Questions to Guide Your Hybrid Environment Plan

When building your plan for a hybrid environment, it's important to ask these questions to create your strategy.

Your employees are all different. Some thrived when many companies went fully remote early last year. Some are itching to get back into the office. With health and safety guidelines still in place, adaptability is key. Which is why having a hybrid work environment is the next step for many companies. Need help getting started? Think about how you would answer these five questions.

What is working well?

It is likely that you did not have a lot of time to prepare to go fully remote in early 2020. Which means there were some organizational or operational challenges in the beginning. Now with several months under your belt, it's time to look at how effective your strategies are.  

  • Is everyone able to get their work done efficiently?  
  • Are the tools and applications you implemented properly supporting your remote work environment?  
  • Have your employees voiced any concerns about your current remote work policies?  

Before you think about bringing anyone back into the office, it's essential to identify any concerns about your remote work environment. Not only will this provide better guidance for your remote workers, but it will show initiative in thinking about all your employees, even the ones not on site.

How do I organize roles for success?

Not every role needs to be on site to work efficiently. Think about the value of each role and what environment would be the most effective at getting your desired outcome. Look into dividing your roles into four sections:

  • Fully remote: Roles that can continue to provide desired outcomes even while fully remote.
  • Hybrid remote: Roles that can be done either on site or remote, based on employee preference.
  • Hybrid remote by exception: Roles that are more effective when completed on site but can be performed remotely as needed.
  • On site: Roles that must be completed on site.

When looking at hybrid remote roles especially, it's important to discuss with your employees where they feel most comfortable. Not everyone may be ready to return to the office, so making sure your employees are in a comfortable environment will ensure they are putting forward their best work.

What strategies and tools should I implement?

Whether in office or working from home, each environment needs the right set of tools to succeed. Think about anything from file and data management tools, video conferencing technology, even headsets for on-site workers to minimize distractions.  

This does not just apply to physical tools; you will need new policies for in-person collaboration. Which means your 10-person conference room will be limited to 2-4 people. Having new strategies to stay connected and organized will take some time to get used to but are still essential to providing a safe on-site work environment.

Do I need to redesign my workspace?

Along with limited capacities, you may need to create a new layout with effective social distancing. Do on-site employees use every other desk? How many people can be in the break room at once? Do you have to limit your restroom capacity? These are questions to ask to ensure you are keeping your on-site workers safe.

Am I keeping up with my current policies?

While you are in the mindset of setting up new policies, now is an appropriate time to look at any other policies you have in place, especially when it comes to cybersecurity.  

  • Do we have a strong password policy?  
  • Is all our data being backed up, even from remote locations?  
  • What hardware do we need to provide our remote workers?  
  • How are we supporting extended hour access to employees?

Thinking ahead about all these policies before bringing back employees will ensure that you have a system in place that is ready to handle any challenges you face.

After this past year, we have seen the pros and cons of both working from home and on site. With a hybrid environment, you should consider what will be the most efficient way for each employee to work. By making the most of the situation, you are showing how you can be an adaptable company that is ready to take on any challenge that comes your way.

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