CEO of Judopay, Jeremy Nicholds, shares some top tips on how to successfully implement hybrid working for your business.
Home Working: Friend or Foe?
The genie is out of the bottle when it comes to home working. After over a year working from home, employees and management alike have seen that in some cases it can actually improve productivity. The jury is still out on the psychological impact: long commutes are known to exact a heavy psychological toll but many employees miss face-to-face meetings.
Whatever your own opinion, there are likely to be people in your office who are thriving while working from home and others who are ready to get back to the office. The reality is, some will work better at home and others will have their productivity fall. Many companies are adopting the view that ‘employees know how to do their jobs better than any CEO ever could’ and that they should allow them to choose when and where they work. This ‘hybrid model’ is being used by Google and Apple, both of which will allow their employees to work both from home and the office.
Everyone experiences a surge of productivity when starting a new job, transferring to a new department or, as is the case with home working, when their working situation changes dramatically. Eventually this dissipates, so what can be done? Monitoring productivity through software is of course time-consuming and likely to obliterate your company’s morale. A much better idea would be to monitor employees through their results and their own self-reported satisfaction with their work and make adjustments accordingly. Some may not realise that home working is harming their productivity and will welcome a return to the office.
When your staff are moving from one space to another day by day it can be difficult for them to keep track of tasks or to collaborate with other employees effectively. If you have not already, it could be time to move to a tool that makes communication and collaboration much more centralised, such as Microsoft’s Teams platform or even tools like Asana. The process of hybrid working is going to be disruptive for everyone and keeping your tasks and collaboration in one place can reduce this.
The Office – The Home Away From Home
Although some home workers work from kitchen tables and sofas, most home workers do so from comfortable seats, with a professional desk and all of their home amenities at their fingertips. Given this and how some workers are ‘filled with dread’ by the prospect of having to commute again, there has to be a compelling reason to come into the office beyond just being told to by management.
Spend some time and money to make the office a home away from home. Upgrade coffee machines, provide a selection of teas, perhaps even go as far as to create spaces for employees to socialise and cook food together to increase the homely atmosphere.
Some of your employees may have had a great time during the past year, others may have hated it and could even be demonstrating symptoms of clinical depression. There will not be a single solution that will satisfy everyone, but if companies pay attention to individuals and provide the support that they need then they can manage the transition.
Written by Jeremy Nicholds, CEO of Judopay, the leading enabler of mobile web and app commerce – helping companies across multiple sectors serve their customers with a better way to pay.