Competing Demands of Home and Office
We are experiencing a workforce transformation with more employees wanting to work remotely. According to CBS News Poll, 60% of Americans want to work from home part of the time. But even that, there are jobs that need on-site personnel. It brings us to a conflict of interest, pushing most of us to a default system, a hybrid work environment. This article talks about using a hybrid workforce to manage the competing demand of home and office. Create A Roadmap and Set Objectives A hybrid work environment may force you to restructure your processes to maintain productivity.
As a manager, you need an accurate plan to configure your team to understand who is working when and where. When you have the road map, create expectations. It makes everyone understand what the organization needs from them. This will allow each employee to assess which workstation can help them meet the expectations. When doing this, make everything realistic; do not have goals too scary to achieve or too low it won’t maximize their potential. You can sit down with the team, especially the working from the home group, and help them structure their working timetable.
Level the Playing Field Even the employees who want to work from home may not find it easy, especially when they have a partner, roommate, or kids around. Such factors may tilt the playing field in favor of those working from home. As the manager, you have to find a way to provide a common perspective. Most corporate programs and policies may not also favor both remote and in-person environments. At some point, you must at least have some group working remotely either because they are health vulnerable or you do not have enough space.
One way to level the playing field is to help your employees with a conducive environment at home. It may mean setting up an office or providing them with the finances to do so. It is also crucial that you hold all team meetings as if everyone is working remotely, even those in the office. That way, remote workers would not miss a thing or feel left out.
Offer Support The primary role of any manager or supervisor is to provide support for their team. The hybrid setup is highly a product of the pandemic. We are in a period of global uncertainty and social unrest; even the strongest of them all need psychological and emotional support. Make it a habit to communicate with your employees through video calls to check on them. This is regardless of whether they are productive or not. Another negative aspect is burnout. Organizations must implement programs and policies that care for employees’ well-being and work-life balance.
Consistently Monitor Every manager must track the critical intervention moment in hybrid systems. One way to ensure this is regular performance review and evaluation. Hybrid systems bring imbalances when it comes to accessing resources. It may also yield a situation when the playing field shifts occasionally. Regular monitoring and evaluation will help you identify such scenarios and fix them before they escalate to more significant issues.