Top factors to consider when developing a hybrid workforce

Employees are the organization’s most valuable resource. They bring skills, knowledge, and experience that can be used to create long-term success for the company. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find applicants who fit all of the qualifications necessary for a particular job opening.

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remote emploee

A hybrid workforce applied within a company relies on both internal and external workers. The flexibility of a hybrid workforce allows organizations to hire individuals with specific skill sets regardless of where they are located. With flexibility, technology, and communication being key components of this new work arrangement, it is important to know what factors to consider when you opt for the hybrid work model and develop a hybrid workforce. These include flexible schedules and remote locations, the use of technologies such as instant messaging, cloud telephony, or video chat apps that make it easy to communicate with employees on the go.

As the business world changes, new work models emerge. The companies that succeed in adopting them are the ones to remain competitive. Read on this article to discover the top factors you should consider when developing a hybrid workforce.

The need for a hybrid workforce

job interview via video call

As society evolves, the work arrangements between companies and employees also transform. New work models emerge, and some of them are here to stay.

A hybrid workforce is advantageous as it provides access to a larger pool of potential employees. With technology making it easier for people to work remotely and businesses becoming more comfortable with distributed teams, the need for flexibility in work arrangements is more important than ever.
Employees have different needs – some prefer to work in an office, while others feel more productive working from home. So, organizations are beginning to recognize the need to adopt new workspace options if they want to stay competitive in the market.

The flexibility of a hybrid workplace allows organizations to find professionals with specific skill sets regardless of their location.

The advanced technologies today enable organizations to embrace the hybrid workforce faster. As remote work becomes popular, being able to communicate and collaborate effectively with colleagues from different locations defines your productivity.

Various technologies make this possible – from instant messaging and cloud telephony to video chat apps. These tools allow quick communication between team members who do not share the same workspace.

What is a “hybrid” workforce and how does it work?

hybrid work meaning

The flexibility of the workplace, technology advances, and the communication needs of a globalized market have all come together to create this new form of work – the hybrid workforce. Although the hybrid work model existed for years, since the global pandemic has started in early 2020, its use has become near-ubiquitous.

A hybrid workforce is an arrangement by which employees can work across different locations or with flexible schedules. In this type of workplace, flexibility is important as the team includes both in-office workers and remote hires who are brought into the company based on their specific skillsets.

Many tech corporations like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Twitter, Linkedin, Spotify have officially made the hybrid workplace part of the perks for their employees.

Choosing the right tech solutions is essential for a hybrid workforce to be successful. With so many people working remotely, the ability for co-workers to communicate quickly and easily is paramount. The right tools – such as instant messaging, cloud telephony, or video chat apps – can make all the difference in this flexible work arrangement.

The benefits of having a hybrid workforce

flexible working parent

Flexibility

The main benefit of adopting a hybrid workforce is flexibility. Flexibility at work implies that employees can balance personal obligations while contributing to business objectives. That means that while doing home office they can take care of some personal tasks and they are not strictly chained to the desk from 9 to 5.

The flexibility of remote working is important for both employees and companies. Working outside the office makes it easier for people with families or those living far away from their company’s locations to save on time and commuting costs.

For organizations, flexibility at work means access to a larger pool of potential talent – no matter where they are located geographically. Organizations with office locations all over the world can benefit from having remote working employees as it allows them to achieve better business results without compromising productivity or quality of work.

It’s critical to develop trust with your teammates, direct subordinates, and coworkers before starting a hybrid workplace to offer them flexibility while still meeting your company goals.

The foundation of workplace flexibility is trust.

Team leaders will have to come up with solutions that will allow them to engage their crew better. Managers should have a working strategy on how to organize their hybrid workforce. Remote working teams should be able to communicate and collaborate with in-house colleagues without compromising productivity.

Create Flexible Schedules for the Hybrid Workplace

Flexible Schedules

Scheduling is one of the most difficult challenges when it comes to implementing a hybrid workforce. A survey conducted by PWCs indicates that executives believe that employees should work from the office for two days. On the other hand, the workers also insisted on working remotely at least three days per week. How can you meet the expectations of both sides?

Employees want the flexibility to work from home, but they also should be available for important in-person meetings. Managers need to find a way to balance both needs without undermining productivity or the quality of work.

If you work in a hybrid work environment or manage a hybrid workforce, communication is essential when you decide how to schedule your team.

