A hybrid workplace could be the solution for small businesses that are struggling to recruit and retain talented employees. Employers can gain flexibility by offering remote and in-office work.
According to an American Express survey, many small businesses are now offering flexible work arrangements. The survey, which was conducted from September 2022 through September 2022, found that 49% of respondents offered remote and hybrid work options. 77% of those surveyed reported that offering flexible work options helped them to attract new employees.
Kaleem Clarkson is chief operating officer at Blend Me Inc., which is a remote-focused consulting firm. He says, “The hybrid-remote approach can work in any industry. But how you implement it may differ from one industry to the next.”
Why you might want to think about a hybrid workplace
Retention and recruitment
Many employees are used to working remotely so offering a hybrid workspace can assist businesses in their efforts to hire remote workers and keep employees who value flexibility.
Businesses can reduce their office space requirements by having a smaller workforce. This will result in lower overhead costs such as rent, utilities and furniture, fixtures, parking and security, and other expenses associated with maintaining office space.
Potential for higher productivity
Flexibility at work may lead to increased productivity. The 2022 State of Remote Work Report by Owl Labs shows that 62% of workers feel more productive working from home. Employees who have flexibility regarding their work location are more productive, according to studies.
What you need to know when creating a hybrid workplace
There are many ways to create a hybrid workplace. Consider the following when deciding whether or not to create a hybrid workplace.
Roles and preferences for employees
Sharlyn Lauby, president and CEO of ITM Group Inc. (a training company that provides programs for businesses), says understanding what employees want will help you decide what kind of hybrid workplace is best for your company. While we are referring to employees who want hybrid work, it is important to remember that not all employees will be interested in hybrid work. Lauby via email said that she knows of several people who tried remote work during the pandemic. You might consider a hybrid workplace, which allows employees to choose to work remotely or in an office setting.
You should also consider your industry and the role of your employees. If you own a retail company, for example, sales personnel may need to be on-site while finance and other departments may be able work remotely.
Communication technology software
Human resources software is useful in a hybrid workplace. Communication apps like Zapier, Zoom, Google Workplace and Microsoft Teams can enable communication among remote and in-office employees
When a company moves to a hybrid workplace, upgrades in hardware might be necessary. To allow remote and in-office participants to attend meetings, it may be necessary to swap out desktop computers for laptops.
Policies for the whole workforce
Companies may need to update policies and procedures to ensure they are fair to all employees, regardless of their location. They can consult legal and human resources experts to learn how to treat remote and on-site employees equally in terms of work assignments, schedules and pay. Additional training may be required for managers and employees.
Regular evaluations and adjustments
Your business’s needs and employee preferences will change over time. Most businesses will have some growing pains when they first implement a hybrid workplace. Lauby stated that keeping everyone happy comes down to the business’s commitment to “evaluate and adjust along this journey.”
Lauby stated that hybrid work is a result of organizations listening to their employees, being open-minded to new ideas, communicating clearly and adapting along the way.