Hybrid working introduces many questions.

Who works from the office? How often?

How do we keep remote employees engaged?

When and why are teammates expected to get together?

How will we ensure quality collaboration, both in-person and remotely?

How will we monitor performance?

The fact is, there’s no clear consensus on what “hybrid” means. Hybrid working will take a distinct form, company to company, business model to business model, culture to culture, workforce to workforce. But there are universal keystones for its success.

Quick look: 4 keystones of an effective hybrid working strategy

  1. Let employees guide your approach to hybrid working
  2. Define metrics of success (at the onset) in order to adapt per feedback in time
  3. Make the office a space of socialization and connection
  4. Prioritize hybrid meeting spaces and high-quality hybrid meetings

Let employees guide your approach to hybrid working.

Hybrid work looks different, organization to organization. Different models and industries entail different working patterns and structures. To get it right, let’s first listen to our workforce. Their input can help form an approach that’s aligned with company culture — and that fully embraces employee expectations

– says Mateusz Barczyk, Senior Brand Manager, Hushoffice.

A hybrid work plan that hasn’t deliberated employee preferences is liable to disengage people and hurt culture. On the flip side, a thoughtfully considered, well-implemented hybrid strategy created by group effort can drive new collaboration as well as more productive independent work — it can help teams work better than before.

4 tips: an employee-driven hybrid working policy

  • Survey the workforce to understand current expectations, hopes, and concerns regarding hybrid work
  • Hold group workshops to get input on working policies
  • Frequently check in with managers and team leaders one-on-one
  • Gauge individual productivity, morale, engagement, and well-being every quarter using surveys

Define metrics of success (at the onset) in order to adapt per feedback in time

Like any element of a large organization, determining what “success” looks like and figuring out how to gauge it can be difficult. But it’s also a prerequisite to course-correcting in time. Employee engagement is a wise metric to focus on first as it affects a multitude of principal business drivers (performance, retention, profitability…).

Data points, surveys, and 1:1 meetings help illuminate the path forward.

Monitoring the right metrics will reveal what aspects of your strategy are and aren’t working. Not only do frequent surveys and one-on-ones lend each employee’s pulse — they make the team feel heard, that their experience is being considered, and their input is forming the long-term hybrid work plan. Data can also reveal opportunities — perhaps employees are more engaged when they work from home 3 days a week instead of 4. Or perhaps preferences and behavior may vary sharply by generation.

Sample survey — measuring employee engagement

  • How do you feel about your job today? Were you excited to sign in? Why or why not?
  • What do you like most about your work in general? What do you dislike most?
  • Do you find meaning in the projects you’re handed?
  • Tell me about your core team. What aspects do you enjoy? And not so much? Tell me about current challenges.
  • Are you motivated by our vision, mission, values?
  • Do you see yourself employed by us in a year? 5 years?
  • Have you ever considered moving on? If so, why?
  • Would you recommend our organization to friends? Why or why not?
  • In what ways are you proud of your employer and/or job? Not so proud?
  • Do you feel recognized? Tell me about a time your efforts weren’t appreciated.
  • Is your supervisor heavily invested in your success? Are you supported?
  • Do you have all the resources and tools needed for productive working in the office? At home? How about the resources/tools for collaboration?

Make the office a space of socialization and connection.

Employees are far happier and more productive when they feel connected to their colleagues. The thing is, social connection is an organic thing. It happens naturally face-to-face. Creative design and management of the workplace can help foster it

– lends Eliza Donek, Product Manager, Hushoffice.

The top thing employees missed about the office was “the people,” according to Gensler’s 2020 Work From Home Survey. At the same time, employees saw a stunning 37% decrease in collaborative time. This number is concerning, knowing that innovation has always been the way forward. The multifaceted dilemma of “WFH isolation” clearly defined the office’s primary role in a hybrid world — connection. Today’s office is a place of socialization, meetings, and collaborative work. Our recent article speaks in-depth on this topic.