The transition to a more hybrid workforce in nearly every industry isn’t over. There is still much to explore, discover, and learn even after the COVID-19 pandemic of the past two years. And overarching this monumental shift is WFM software systems (work from home).
A recent survey and research findings by Stanford University’s Institute for Economic Policy Research shows 55 percent of office employees want to spend “some time in the office and some time at home.” Meanwhile, 25 percent want to work at home full-time and 20 percent only want to work in the office.
While hybrid work might be the dominant model and buzzword of the future, the transition won’t be seamless according to research by education and development firm Talent Management. Human resource leaders will likely encounter ongoing challenges that require agility and resilience.
Fortunately, employee management software providers for small businesses, medium-size companies, and large corporations in all types of industries are taking the inventive lead in modernizing today’s legacy-old staff administration and human resource systems. But before you learn how to overcome the challenges, you must first take a quick dive into the hurdles.
Challenges When Implementing Hybrid Work for the Long-Term
Here are the most common difficulties that small businesses, companies, corporations, organizations and government employers could encounter after deciding to take the hybrid model route:
- Possible added infrastructure costs: Hybrid work doesn’t mean office work is gone. Instead, it allows employees to work in physical spaces and wherever they feel comfortable. Consider the resources you’ll need for real estate, rent, maintenance and technology infrastructure. Continuous communication, compliance, and efficient work require stellar software and data-sharing systems. Hence, you might have to invest in a cloud SaaS or an applications tracking system (ATS) to ensure collaboration across departments and teams.
- Maintaining a balance between organizational agility and tech innovation: The post-pandemic future will likely bring more changes and surprises that require fast reactions and stability. That is why business resilience is among the most significant elements in hybrid work. HR leaders must be ready for new challenges and have the necessary technology and agility to persevere. Prepare for uncertainty and adapt to tech innovations that will continue changing the industry.
- Communication might become messy: Collaboration across office and work from home teams might become hard to track. You might find departments can’t keep up with what the other is doing and align their goals. Stable collaborative platforms ensure efficient data sharing and confident employees. Hence, a potentially messy communication that seems to be all over the place is among the principal obstacles HR professionals could encounter.
- Onboarding needs to adapt and enhance new-employee experiences: Hybrid work requires cohesive regulations and rules. Have a plan for onboarding new employees and decide what model works best for them. Adapt your onboarding program to each employee and ensure it’s ever-evolving and ready to react to uncertainty.
- If not implemented well, employees could struggle with burnout: Establish clear expectations and agree with your employees about their work hours and schedules. Ensure you’re on the same page or else they might feel unsure when their workday finishes, resulting in burnout. Moreover, avoid contacting your staff on their free days and weekends at all costs. Even when they don’t work in the office, employees should finish their assignments and have free time afterward.
- Not every worker will like the idea of hybrid work: Not all employees will be happy to work from home and the office. Some feel more comfortable working remotely and would prefer to skip in-person days. Inform your staff before launching this model and ensure everyone can choose what works best for them.
- Company culture will need reinforcement: Before and after transitioning to hybrid work, your company culture requires additional support and exposure. Show employees that the workplace atmosphere, company mission, and business goals won’t change.
- It might be harder to track and measure employee productiveness: When employees work from home, it might be harder to track their progress, see if they need help, and react if they aren’t doing their job. Because of that, productivity KPIs (key performance indicators) might be off base, and you’ll have to identify a strategy to improve employee performance, regardless of where they work.
How to Overcome These Hybrid Work Challenges
After your business or organization transitions to hybrid work, you’ll likely encounter various difficulties that might make you doubt your decision. Here’s how you can solve these issues, alongside a cutting-edge workforce management software solution that you put in place:
- Plan the budget ahead of time and eliminate redundant expenses: Assess your resources well in advance of budgeting season, as well as your business needs and future goals. Align your budget with these insights and only invest in things that add value and help your company work efficiently and navigate hybrid work more smoothly. Cut unnecessary expenses and only spend on relevant technology and appliances.
- Maintain continuous communication: Regular collaboration across departments, teams, and units is essential for hybrid work. Every employee should know how their work intertwines with other people and be able to share data with others easily. Remote workers should have the necessary means to communicate virtually and participate in meetings.
- Create equitable environments: When meetings occur with people together in-person along with others joining virtually, those in the room tend to dominate the meeting. Naturally, they are able to have sidebar discussions, see more body language, and easily talk over those who are virtual. Pay special attention so that everyone is being treated equally and everyone is respectful of one another so all can feel included. This is an especially important component for the success of hybrid work environments.
- Improve work-balance strategies: Ensure every employee has a reasonable workload and can handle the number of their assignments. Everyone should have the same rights and responsibilities regardless of whether they work from home or the office. Assess your work-balance strategies and tweak elements that don’t align with the hybrid work framework. That way, you’ll establish standards that promote employee wellness and prevent burnout.
The safest way to implement hybrid work efficiently at your small business or organization is to have a mindful and well-thought-out approach that allows you to respond to uncertainty and helps employees embrace this system. A total workforce management service that successfully monitors and delivers on-demand to meet the unique needs of your remote workforce management is optimal to remain competitive.
This model represents a well-rounded combination of remote-and-office work, and it enables employees to opt for the one that aligns best with their preferences and needs.