As vaccine distribution ramps up, a safe return to our offices will soon be possible.
Based on all indications, however, almost none of us are going to have 100% of our teams in on office 5 days a week; now that we know working from home works, most businesses will settle into a hybrid work environment with part of their team teleworking and part at the office on any given day.This is not a transition to be underestimated -- while we all made do hunkering down at home during the pandemic, this highly mobile, highly fluid arrangement brings with it lots of potential challenges as far as productivity, security, and engagement.
This is precisely what we've been helping our clients prepare for. After serving the technology needs of law firms and associations for 30 years, we know how important it is to take a proactive approach to these kinds of situations, not a reactive one.
To that end, we've identified the top 8 considerations that your company leadership needs to give some time and attention to over the coming weeks.
1. Tech Infrastructure - Will your team be productive?
Will your existing technology infrastructure support a highly mobile workforce? Will it be a headache for them to transition from the office, to home, and back?
2. Cybersecurity - Will your team be protected?
When the dust settles, how many locations will your team work from? Will you maintain proper security at each location? Do you need to consider new defenses or policies?
3. Engagement - Will your team be connected?
When part of the is team remote and the rest are on-site, how do you create a dynamic where each person can participate and contribute on an even playing field?
4. Idea Exchange - Will your team be innovative?
Spontaneous encounters deepen relationships and spark ideas. Can you replicate this with teleworkers? Should certain people be scheduled in the office at the same time?
5. Expectations - Will your team be informed?
Are there clear and consistent guidelines for when employees should come into the office, and when they should work from home? Have you communicated them?
6. Evaluation Bias - Will your team be treated fairly?
Is your performance evaluation system biased towards on-site workers? Can you create new metrics that reward employees fairly regardless of their physical location?
7. Training - Will your team be empowered?
If you introduced new tech, have you trained your team on how to use it safely and effectively? Do your managers know how to lead a dispersed team well?
8. Measurement - Will your team be successful?
How and how frequently will you measure whether your approach is achieving the intended results? Do you have the right metrics?
As you can see, there's a lot to think through and plan for when it comes to hybrid work environments.
The good news is that while we had almost no opportunity to plan for our quick transition to working from home (quarantining, rather!), we have every opportunity to plan for a safe, seamless re-entry into our offices.
And with the right preparation, you'll be well-positioned to set your team up for success, and master hybrid work.
For more on the subject, you might be interested in:
- Working from Home is Here to Stay: How to set your firm up for success
- Top 5 Tips to Reduce Video Fatigue When Working from Home
- How to Mitigate Cybersecurity Risks We Face Working from Home