Hybrid work is all about balance.
Finding the right mixture of time in and out of the office is a tricky situation that many employees and organizations are currently working on getting right.
Getting it right takes more than just a wardrobe change or making terrible, awful, no-good, very bad posters.
Deciding how your organization will balance remote and in the office is easier than most people think. To ensure your organization is doing what works best for you and your people, you need to offer flexibility, trust and communication.
The future will always be unpredictable. Heck, our first "returning to the office" article came out in July 2020! (What sweet summer children we were back then.) And the best way to counter unpredictability is to plan flexibility.
Over the past two years, people and organizations have found that many of their jobs can be done just as well outside the office. And many employers and employees seem to prefer it. A study out of the University of Chicago found that the flexibility to work from home at least one day a week boosted productivity by 4.8%.
To ensure your people are engaged and doing their best work, take the time to speak with each employee about how they feel they can do their best work and build a flexible hybrid schedule that works for them.
Society runs on trust. And so do workplaces.
To make sure hybrid work works for your people and organization, you'll need to establish a solid foundation of trust. Trust that managers are looking out for their employee's well-being and trust that employees are getting their work done.
For the longest time, the thought was that working from home was just a vacation with some emails peppered in. And some workplaces still can't get past this. Even though so many people proved that they can do their jobs as well, if not better, while still in a bathrobe.
There's no real trick to creating trust, just that you get back the trust that you give.
No hybrid work environment will work if people aren't talking. To make sure your hybrid work environment is thriving, think virtual first.
The entirety of work until now has been designed for in the office. When you're building your hybrid work structure, work from out to in. So try scheduling training about collaborating more effectively in a virtual setting. That way, your employees are all working from the same place even though they're not.
But now, if you're going to ask people to come in, give them a compelling reason.
Traffic is awful. So make sure a trip into the office is worth it for your people, or they'll look at you summoning them into the office the same way they look at a meeting that could have just been an email, a waste of time.
To build a great return to the office, develop a workplace value proposition that represents all the reasons your office is worth the trip.
It starts at the top
If you can establish a great foundation of flexibility, trust and communication with your hybrid workforce, you'll create teams that thrive at work, no matter where your people do it.
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