You will need a plan for communication that will work well with everyone’s schedule.

Start an open discussion with your team and listen to their needs to build a smooth workflow organization. Applications like Google Calendar, Trello, and Asana can be very helpful for scheduling a hybrid workforce.

Try to have an individual approach to each team member, making sure you can meet their personal needs in the best possible way. Finding a balance between a company’s needs and employees’ expectations is not an easy task. Yet, do not forget one of the main benefits of a hybrid workplace is flexibility. It applies for schedules in full power – once you set the rules, they may change over time if the situation requires it.

Support Your Hybrid Workforce to Stay Productive

productive workforce

The hybrid work model comes with a set of challenges. Its impact on productivity is among them. And while it’s true that working from home can come with its distractions, if you set the right expectations and establish some ground rules, your remote employees can be just as productive (or more) as those in-office.

A recent study by the National Buro of Research indicates that the hybrid workplace model can increase a company’s productivity by 5%. Additionally, it has a strong economic impact by reducing some of the fixed costs related to work in the office.

If you’re seeing a lack of output from your team, have an open discussion to determine what’s causing the issue. Often the problem could be that your teammates do not have the right collaboration and communication programs.

For example, if you’re using legacy software that is not optimized for mobile devices or does not integrate with your collaboration tools like Slack/Jira it will be harder to get work done remotely. And there’s nothing more frustrating than this!

Make sure all of the necessary resources are available to remote employees. If there are still problems in the team’s efficiency, they might be caused by the interpersonal relations of your co-workers.

Help Your Employees Engage Better

video call with remote coworkers

Not working onsite might leave teammates feeling disconnected from their coworkers, despite the convenience of the remote working arrangements. That is where managers need to be creative and find ways to get employees engaged.

One way to do this is by using video conferencing solutions like Zoom, which allow team members to see each other’s faces and interact as if they’re in the same room. You can also encourage your teammates to share some personal news or to have more casual conversations before video meetings.

If you use a company chat divided by departments, you may have a “fun” channel where your employees can post information that is not strictly related to work. Think of some team-building activities that may foster mutual trust and respect.

Team Building is even more important for hybrid workforce

team building company

Building a cohesive team is even more important for hybrid workforces. When coworkers are in different locations, it can be harder to build trust and rapport. Employees may feel like they’re working on their own instead of as part of a team. That can lead to decreased productivity and job satisfaction.

Finding ways to enhance the loyalty and engagement of your remote workforce and in-office colleagues is a challenging task.

Participating in group projects that include activities like brainstorming, collaborating, and communicating with each other regularly can help teams develop stronger and deeper relationships.

These can also assist organizations in retaining their corporate culture even if they don’t have access to a physical, shared workspace.

Today’s team-building activities should provide greater value. Successful strategies, both virtual and onsite, will focus on experiential learning and the ability to modify and alter your workforce behavior to generate long-term effects.

Modernizing the classic team-building exercises may be difficult; nevertheless, it is one of the best methods to establish a successful and efficient hybrid workforce.

Managing a hybrid workforce – how to do it right?

collaboration programs

It is not only how you build the hybrid workforce that determines its success. But how you manage it and navigate the workflow also defines its effectiveness.
Here are a few useful tips that may guide you on how to manage your remote and in-office employees successfully.

Choose the right technology

the right technology

As our society and business environment evolves, the technologies will be even more integrated into our lives. Also, as companies embrace the hybrid work model, using the right solutions will be essential for their business success.

In addition to video conferencing solutions and apps like Google Docs that are often used for the hybrid workplace organization, they should also invest in software applications for performance evaluation and employee monitoring.

The efficiency of your hybrid workforce is tightly related to the technology they employ.

Your crew should be enabled to communicate with each other by using all the tools available. If you allow them access only to outdated tools, this may lower their productivity. Also, it will cause frustrations within the remote team and in-office workers, and the overall satisfaction can be drop significantly.

Do you use communication and collaboration programs that easily integrate?

Communication is a key aspect to be considered when building a successful hybrid workforce. Tech solutions that were an extra just a few years ago today are must-haves. That is especially valid for companies that support the hybrid work model or have remote teams.

The efficiency of a hybrid workforce is often determined by these solutions. You have to ensure that all your employees are on the same page and can easily communicate with each other no matter where they are based.

The pandemic outbreak in 2020 accelerated the digital transformation of communications strategies.

