letting users request half-day leaves, so your team will know if you plan on joining them for the morning meeting before heading back to your home office in the afternoon. For those with a stable WFH schedule, the app offers recurring leaves that can be requested months in advance.
3. Switch to Asynchronous Communication for Better Results
Asynchronous (async) communication is an approach that doesn’t require people to be online and available at the same time. In a hybrid work environment, this becomes both an advantage and a powerful tool for keeping teams connected and productive.
One benefit of async is that it pairs well with our earlier point about flexible schedules, as people can chat without the need to coordinate schedules or interrupt each other’s work.
Async is incredibly helpful for remote employees who may be in different time zones or teams that have different working hours.
Another upside is that it provides a written record of conversations and decisions, making it easier for employees to reference past discussions and stay on top of projects. This is can help improve transparency and accountability, as well as reduce the risk of miscommunication or misunderstandings.
Of course, async isn’t guaranteed to work unless you create guidelines and protocols for how to use it at your organization. We don’t recommend going overboard by introducing hundreds of rules, but outlining expectations around response times and communication channels will make your life easier.
The Substitutes feature in Spock makes communication easier by allowing employees who are taking time off to select a colleague who’ll cover for them in their absence. It gives anyone who needs to discuss something an alternative contact, meaning projects don’t get stuck waiting for people to come back from a PTO.
Companies transitioning away from traditional approaches to new ones, like hybrid work, won’t have it easy. But if you want to attract new talent and keep existing employees by your side, it’s worth embracing change to create an attractive workplace.
We hope Spock’s tips for fostering a positive work culture at your company help you build the business you want.