In a post-pandemic world, many companies have gone back to business as usual, but now workers have had a taste of working from home, their relationship to their work has shifted, wanting the opportunity to work flexibly around their home lives to continue. It’s now up to businesses to ensure this new way of working works for the employer as well as the employee.
It has been well documented in the media that jobseekers are in control of the market and employers are struggling to find the perfect candidate. Employers need to make quick and competitive offers, showcase their company culture and career opportunities, but some would argue that most importantly, offering flexibility is what candidates are really looking for in a new role. Equally, those in their current roles want flexibility, or may start to look elsewhere for an employer that does!
Getting back to the office has been a welcome relief for many, but offering flexibility for your employees is a great way of offering a work/life balance that wasn’t previously available. However, effective hybrid working needs to work for you, too. Having a strategy in place to ensure changes to your management style and use of technology is important for effective working for your team.
Design the perfect business model that will allow your business to thrive. Every business is unique, so it’s important that you consider what does and does not work for your business. For example, if you’re a creative company that needs to collaborate together as a team, ensure there are specific days in the week or month that everyone comes in for planning and design meetings.
Exploit all the features of your virtual meeting software, such as Microsoft Teams. So many businesses just use it for chat and video calls, but there’s so much more you can do with it. By using it as your virtual HQ, you could fully utilise its collaborative features including automated approval workflows, activity management and AI chatbots. Our Strategic Advisor Mark Flynn has created several videos dedicated to looking into the many features of Microsoft Teams, and how you can use them for your business here https://bit.ly/3ENlCcg
As we mentioned earlier, employees look for a good company culture, and building a strong hybrid company culture will help with both staff retention and preventing employee burnout. Ensuring your employees feel trusted with managers checking they’re happy with their workload or just to have a chat can make those at home feel valued and considered. There have been many conversations surrounding those. ‘missed water cooler moments’. Creating virtual meeting spaces once or twice a day when employees can join for a chat with other employees if their calendar is free is a great way of offering a space to those that fancy connecting with their colleagues.
Another thing to consider when offering hybrid/flexible working is the security of your business. We, as an IT services company, feel this is one of the most important things businesses need to establish before letting employees work from anywhere else but the office.
Once they log in to your businesses network from an external environment, without the correct security in place, your business could be exposed to an unimaginable number of threats. It is imperative that every device used for work is protected with malware software, ensuring SSL VPN (secure sockets layer virtual private network) connections are in place for every user, keeping your network protected, and making sure MFA (multifactor Authentication) is used for all key LoB (line of business) applications.
Every business is different, and changes will undoubtedly need to be made as time goes on, but once virtual meetings, culture and security are in-place, you should have a good basis for a thriving hybrid working environment for you and your team.
If you’re thinking about offering flexible/hybrid working to your team and would like to discuss how to ensure a smooth roll-out, get in touch with our team.