Unified communication and collaboration (UCC) platforms that integrate voice, video, chat, screen-sharing, and other features were suddenly in high demand.

Tools such as Slack, Asana, Trello, and Zoom have become popular for a good reason – they’re simple to use, fast, reliable, and secure. They make it easy for team members scattered all over the globe to connect.

Decision-makers in many SMEs claim that adopting a hybrid model has given the much-needed boost to their business in different directions. They started allocating budgets to digitally transform their organizations to make their workforce more mobile, flexible, and efficient.

Implementing internal systems that allow workers to interact and work together seamlessly and conveniently is a game-changer if you opt for a hybrid workplace.

Find the Right Tech Systems for the Future of Work

integrated Tech Systems

According to different surveys, many companies adopted at least one new technology in 2021 to support their remote working teams. That can be a software program or application, a digital transformation of the communication strategy, or using new hardware devices.

The problem is that not every company manages to do it in the right way, and this can lead to frustration among employees, confusion about their role within the company, and even conflict between remote and office-based workers.

It is essential for you as managers to understand which technologies will work best. So how can you find the right solutions that will support you throughout the digital transformation process?

Crаft your Digital Transformation Strategy

Digital Transformation Strategy

There are new challenges that arise with the hybrid workplace model. Managing these successfully means solving an entirely different set of problems than what you may have faced in your company’s past.

A successful digital transformation is not just about implementing the latest technologies and trends. It also requires navigating through several unforeseen obstacles along the way like workforce management, VPN connectivity, and security concerns for both employees’ data privacy or business continuity needs. It can quickly overwhelm any IT department given their limited resources at disposal (both manpower-wise but especially financial). That makes managing this process extremely important if we want companies around us – large or small –to stay competitive in global markets.

As experts report an increased number of cyberattacks last year, companies should invest in more sophisticated technologies to reduce their risk exposure.

Using advanced tech solutions helps you manage the digital transformation of your business and minimize the risks.

You should plan the process carefully, as some technologies may require additional licensing or building extra infrastructure. That can postpone the shifting to hybrid work arrangements for your employees.
The digital transformation requires managers to put a greater emphasis on the quality of their technologies rather than on their quantity. You will have to find the solutions that work best for your company and employees.

A current survey by Microsoft Office 360 digital workplace solution suggests that almost half of the employees (41%) feel overwhelmed and stressed by the number of tools they need to use daily.
That implies that organizations wanting to embrace a hybrid workforce should invest in digital solutions that are cross-compatible and comprehensive. You should also ensure that your employees receive the proper training to use the tech programs and not to increase the feeling of being overwhelmed.

Find a Trusted Partner To Support your Hybrid Workforce

Mixvoip helps hybrid workforce

Once you create your strategy for shifting to a hybrid workplace model, you will probably search for telecom to facilitate your digital transformation.

Search no more! At Mixvoip, we help businesses manage their digital transformation effectively and ensure that they are ready to embrace a hybrid workforce. We offer in-house designed cloud solutions that work seamlessly together and cover all your collaboration needs.

If you opt for our all-around business phone system Voxbi, you will have access to multiple advanced features, including:

  • Smart call routing based on your real-time and presence status to ensure each call will be answered by the most qualified and available worker;
  • Integrations with your favorite customer management applications or collaboration tools (Microsoft Teams included) to speed up your teamwork and enhance customer service provided by you;
  • Option to use international numbers from more than 100 countries, which allows you to avoid high phone bills if your customers are located in multiple regions.
  • Mobile apps like a softphone ensure you get access to all business phone features on your mobile device.

With such solutions, your company can develop strategies that are tailored to your consumers’ needs.

Hybrid Workforce is here to stay

business phone system in the cloud

As more and more businesses move away from traditional office setups, the hybrid workforce will continue to grow in popularity.

If you wish to move your organization into the future and develop a hybrid workforce, be sure to keep these factors in mind. By flexibility, technology, and communication, we mean that companies need to allow for a degree of flexibility in how, when, and where employees work. They should also provide the appropriate tools for employees to do their tasks effectively. The technology you choose should ensure that the communication process between remote and office coworkers is smooth and seamless.

With so many options for companies looking to embrace a hybrid work model, it can be challenging to know where you should begin! However, with the right tech solutions at your disposal, along with effective communication strategies between employees and management, you can be sure that your business will benefit from embracing the hybrid workforce.