March 13, 2021 was the one-year anniversary of the start of the global pandemic in the United States.
Overnight, business leaders around the globe were required to find safe ways for their employees to work from home. It is still unclear when we will return to “normal,” but offices have begun their office re-entry plans or announced transitioned fully to remote work.
Likely, many businesses will adopt a hybrid work model. In a hybrid model, employees will continue to work remotely and occasionally go into the office at varying times to adhere to social distancing guidelines. For example, an employee would work 3 days a week from home and go into the office Tuesday and Thursday. A hybrid model puts employees’ health and well-being first by offering remote work flexibility while also getting teams into the office for collaboration and in-person engagement.
The overnight transition to remote work came with a myriad of challenges and as businesses return to the office, IT, HR, and Leadership teams have a new set of challenges to mediate. The first question businesses should be asking is “Is your business prepared for a hybrid work environment?”
Here are the items you need to discuss as you build plans and move to a hybrid work model.
Communication: First and foremost, you need to determine your communication structure. If you are going to require employees to come into the office, it needs to be communicated properly and with employee’s safety in mind. Employees need to be aligned and have set expectations.
Health & Safety: As you re-open your offices, there are several health and safety precautions that must be regulated and adhered to. According to the CDC, offices should have adequate space and all floor plans should meet social distancing guidelines. You may need to adapt floor plans and have employees that sit near each other come in on alternative days.
Technology & Security: Over the past year, we’ve experienced a dramatic increase in digital acceleration including the adoption of cloud computing and virtual collaboration tools. Companies need to align their IT strategy with a hybrid work model and fix any security measures that were overlooked with the rapid deployment of remote work.