Since the pandemic, the ability to work from home for at least part of the working week has become the new normal. This increased flexibility has transformed the lives of millions of people by reducing commuting times and travel costs, simplifying childcare arrangements, and breaking down geographical constraints within the job market.
Whilst there’s no denying the benefits of hybrid working for employees, setting the groundwork for this mode of work is a lot more complicated than just handing out laptops.
We take a look at some essential considerations every senior leader or business owner should take into account before giving hybrid working the green light.
Protecting client privacy and keeping data secure
When employees work in public places using public Wi-Fi, their devices become vulnerable to potential hacking attempts. However, using a VPN significantly enhances the security of your company’s data and the privacy of online activities. By employing encryption, a VPN protects both identity and IP addresses, creating a secure tunnel for data transfer and safeguarding against potential data theft on public or shared Wi-Fi networks. This encryption extends its protective layer to banking and financial information, ensuring its confidentiality regardless of the network used. Moreover, combining a VPN with robust password management significantly protects a company’s security measures. Password managers aid in generating and storing strong, unique passwords for each account, thereby reducing the risks associated with weak or reused passwords.
Monitoring productivity from afar
It can be tricky to get the balance right when it comes to ensuring that the work is getting done without appearing like an overbearing boss or micro-manager! The most important thing to remember is that it’s acceptable to address any disparity regarding the amount of work that’s being done at home and in the office, so long as you have the evidence to back it up.
If you’ve participated in any management training, you’ll likely have come across Peter Drucker’s theory of management by objectives. Whilst some feel this way of working has become a little outdated over the years, as Investopedia shows, it can still be a great tool to set and monitor performance goals when managing a hybrid team.
Setting time-specific and measurable targets will give you an instant indication of what is and isn’t getting done, making it simpler to address any concerns you may have regarding a team’s productivity. Simultaneously, these targets will avoid ambiguity, which will help your team massively when it comes to managing their to-do lists!
Implementing and designing an effective hybrid timetable
Anyone who’s been in charge of timetables and rotas will tell you that it’s a much bigger job than you may anticipate! It’s sometimes the smaller details that can take their toll and cause unnecessary stress. Therefore, consider whether you have the time and capacity to implement the rota or whether it’s something you need to delegate.
You may need to ensure that certain departments are always represented on-site or insist on specific times when all staff need to be present in the office. If this is the case, be up-front and inform staff that it may not be possible to accommodate everyone’s exact requests.
Once the system is in place, ensure that all information regarding who is working, when, and where is easily accessible by all relevant parties.
Navigating a business and juggling hybrid working can be a daunting procedure for any manager, and it’s not always going to be possible in every organization.
If you do decide to go ahead with a hybrid working scheme, take into account the above considerations before you put the wheels in motion. This should allow you to adopt a fair and transparent approach, which will help things run far more smoothly for both you and your newly hybrid team.