Hybrid work is the future of work as it affords the benefits of both in-office and remote environments and supports employees’ demands for more flexibility. However, leaders of hybrid workforces need to find the right balance between keeping employees engaged whether they are in the office or at home.
Wise leaders view the hybrid model as an opportunity to foster greater engagement, productivity and resilience. But keeping remote workers engaged is a challenging task because the hybrid approach does not align with organizational norms, such as trust, cohesion, and shared experiences. Rather, it may lead to the development of two cultures: one in office, one virtual.
Here are some ways to maintain engagement and productivity in a hybrid work environment.
1. Maintain Open Communication, Accessibility and Visibility
Clear communication is the foundation to a successful hybrid work model. Provide clarity around roles, responsibilities and working schedules (e.g. when they should be in the office or at home).
Accessibility through regularly scheduled meetings with teams will enable team members to be aligned on priorities and expectations, address any concerns, and celebrate achievements.
Visibility through shared work calendars offers transparency and maximizes a sense of inclusion for remote employees.
2. Infuse Trust Into the Work Culture
Trust in the workplace is critical, especially in an environment where not everyone is physically together.
Intentionally infuse openness and transparency into your culture. Ways to be transparent include being honest, vulnerable, giving frequent feedback, setting expectations, and keeping all employees informed and connected. Transparency also requires people to hold themselves accountable for the information they receive; focusing on transparency helps ensure both employee and employer expectations are appropriately set and fulfilled.
3. Create a Feedback Loop
Employees are the best source for information on what makes them feel most happy and engaged. Therefore, managers should solicit continuous feedback through employee engagement surveys to gain firsthand insight, and then create a customized plan that tailors initiatives to people’s preferences and needs.
The Bottom Line
The hybrid work model can be effective with the right planning. Knowing how to boost productivity and engagement through regular feedback, access to the right tools, and a culture built on trust, communication and collaboration is essential.
Malissa Lewis serves as the Chief of the Loan Repayment Branch in HRSA’s Bureau of Health Workforce (BHW). She leads a team of nineteen analysts who work to strengthen the healthcare workforce and build healthy communities through the administration several workforce loan repayment programs.
Prior to the Loan Repayment Branch, she served as a section chief in the Division’s Scholarship Branch. Malissa has over 11 years of public health experience and leadership experience.