Hybrid work is new and it's crucial that management keep employees happy to ensure productivity and engagement. Here are 10 tips to implement right away.
Many companies have made the decision to transition their employees back to the office at least some of the time, and the employees seem to enjoy it.
A recent survey revealed that 63 percent of high-revenue growth companies have embraced a hybrid model (employees work remotely and in the office). The survey also found that employees prefer a hybrid model 83 percent of the time.
Plenty of employees enjoy a hybrid approach, especially Gen Z employees. 74% percent say they prefer face-to-face interactions with colleagues. However, some employees are still on the fence about the hybrid system for various reasons.
For some, working exclusively from home helped them cut out a dreaded commute from their life, and for others it just fit better with their personal commitments.
Whatever the reason, employers have researched, surveyed and deliberated deeply on what their post-pandemic workplace policy will look like – and a majority seem to have opted to take a middle-of-the-way hybrid approach offering their employees the best of both worlds.
So for those companies that have already gone hybrid or are considering it but want to preempt any hiccups, this guide is for you. Below, we break down ten hybrid employee satisfaction tips to help you support your employees and provide a better work environment.
How to Increase Hybrid Employee Satisfaction
If you’re concerned about how your employees are adapting to the new hybrid office structure, these tips can help. Here are ten suggestions to boost hybrid employee satisfaction:
1. Establish Clear Communication Protocols
Poor communication can interfere with employee engagement and productivity.
Imagine a team with three in-house employees and three remote employees.
One of the remote employees misses the memo about changing the way they format documents. As a result, they slow the whole team down because they don’t find out they’ve made a mistake until they submit their work for review.
Not only does this scenario hinder productivity, but it also creates a lot of frustration for all team members.
Precise, carefully planned communication protocols could have prevented this entire issue. If everyone on the team communicated using the same app or software, everyone would’ve been on the same page right from the start.
Hybrid companies have to work harder to create systems that ensure all team members stay on the same page.
2. Create Perks for Everyone
Perks should be doled out fairly and hybrid companies should tailor their perks to the specifics of their hybrid workplace policy.
Suppose office attendance is entirely optional: it would be important to avoid a disproportionate amount of resources on office perks like free lunches or creating an expensive workplace gym, while offering little to nothing to remote employees.
Company leadership should conduct surveys and research what perks are most likely to be well-received by a large majority of employees at the company.
You don’t have to provide identical perks for all hybrid employees. This option isn’t realistic or even possible. However, you should do your best to make the benefits and perks equal for all team members.
3. Invest in an Office Management Platform
If you’re calling employees back to the office in some capacity, it’s likely that you’ve decided to forgo 1:1 desk assignments in favor of hot desking or desk hoteling.
It makes no sense to spend huge sums of money on real estate that is being utilized sub-optimally.
The right tool will help ensure that employees have whatever they need to make their trip to the office productive and seamless. They will know where they are sitting for the day, who they are meeting with and where, and be able to receive their planned visitors, all without the need of checking three different applications.
As leadership, you will have analytics data on how the office is being utilized, and find ways to optimize and improve. Perhaps the sit-stand desks are the most popular and are always booked out – that’s the signal that more may be needed.
Having the right software ensures your company’s investment in physical space has an amazing return.
4. Encourage Socialization
Encourage your hybrid employees to socialize with one another. Far from being a waste of time, it’s the glue that keeps teams effective. Remember: your employees are humans, not robots!
Some office management platforms even have a Buddy system to get alerts when your ‘Buddies’ at work book a spot in the hybrid office. Zynq found a 70% increase in in-office days following the launch of their Buddies Sync feature.
For the entire team, your preferred collaboration tool can be used to create a group chat dedicated to casual conversations, pet pictures, safe-for-work memes, etc.
Invite your employees to join this group, and participate in it yourself. If you contribute to the group, you model the behavior you’d like see from the rest. You’ll also develop stronger relationships with your team and get to know them on a deeper level.
Remember, work friendships matter.
A Future Workplace/Virgin study revealed that 70 percent of employees view having friends at work as the most crucial element to a happy work life. Furthermore, 58 percent of men said they would refuse a higher-paying job if it meant they wouldn’t get along with their co-workers.
5. Walk the Talk
If your hybrid policy requires employees to attend the office at some consistent schedule, such as a minimum of two days a week, then it is absolutely critical that you, as leadership, do the same.
Nothing spells trouble like hypocrisy. If your employees see that exceptions are being made for management or certain groups, the internal grumbling will spell disaster for employee satisfaction and team cohesion.
Your inability to address such concerns could cost you star employees who may look elsewhere for a more equitable workplace.
If you expect your employees to do something, then start with yourself.
6. Involve Everyone in Meetings
If meetings have gone in-person at your hybrid company, you should make an effort to properly involve remote participants.
Like with office attendance, good hardware and software is the solution to ensuring remote participants can join and participate just as well as in-person attendees.
Solutions like Zoom offer both the hardware and software needed to equip meeting rooms to function optimally for hybrid teams.
When everyone participates, you reduce the likelihood of team members being misinformed or not having the latest information. You also give everyone a chance to contribute and feel that their opinions and insights matter.
7. Respect Work-Life Boundaries
A 2022 McKinsey & Company report explains that hybrid work offers more flexibility and a better sense of work-life balance.
To ensure team members experience these benefits, though, managers and team leaders must respect all employees’ work-life boundaries. They must be particularly conscientious about respecting remote employees’ boundaries.
For example, if someone says they can’t answer emails after 6 pm, honor that and wait until the morning to contact them. Don’t assume that just because they’re home, they’re free.
8. Recognize Achievements Regularly
The importance of regular employee recognition is similar to the importance of equal benefits for all team members. Make sure all hybrid employees receive praise and recognition for their hard work.
Whether you give them a shout-out in a group chat or pause to thank them in a team meeting, be as egalitarian as possible with your positive feedback and recognition.
According to this report from Apollo Technical, an employee who has received recognition is 63 percent more likely to stay at their job for the next three to six months.
To keep your hybrid employees happy and increase their tenure with your company, recognition matters.
9. Check in Often
A report published by the Journal of Library Administration explained that regular check-ins played a crucial role in maintaining employee performance during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
These check-ins are just as important in the context of a hybrid work model.
It’s easier to assess employee satisfaction, learn about potential roadblocks, and correct issues if you connect with your team often. Schedule regular check-ins to touch base with all employees and seek feedback.
10. Act on Employee Feedback
It can be scary for employees to give you feedback, especially if it’s not anonymous. If someone is willing to communicate a concern or suggest how you can improve, genuinely do what you can to act on their feedback and show that you appreciate them for sharing it.
If you cannot act on it, give them the respect to explain why not so they know they were heard.
Acting on employee feedback also promotes a better relationship between you and your team.
When they know you value feedback and will implement their suggestions whenever you can, morale will improve. They’ll likely be more committed to your company moving forward, too.
Whether you’re brand new to hybrid work or have used the model for years, the tips in this guide can help you boost employee satisfaction and establish a better work environment for everyone.
Do you need help connecting with hybrid employees, promoting better collaboration, and collecting valuable data? If so, Zynq’s all-in-one office management platform is the perfect solution.
Sign up for a demo today.