Is your business making the most of hybrid or remote working?
Whether you’re just getting started or your business is well-established, it’s an important area to get right, especially since PwC called flexibility a “top incentive” for working at a company in their recent ‘Next in work – Pulse survey’. Even though hybrid and remove working is critical to get right, in-office working isn't going to disappear completely. Some tasks are just better done in person.
It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the push and pull of what employees want and the company needs, but striking this balance is simpler with a set of guidelines in place. Here are three key ‘non-negotiables’, as defined by our partners at PwC, that businesses are using to shape these hybrid working guidelines in 2022:
On an individual level, flexibility is a high-priority for employees. And with the need to attract and keep highly-skilled workers, it’s still a top consideration if you’re looking to hold onto your team.
But while flexibility is a big draw, it’s not the only attraction for staff. PwC’s Global Culture Survey found culture is a key reason for employees to feel connected to the workplace; since it’s often through being onsite that team culture is built and maintained.
It’s a similar story with training and skills development. While this stays a priority for jobseekers, progression has for the most part been tracked better when in person. Similarly, listening to, and absorbing ad hoc conversations in the office environment can be a priceless source of professional learning.
The takeaway? Guidelines should take into account employee desires for flexible working, but not at the cost of all-important culture and progression.
If you want to encourage knowledge sharing within the team, collaboration should be high up your priority list. In fact, according to the Microsoft Work Trend Index, a lack of connectivity and collaboration can affect skill development too.
As a business leader, there are ways for you to effectively help your staff build on their skillsets when hybrid working. For example, it might be helpful to use the time spent in the office to focus on group projects where employees can come together and put their new skills to work. By creating opportunities for collaboration you provide your employees with the chance to get to know each other better, build trust and exchange ideas.
Since technology is becoming more important to business development, and with half of all employees around the world needing reskilling by 2025, it’s time for you to look at your employees and make sure you’re creating a workspace that encourages skill building.
The way businesses interact with customers has been transformed by remote working. And the stakes have never been higher, with over half (57%) of customers across EMEA saying they’d stop buying from a brand following a breach of trust.
As you continue to feel out how the hybrid environment works for your business, customer loyalty needs to remain a priority. A quick way to make sure you keep on top of customer needs is by putting a focus on engaging with them through genuine and relevant interactions. This can be done by setting up dedicated customer service social media channels, or adding chatbots for instant communication to your site.
As you figure out the best way to set up hybrid working practices, it’s important for you to weigh up the benefit to your business, and the benefit to your team.
The themes above, shared by PwC, give a snapshot of the main areas on many business leaders’ minds, but your working guidelines must be shaped by what works best for your company. By focusing on this, you can elevate your operations while creating a fulfilling work environment for your employees.
Keen to find out how you can build and maintain company culture while working remotely? Check out ‘Maintaining company culture in a hybrid workforce’