The COVID-19 pandemic started a revolution in the workplace. With the lockdown in March of 2020, offices country-wide became fully remote. At first, many people doubted the efficiency of this work model. Now, it’s widely believed that the home office is a major player in the future of the workplace, and companies are shifting towards a hybrid environment.
Statistics show that a large number of people have a preference for the hybrid workplace, meaning they spend a few days at home and a few days at the office. 72% of executives all over the world anticipate that the future of work will be in a hybrid environment.
It may seem like the best of all worlds, but it's important to prepare for some expected challenges. Employees may feel disconnected from their team, and the change of routine could create a lack of engagement. Follow our 5 tips to improve employee engagement.
1. Maintain Clear Communication
Miscommunication can happen very easily when half of the workforce is working from the office, and the other half is at home. This is why managers need to establish clear roles and responsibilities for everyone. Those working from home may feel isolated from those that are working in the office.
Create well-rounded communication channels that allow team members to reach each other quickly. Organize weekly team meetings so that both remote and in-office employees can spend time together while discussing work-related topics. This can ensure that you are always getting new ideas from every member of your team, rather than the same ones that work in the office.
2. Provide Equal Points of Engagement for Everyone
It is extremely important to conduct meetings in which all team members are included. Remote workers need a way to participate in the conversation and have their opinion heard. This is best accomplished by using video conferencing technology and allowing each home office employee to be seen and heard in the meeting room.
Have each remote person on their monitor so that it is easier to engage with the employee independently. This can help keep a feeling of community while making communication easier.
3. Foster Community
Try to create a sense of camaraderie between employees by organizing events where they can get together to learn and collaborate. These could be:
- Community-based learning ops: This can help employees gather new skills and remain engaged in their community.
- Employee Resource Groups: ERGs are employee-led groups that host voluntary events. This can promote diversity and inclusivity while presenting new ways to engage the team.
- Optional virtual office party: There are plenty of virtual-based games that everyone can play in-person or working from home. The team can all engage in the same activity and laugh together during a work break.
The idea is to get everyone together regularly (in-person or online) for employee development, team building, and bonding.
4. Let Employees Take the Lead
The best way to keep people engaged is by involving them in the decision-making process, and implementing their feedback whenever you can. Whenever you conduct team meetings, try to do the following:
- Encourage feedback from your team: Employees feel appreciated when their opinions are considered. Acting on their feedback can also improve employee retention.
- Create a hybrid schedule that works: give your employees time away from their screens by encouraging flexible but clear working hours. Encourage a positive work/life balance for those that work from home.
- Ask specific questions to gain feedback: asking questions or even asking them to fill out an anonymous form is a tangible action step you can take to show that you value your employee’s opinion. Ask questions like “Where do you wish your voice was heard” and “what is your favorite way to collaborate with your team”
Getting the information straight from the source is always the way to go. Ask your employees what you can do to make them feel more heard, and seriously consider the areas that could use more input from them.
5. Invest in Technology
For a hybrid workplace setup to work, you have to invest in tools that allow for good communication between in-office employees and remote workers at all times. Improving the video and sound conferencing technology in the office ensures that cohesiveness in communication can be achieved.
The workplace model may be changing quickly, but you don’t have to be left behind! Qualifi’s communication tools can help your team of recruiters stay connected with hiring managers in a hybrid workplace. Schedule a demo today to learn how Qualifi can upgrade your workplace!