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How to Make Hybrid Working Work for You

Our way of working has changed beyond all recognition over the past few years, with more and more of us spending office hours at home.

With a return to relative normality, hybrid working – where employees divide their time between the office and home – has become more widely acceptable and among its many positives is the fact that it helps people to have a much better work/life balance.

Of course, one of the first questions to ask is does hybrid working work? It should – but that all depends on what measures an employer has in place to encourage, stimulate and motivate their staff if they can’t meet them face to face.

Self-motivated people will always commit to doing their job, regardless of where they are based, but if there are team members who don’t function as well because they don’t have that office camaraderie, then it’s about trying to recreate that same environment at home.

What are the Benefits of Hybrid Working?

There are many benefits of hybrid working. Firstly, you don’t have that daily dash to beat the traffic and get to the office on time, arriving frazzled and stressed. Secondly there’s a flexibility that might not exist if you must leave your workplace bang on time to pick up the kids/collect the dogs etc.

Yes, you may nip into your kitchen during the day to put on the washing or take half an hour out to watch Loose Women with a cuppa, but at the same time, staff are also far more likely to work longer because they are at home – and also work smarter.

Making Office Days Fun and Engaging

Because the team isn’t together day in and day out, it is important to ensure everyone is bonded so it’s worth coming up with some fun office ideas which can help strengthen those relationships. It could be some team building exercises, ten minutes at the start of the day for an ice breaker game – there’s all manner of things you can do to ensure everyone is operating as one.

The look of the surroundings of the workplace are also important so think long and hard about office decorations. Creating a pleasant and welcoming environment will boost positivity which in turn means you’ll get far more out of your employees.

So how can an office be made more attractive? The good news that this is more about being imaginative and thinking outside of the box than having to spend a fortune. How about some posters with motivational quotes, wall planners, or a wall display where you can showcase your employee of the month?

It’s also a good idea to think about how those employees who are working from home can recreate the office environment. Branded notepads, mugs and even a mousemat with your company logo on will all go towards making them feel part of a team – despite the fact that for so many days each week that’s only virtually.

Motivating Your Staff

Keeping motivated is one of the challenges of hybrid working, so think about incentives to inspire your team. You could produce vouchers for things such as a coffee or snack in a local café, which would have the added bonus of also supporting local, independent businesses who may well reciprocate and put opportunities your way.

It may also be worth looking at putting some voucher booklets together for a range of offers for staff – it may require a little bit of extra effort at your end, but it will pay off in terms of staff loyalty.

One of the downsides of hybrid working is that people can feel isolated and may not have the day-to-day interaction that they would if they were all in the same room. Why not invite your team to a staff night out in a personal and traditional manner such as an invitation posted to their home? The invites will give a lovely personal touch whilst the night out itself will undoubtedly bring your team together.

Why not take photos using a company selfie frame (plus any that your staff have taken) and combine them into a company yearbook? Much like the end of school/college tradition, it would be a fantastic keepsake for all your staff at the end of every year. There could be spaces to sign messages to each other, memories of office events and days out, and biographies of the team.

There are lots of options for producing books of this nature. How about an office cookery book where everyone submits their favourite recipes? Another great way of getting staff to bond and it may be that you could even sell copies to support a local good cause or charity.

Hybrid working is very much the way forward and with that in mind, it’s important for companies – regardless of their size – to ensure that their staff still feel part of a team. Some clever ideas, some great marketing and branding and you’ll have people who will remain loyal, hardworking and will always want to do their best.

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