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How to Build a Hybrid Workforce

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By now you’ve seen and heard a lot about the hybrid workforce that is destined to be part of the new World of Work for the foreseeable future. As we get closer to a vaccine and the end of the pandemic, it’s unlikely that you will go back entirely to the old way of doing things altogether. So what should you be doing to facilitate the safe transition to a hybrid workforce in your organization? Although the prospect offers many advantages, it also comes with complications and difficulties that you should be preparing for now.

“The first thing to remember is that while some of your people love working remotely and want to continue with it, there are many others who truly miss the social aspects of working in a shared office space alongside their team members,” says Nancy Halverson, SVP Global Operations at MRI. “Shifting to a hybrid structure can help you to accommodate both groups.”

Halverson offers advice on navigating the transition with the least amount of disruption:

Start With Your Leadership Team

Will they work from the office, remotely, or both? “I believe that most organizations will find it most beneficial to have their leaders work in the office at least part of the time,” says Halverson. “Before you announce the decision to move to a hybrid solution, work out the plan for your management team and communicate it to the people who work for them to avoid confusion.”

Reevaluate Your Team Structure

“In many cases, it’s obvious that certain departments and positions have to be on-site, but you’ve probably already figured out ways to handle those safely,” observes Halverson. “For the rest, you need to determine which employees will continue working remotely full-time and which employees will work partly remotely and partly from the office.”

While these decisions are also driven by the nature of the individual role, it is also advisable to factor in personal preferences whenever possible. “Another possibility to consider is that people will change their minds,” says Halverson. “Some members of your team may ask to continue to work remotely and then find that they want to come back into the office part of the time. Determine how strictly you need employees to follow a specific working style, and communicate this in advance. For instance, will your physical space allow for flexibility, or have you downsized recently and do you need employees to commit to a specific schedule?”

Confirm Your Communication Platforms

The pandemic has already forced most companies to beef up digital communication and enhance their collaboration tools. Going to a hybrid workforce means that technology will continue to evolve to meet employee and employer needs. Determine how your communication frameworks need to change to reflect your new team structures and to ensure employees don’t fall out of the loop or burn out from the pressure of being “always on.” 

Your IT folks will also need an infrastructure that enables them to manage a remote workforce. This can include increasing cloud storage for more remote storage, enhancing security solutions to manage

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