Hybrid work is at its highest adoption rate at 38% of the people Microsoft surveyed recently in their Work Trend Index Report. Furthermore, 53% of the people responded that they will consider adopting hybrid work within a year. Easier said than done! Building a quality hybrid work policy that is well communicated ensures better adoption and satisfaction by employees.
38% of hybrid employees say their biggest challenge with hybrid work is knowing when and why to come into the office. At the same time, only 28% of leaders have created a hybrid work policy or guidelines to define why and when to go to the office.
In this post, we will compile a hybrid work policy together based on our experience working with hundreds of companies.
Simply put, a hybrid work policy outlines where, how, and when employees should work in the office or remotely. On the surface, it sounds like a very straightforward and easy policy! When we look deeper though, it becomes clear how sensitive this topic is today, after 2 years of working almost completely remote. Then the different teams each have different working requirements, preferences, and expectations about their schedules. It can get messy easily.
Your policy should outline your expectations and responsibilities for your hybrid workforce, and layout a set of guidelines for hybrid workplace operations. That includes any requirements, processes, and best practices for employees to follow to determine their work hybrid schedule inter-team and cross-team coordination.
The process of building the policy should be inclusive, collaborative, and designed with input from diverse employees. Many companies are adopting a fully flexible, loose policy where employees and teams can build their schedules themselves. Others are building stricter policy, which outlines set rules like specific office days or the number of days in the office. Usually, stricter policies will also incorporate more details and information about the different teams and roles and emphasizes the role of in-person collaboration.
Last but not least, specificity and clear communication are essential as you build and roll out your hybrid work guidelines.
The hybrid work policy is usually owned, built, communicated, and maintained by the Human Capital (HC/HR) department. There are many different roles and departments that are involved too, like Facilities and Office management, IT, as well as various management and leadership positions.
As discussed, the hybrid work policy should be co-created with your key stakeholders – your employees. Then it should answer any questions and clearly communicate all working guidelines. In a nutshell, it should answer the question – ‘How do we work?’. This may include detailed schedules or guidelines for scheduling. Eventually, it may also include an approvals process to establish and enforce the rules in stricter policies.
The following is the list of questions that can guide you in what to include in the policy. Following the Golden Circle by Simon Sinek, we will start with the Why, then the How, and end with the What:
Always remember that hybrid work is a very big change for your employees, including the leaders and everyone involved. As with any other change, you can follow a thoughtful process that can ensure higher adoption and better results. The general rule of change management suggests that the following 8 steps can help make it seamless:
You can learn more by watching this short video called ‘Our iceberg is melting‘! I’m sure you will love it.
Trust is the foundation of hybrid and flexible work! You have to trust your employees and teams that they will get their job done—and trust that they know the best way to do it. A hybrid work policy allows you to set guidelines, create clarity, and empower people to build schedules that work for them. As a result of it, you will see better engagement, more productive employees, and a flexible work culture that thrives.
If you want to learn more, you can download our free “Guidelines and Policies for Optimizing your Hybrid Workplace” eBook!
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