How to Plan Your Company's Hybrid Work Schedules

How to Plan Your Company's Hybrid Work Schedules
How to Plan Your Company's Hybrid Work Schedules

We have seen huge rises in the adoption of remote and hybrid work models in recent years. Many people like the idea of hybrid work patterns. They offer the chance to achieve an ideal work-life balance while still having ‘one foot in the door’ for occasional office-based work.

In fact, some 44% of employees favor a hybrid working model, while 51% of employers have the same view. But adopting hybrid work schedules comes with a unique set of challenges. Workers must have access to the right technology, and productivity levels need to be maintained.

How do you take what you have now and adapt it to a successful hybrid model?

Tips for Planning Your Company’s Hybrid Work Schedule

Choose a model for your hybrid work schedule

Once your company has decided to move to hybrid work schedules, the next challenge is to decide on a model that suits your business and operational needs. This can vary greatly depending on your business type and the technology and tools you may be using. Tools such as beSlick’s task prioritization can help make hybrid working easier.

Identifying your business needs, the needs of your staff, and the basic practicalities of hybrid work schedules can help you decide which of the following models may best suit you. The following are “cohort work schedules,” and there are other models available that may suit your business better.

1. Staggered

This is the most inflexible of the models. With this model, the days and hours on which your employees attend the office are set by you. This model best suits organizations that use shift work a lot and need attendance within certain hours or businesses that need to ensure a certain level of staffing.

2. 3:2 model

This model consists of a 3:2 working pattern, with three days spent in the office and two spent working from home. It suits organizations who want all their staff in the office on particular days, maybe to coordinate training or marketing. It can be an expensive model as it does not allow your business to downsize office space or infrastructure.

Cost-effectiveness is one of the primary benefits of hybrid working for employers. So think carefully before implementing a 3:2 model, which is rigid when it comes to physical overheads.

3. Bottom-up model

This sees working patterns decided by individual teams and can take a lot of discussion and negotiation. The company may set a framework for hybrid working, say two days per week. The teams then work out which days best suit them as a whole and adopt that pattern.

The main drawback to adopting this model is getting a consensus from various teams. However, if you can successfully implement it, then it does allow your organization to downsize in terms of office space and infrastructure, such as IT equipment.

Take Advantage of Technology

Of course, any hybrid work model presents challenges to the employer. How do you plan for important meetings and ensure teams can collaborate efficiently? They could attend remotely using video conferencing software or use communication platforms to collaborate and work together on projects. With the growth of hybrid working, there has been an explosion of technology that can help.

Additionally, using task prioritization and workspace management software can make hybrid working easier and increase productivity among remote and hybrid teams.

Using an employee scheduling app can also help streamline the process of coordinating and managing remote and hybrid teams, ensuring that everyone is on the same page with their schedules and availability.

Use Time-tracking for Better Productivity

As well as communication and collaboration, you also want to ensure that staff are working their set hours. Again, technology offers you ways of hybrid work monitoring attendance across a working month. By knowing your staff is working the hours required, you can be more confident that productivity will be maintained or even improved.

Be Transparent when Communicating Work

Efficient communication is crucial to success when implementing any hybrid work schedule. This is not just about how your employees communicate with each other but also how you and other managers communicate with staff. There must be 100% transparency as to what you expect from them. This can cover short-term tasks and projects as well as longer-term goals.

Always Coordinate Schedule Changes

As with any type of work schedule, hybrid work schedules may sometimes be subject to change. You may be implementing new processes or systems that require on-site training. If you have to change schedules, you should coordinate those changes with the affected staff and give as much notice as possible.

Benefits of Hybrid Work Schedule

If you haven’t adopted any type of hybrid working before, then the obvious question is why should you? What are the various benefits that it offers to your organization and staff?

1. Reduces company cost

If you are careful when implementing schedules, then you should have fewer staff in your office on a daily basis. That means you can reduce the physical office space you use and enjoy reductions in utility and infrastructure costs.

2. Improves Work-life Balance

A better work-life balance means happier employees, and this has a positive effect on your business. A work-life balance is important to any employee and particularly those with families. Employees who can fulfill familial responsibilities are more likely to enjoy their work and put more effort into their roles.

With around 72% of US employees considering a work-life balance ‘very important’, employers should be recognizing this in the models they offer.

3. Lowers employee burn-out caused by commute

You likely know the stress caused by daily commuting all too well. Crowded buses or trains, traffic jams, traveling in poor weather, the list goes on. You also have to consider the time taken up by commuting from home to the office, which can be a significant part of the day as a whole. When you adopt hybrid work schedules, you are removing at least some of that stress. The ‘commute’ from bed to home desk is easier than one to the office.

4. Promotes work transparency and trust

Implementing hybrid work schedules involves a huge degree of trust. You are putting your faith in your staff that they will still put in the same degree of work and commitment as is required in an office-based setting. However, trust and transparency are two-way streets. You are expected to trust your employees, and they expect total transparency from you.

5. Creates a culture of flexibility

Hybrid work schedules help to create a culture of flexibility. You are offering employees the autonomy to get work and tasks done in the ways they prefer, including when, where, and how. By giving them that freedom, you enable them to work in a way they feel maximizes their productivity.

Key Challenges of Hybrid Work Schedules

If you are considering implementing hybrid work schedules, then you will face some challenges.

1. Collaboration

Depending on the model you choose, you may find that members of the same team are office-based on different days. This can mean that collaborating on tasks and projects can be difficult. However, using the right communication platform or other tools makes it much simpler.

2. Oversight and management

If you are new to hybrid models, then you may not get everything right at once. Hybrid work schedules can require extra work from you when it comes to oversight and management, especially in the early stages. People need to flag issues quickly, and it is essential that you communicate potential solutions. You may want to consider a Human Resource Information System (HRIS) to help you with this.

3. Not always a perfect fit

While hybrid working may seem attractive, it’s not always ideal for every sector. Some industries, such as call centers, may choose a fully remote model, while others may remain fully workplace-based. It may also be the case that some of your workforces can adopt hybrid patterns while others may have to remain working in situ.

Best Practices for an Effective Hybrid Work Schedule

1. Set clear KPIs

Adjust the KPIs you currently use to recognize hybrid work schedules. These can include:

  • Task/project completion times
  • Employee turnover rates
  • Time is taken to adopt new tools

2. Choose the right communication tech

Good communication is the foundation of successful hybrid working. Think about your and your staff’s needs and look at what technology will best serve them. That tech is what will be used for everything from meetings to collaborating on tasks.

3. Accountability

There has to be two-way accountability. You can’t always check on remote workers, but equally, they can often feel out of the loop. Adding these practices can help improve your model.

  • Set clear expectations
  • Recognize good work and achievements
  • Implement robust project management
  • Hold regular meetings, even if virtual ones

Plan Hybrid Work Schedules at Your Company Successfully

The way people work is constantly evolving. New tools and technology make it easier for people to work from anywhere or for employers to manage their businesses. Things like law firm practice management software make even the most complex tasks easier. These new technologies mean that staff finds it easier to communicate and collaborate on any hybrid work schedules.

To successfully implement hybrid work schedules, you must ensure that your staff can still communicate and collaborate efficiently. Depending on the type of work you do, collaboration tools can achieve the levels you want.