As we emerge from an extended season of most employees working entirely remotely, many organizations are wondering what their new normal should look like. In many cases, companies are opting for an in-between solution and adapting to a hybrid work environment.
The exact setup may look different for each company. For example, it could mean some employees return to the office full-time, and some stay fully remote. Or it could mean that each employee mixes some days in the office and some days working from home.
No matter what you’re envisioning for your firm, use these tips for adapting to a hybrid work environment:
Let’s dive deeper into these tips for adapting to a hybrid work environment!
When the work-from-home guidelines abruptly took effect in 2020, they left many people struggling to adapt to the change all at once. Don’t put your staff through that again! Instead, try starting everyone off with just one or two days back in the office (and let them pick which days if you can, or schedule different teams on different days). This way, everyone can find their feet in office life again, and might even look forward to their days!
It’s essential to be flexible and considerate of employees’ needs, but also balance this with ensuring that you treat everyone fairly. If John gets to choose his own hours, let Mike and Jane do it too. If you have an office dress code, don’t be afraid to bend the rules — as long as you’re bending them equally. (After all, everyone is accustomed to more casual dress now!)
After over a year without a commute, some employees may underestimate the traffic and trickle in a few minutes late now and then. Since they haven’t seen their coworkers face to face, there might be a little extra time spent catching up at the water cooler. Some employees may have figured out a new schedule to manage family life and need to juggle things around again. Be understanding and prepared for possible short-term changes in productivity levels.
Many managers still have a mindset that they need to be looking over an employee’s shoulder to keep them accountable and working hard. However, studies support the idea that employees are just as productive, if not more, when working remotely. When evaluating your employees, try to focus on the quality of their work, not whether they physically did it in the office. If you’re offering a hybrid work schedule, it’s important not to penalize well-performing employees who aren’t in the office as often.
With a distributed workforce, you want to make sure you’re housing all critical documents, notes, best practices, standards, and more somewhere that’s easy for everyone to access. A full-featured AEC knowledge management system like Pinnacle Series is a great place to centralize your internal information storage, distribute details of announcements and company changes, and designate internal subject matter experts.
High-quality collaboration tools are more important than ever since teams can be scattered all over the place now! Set up systems to easily video-conference in any employees who aren’t in the office, so they can still participate in brainstorming sessions and team meetings. Use software that multiple people can access and annotate at the same time. Encourage everyone to stay in touch with each other and their teams over instant messaging or collaboration platforms. (Pinnacle Series comes with a variety of built-in collaboration tools too!)
Lastly, you want to make sure you can equally train and upskill your employees with high-quality learning and development material, no matter where they are. Pinnacle Series is the ideal solution for hybrid-working AEC companies, with expert-developed courses on dozens of popular AEC software programs.
Want to check out Pinnacle Series for yourself? We’d love to schedule a demo or free trial for you whenever it’s convenient. Reach out today!
If you’re already a Pinnacle Series customer, log in now to explore the features that will help make transitioning to a hybrid work environment a breeze for your organization.