Implementing hybrid working

Written by Severina Ditzov

MMag. Severina Ditzov is one of the co-founders of The Collaboratory and Austria for beginners. She is a passionate lawyer with degrees from Sofia University and the University of Vienna and a dedicated Nightwish fan. The expat journey introduced her unexpectedly to social entrepreneurship and she can’t love it more! Our members have the privilege to get her professional help every time they have to deal with authorities or other third parties. She never fails to provide them with the best advice and gets their problem solved. Are you in the need of a business consultation? Look no further, and contact Severina at ditzovs(@)thecollaboratory.at today!

September 20, 2021

Implementing a hybrid working model is a big change. The success of this working and cultural shift depends not only on the structure and organization of your business but also on the personal view and needs of your employees. We gather some guiding lines based on our personal experience and our clients’ experience, which can help you to plan and execute the change easier:

 

#1 Consider the different team roles in the work process

Deciding on the right type of hybrid working model is crucial for its successful implementation.  You can dice between different options like:

  • At will model: your employees can work from home and can decide when to come to The Collaboratory, f.e. for meetings with clients, team meetings or to boost productivity
  • The split week model: If your company organization requires team meetings, which can’t hold online, you can decide on specific days in the week, where the team has to be on the side.
  • The split the team model: If you have different departments in your company you can decide that one department will come to The Collaboratory on specific days and others will stay at home.

To make this decision, think about the organization of your company and your main operations. (make a table! We love working with tables at The Collaboratory) What do these operations require? Some of them are “made” for the hybrid working model. For example, the marketing team can easily fit to the at-will or split the week model. A sales team on the other hand will have more meetings with clients.  Depending on the client’s need your sales agent can either hold the meeting at The Collaboratory, or online. 

Our helpful consulting manager will guide you through every step of this process, so you can make the best decision for your business.

#2 Update your working  policies 

Every team member has to be aware of when and where they can work, and have a clear way of communicating it with the others. Additionally, you have to clarify what will be the roles and responsibilities of every position, which will adopt the hybrid working model. Last, but not least you will need to review other policies in your company  (such as data protection policy, official postal address for communication, bringing physical files and documentation in and out etc.). Those have to be in compliance with the new hybrid model you’ve adopted and their exact content will depend on your business’ specifics.

Keep in mind that the hybrid working model is a relatively new concept, so the policies may be adapted over time. Make sure that everyone in the company is informed about the changes and receives supporting guidance and information on how to make use of it. Our onboarding team knows his way around documentation, so you will be in safe hands about this when choosing The Collaboratory.

#3 Consider the legal implications 

Part of your responsibilities as an employer is to make sure your operation is legally compliant. That means the contracts of your employees need to be updated in accordance with the hybrid working model. Employees’ rights stay the same whether they are working fully remote, fully onsite or hybrid. What you should change is the rules about using private equipment, data storing and sharing, just to name a few.

If you are feeling overwhelmed just by the mention of the word “contract”, we can help with that too.  

#4 Communication is everything 

The core of Hybrid working is good communication. Having part of the team onsite and part of it in the home-office, requires work communication to be more intentional. Everyone has to be aware of the respective responsibility for the communication flow. This can happen with direct guidelines in your working policies on one side (i.e. “Employees are not obligated to read and answer emails outside their working times; employees have to include working times in their e-mail signature etc.).  Teams should be encouraged to establish their practices and rules for communication within the team.

To support the implementation of your communication policy, you have to choose software for asynchronous communication. This is how you can avoid awfully long online meetings and never-ending emails – by using tools like Slack, or implementing some of the chat software available online.

# 5 Ensure equal treatment of all team members 

Encourage your team to make use of the hybrid working model.  If you notice that one of your team members is not taking full advantage of the freedom of choice you’ve given them, give them a little nudge. There is value in taking care of your people!

Make sure there is no room to be biased when making decisions about benefits, promotion, etc.  What do we mean? Employees, who spend more time working onsite are often more likely to be part of companies’ lunches, receive birthday parties, and have face-to-face contact with their managers. The decision who will get that promotion or get to lead the next project should not be made based on the fact who worked onsite more often.

Ready to go hybrid?

GET AN OFFER

You May Also Like…

Managing hybrid teams

Managing hybrid teams

Good managers know that putting your team first is the key to high performance. But how to do that in an environment...