Top hybrid working challenges and how to solve them
It’s clear now that hybrid working is the preferred route most companies choose for their new work approach. In a recent survey, TravelPerk found that 76% of employers have adopted a hybrid model. And many employees who have worked in a hybrid model indicated they’d like to continue with flexible working.
However, this shift to hybrid working comes with its own unique set of challenges. The same TravelPerk survey found that 26% of employees missed meeting their teams face-to-face. And 9% of respondents felt Hybrid working made maintaining work/life balance harder. The transition to hybrid working can be difficult for employees without proper employer support.
So how can you properly support employees during their first forays into hybrid working and battle the challenges that often come along for the ride? Let’s take a look.
Key challenges of hybrid working
It’s clear that hybrid work has many benefits. Greater flexibility for employees can lead to increased productivity and creativity. But there are serious challenges companies need to prepare for when choosing a hybrid work model.
Hybrid makes communication and collaboration harder because coworkers are spread across different working locations. And how do you build culture and connection in a hybrid environment? And perhaps most importantly, scheduling can be a challenge when employees are in different locations or working on different schedules.
Let’s look at each of these challenges in more detail and see how we can solve them.
Communication and collaboration
Hybrid teams are often spread across different locations, making communication challenging. It’s no longer as simple as dropping by your coworker’s desk to catch up on a project. Communication has to be intentional, which is something workers will need to get used to. Additionally, some team members may be working asynchronously, which can cause delayed responses to important messages.
And important tone markers often get lost in text communication, leading to misunderstandings and miscommunication.
Bad communication can be devastating to businesses. A recent study by Grammarly and the Harris Poll found that companies lose an estimated $1.2 trillion each year to ineffective communication.
Collaboration can be complex for the same reason. You must find ways to enable your teams to communicate and collaborate no matter where they work.
How to solve communication and collaboration problems for hybrid teams
To effectively work together across remote and hybrid teams, it is essential to give employees the tools to communicate effectively, like project management software and video conferencing platforms.
Additionally, it is crucial to have clear policies and best practices for communication between team members, managers, and clients. For example, you may want to decide what tasks merit an email versus a chat message or how often managers will check in with teammates via video calls.
By clearly establishing expectations and communication protocols, you can help ensure hybrid teams can effectively collaborate and communicate with one another.
Culture and connection
Creating a cohesive culture can be difficult in any company, and hybrid working only makes it harder. Spreading everyone across different locations makes developing a shared set of values hard. Establishing shared values is especially important for new employees who joined your company during or after the pandemic — they may never have been in the office full time. They won’t know what your culture was like pre-pandemic.
And because communication is more complicated when hybrid working, employees can struggle to form meaningful relationships with their colleagues. Companies need to find ways to foster these relationships because they’re essential when trying to create a productive, trust-based workplace.
Solving culture and connection issues
The key to solving culture and connection issues is to be flexible and open-minded and to find creative ways to bring everyone together around a common goal. Creating a cohesive culture in a hybrid workplace is possible — it just takes a little extra effort.
Managers must find new ways to promote and shape their company culture for all employees, no matter where they are. Company culture is vital for potential recruits — you want to find ways to set yourself apart from your competitors and convince people why working for you will be better than working elsewhere. Luckily, you can do a few things to help foster a cohesive culture within your company:
- Schedule regular check-ins with all employees to let everyone feedback on their work experience.
- Make the times you bring everyone into the office feel unique, meaningful, and worthwhile.
- Celebrate important moments virtually and in person for those who can’t come into the office.
By taking these steps, you’ll be well on your way to creating a cohesive culture within your company.
Hybrid working can be a great way to provide more flexibility for employees, but it can also make scheduling more challenging. If you’re using hot-desking or desk hoteling, it can be challenging for employees to book desks or workstations if they’re not in the office. And if you have employees working from home, it can be challenging to coordinate meeting times that work for everyone.
If you’re running hybrid meetings, booking the correct conference room with all the audio-visual equipment you need at just the right time can be a struggle.
And if you’re letting employees choose which days they’ll work from the office and which days they’ll stay home, it can be hard to keep track of who’s working where and when.
Solving hybrid scheduling problems
Fortunately, solving hybrid scheduling woes is pretty easy — all you need is a good workplace scheduling solution. Desk and room booking software helps employees book desks, meeting rooms, and equipment. The software you choose should also integrate with your email and messaging platforms like Teams and Outlook, making bookings easy to access and integrate into daily workflows. And desk booking software should collect accurate usage data to help you reconfigure your office based on how your staff uses the space.
Solve scheduling and communication challenges with Smartway2
Feeling frustrated with your current scheduling and communication tools?
We created Smartway2 to solve the common challenges businesses face when getting people, spaces, and schedules working in unison. We understand that a productive workplace is a key to a successful business, so we offer features like optimized space utilization and resource efficiency to help you get the most out of your team.
Smartway2 also offers booking anywhere, anytime functionality so employees can easily pre-book desks and meeting rooms from anywhere with a few simple taps. And our industry-leading integration with Outlook, Exchange, Office 365, and Outlook for Mac makes it easy to get started with Smartway2. You won’t find another more advanced or reliable solution for your hybrid work challenges.
Find out more about SmartWay2 today by booking a demo. And stay tuned to the Smartway2 blog to learn more about all things hybrid working.