As you and your company are embarking on your hybrid work journey, you may feel slight concern over just how productive your employees will be in this new setup. Perhaps you’re worried about your employees not being as productive as they would be in the old system, however, while your concern is warranted, you are presented with a great opportunity to allow your employees freedom, while also trusting them and creating a pleasant environment.
This article will teach you how to keep your employees as productive as possible in the hybrid workplace in a few easy steps.
Step 1: Provide the right technology
One of the most important steps to maximizing productivity in the workspace is making sure that your employees have the right technology tools at their disposal. Often in workplaces, people spend too much time on tasks that could be easily automated. This results in a significant loss of time and productivity, which can be easily changed by simply investing in the right technology and tools to help with automation.
The first thing you need to do to figure out what you need for your workspace is take a look at the tasks your employees are doing and try to figure out which ones are unnecessarily taking too much time. There may be solutions for problems you didn’t know you had.
One excellent first step to take is to make sure you have a booking management system set in place for all your employees to be able to use easily. A booking management software can help increase efficiency in your workplace as it will save you time in manually booking rooms and keeping track of everything.
One great option is Archie, a leading flexible workspace management software. Archie has many features that can benefit your business, including automated room and desk booking, an interactive floor plan, community features for your employees to take advantage of, and many others.
Step 2: Have an integrated workplace
The next step after deciding on the right technology for your space is to make sure that your office is well integrated. What this means is that in an integrated workspace you will have a set of technological tools that allow for the smoothest operations for your team to work productively and without any issues.
Some of the benefits of an integrated workspace include greater automation, leading to an increase in productivity as opposed to wasting time on time-consuming tasks, lower overall costs, more familiarity with your space, among others.
Step 3: Create an optimal environment
An important aspect to consider in your hybrid work model is how your space is set up and what kind of options you are giving your employees for their work experience. In order to make sure that your employees are comfortable and doing their best work, you need to create a space with different space types.
Types of spaces:
- Collaboration spaces: The most common type of collaboration space is a conference room. If you see that your employees often need to work together or that you have a department that often has many meetings then make sure you allocate an adequately equipped conference room that will suit their needs. Other types of collaborative workspaces include hot desk areas, where people can go and sit at desks together and work on their own tasks or with each other.
- Private offices: If your employees need privacy and quiet in order to perform their tasks, then make sure that you have plenty of private offices where the people that need them most can access them.
- Informal meeting areas: Unlike conference rooms, these can include just a space where people can gather and socialize or have casual meetings. These can include kitchen areas, lounges, and so on.
- Quiet areas: If you find that most of your employees need quiet to work productively, but you simply cannot give them all private offices, a great option is to set up a hot desk area and label it as a silent workspace. That way, most of your employees will be able to access a comfortable area and not have to worry about getting distracted.
The best thing to do is to analyze your employees’ work patterns, and involve them in the decision. This will enable you to make sure that your space has everything it needs for them to be able to succeed in their tasks.
Step 4: Set clear expectations
In a hybrid work model, it is essential that you communicate with your employees what your expectations of them are and will be moving forward. With a lot of ambiguity at the beginning, your employees will feel more secure and motivated if they know what is expected of them early on. Setting expectations will also help you build trust and form a healthy environment for both you and your employees.
Try these strategies when figuring out how to set expectations to your employees:
1. Set expectations early: The earlier you set expectations up the better. This will allow everyone to be prepared for what is to come, and know what they are supposed to do and when.
2. Focus on objectives: Be clear when you bring objectives to your employees. Instead of focusing on the process, it takes to get to an objective, try concentrating on the objective itself. You don’t need to control every aspect of how your employee completes a task, but rather allow them to do it in their own way.
3. Settle upon three things:
- What are the expected hours of work?
- What are the communication expectations?
- How will employees notify each other of their availability and non-availability?
Once you have done the above things, and have all the answers to the three questions then you can be sure that your team will be able to thrive in the environment that you have set before them.
Step 5: Ask for feedback
The best way to understand your employees and their work is to ask them about it. Feedback is important when making decisions about how you will run your hybrid workspace. By understanding your staff’s perspective, you will be able to gain more insight than you thought possible. Through feedback, you will be able to recognize why some of your employees are more productive than others and encourage everyone else through informed practices.
Here are some ways to collect feedback:
- Digital feedback channel on Slack: If you don’t have slack, you can use whatever other method of communication you have, but if you do have Slack, a great option is to have a channel dedicated to feedback where people who don’t mind their identity revealed to add suggestions or feedback.
- Workplace suggestion box: This is a more physical way of getting feedback but great for the anonymous option. Set up a suggestion box in the workspace somewhere, where your team could drop in suggestions at any point. You could then empty your bin every month or so, according to your preferences.
- Consecutive surveys: These are surveys that are done regularly, could be weekly or monthly. These short surveys will be on specific topics such as employee satisfaction, communication, and work environment.
- Longer surveys: These types of surveys will also be consecutive but will be done much more rarely and will consist of multiple-choice questions, fill-in-the-blank, and even options to write down other thoughts. Depending on what you want, they can cover the same topics or more and allow your employees to say more.
Step 6: Give people autonomy
Trying to control every single aspect of how your employees do their work is not only unrealistic, but it’s actually more harmful than it is beneficial. It might seem like the natural thing to do, but allowing your employees to have some autonomy will highly increase their productivity.
One study suggests that increased perceived autonomy can significantly improve individual and group productivity. This can also positively affect their mood. Giving people autonomy does not mean you will have to pass off the torch to them completely and stay out of their business. Instead, it means that you’ll allow them to be flexible with their schedule (as much as your company allows) and that you will allow them to work and go about their tasks in ways that benefit them and make them comfortable and productive.
It may be hard at first to take a step back, but recognizing that your employees are capable and trustworthy will create a great environment where productivity will be at its highest.
Productivity is important to any business and making sure you know how to optimize it is essential in a hybrid workspace. Although it may seem like a lot, following the steps above will ensure that your employees are well equipped and managed to perform their tasks to the best of their abilities.