Remote work has rapidly grown in popularity in the post-pandemic world. People want flexibility of working hours. Hybrid workplace model seems like the best compromise and it is a global trend already. Today almost every working environment combines in-office work with work from home. Business leaders are creating a new work world that will keep employees both happy and productive.
To be an attractive employer you must put people, their health and wellbeing at the center. Here are the key elements of a healthy hybrid working model.
1. Work-life Balance
Most people think that having a work-life balance is more important than a good salary. It is hardly possible to be a high performer at work while still have time for family, friends and hobbies. However, finding balance is easier in a flexible work environment. Hybrid workplace allows people to have more autonomy. Just by reducing commuting time workers gain few hours a day for personal commitmens (jogging, health appointments etc). As a result employees are happier working from home and thus they are more productive.
2. Health and strategic wellbeing
It’s important for organisations to understand how they are doing in terms of wellbeing to their staff members. Health risk assessments (surveys or detailed questions) can be done regularly to find out what people are missing and what they are expecting from their employer. In UK major companies are already hiring non executive directors who look into the wellbeing of employess to help them to adjust to a hybrid workplace model.
3. Emotionally intelligent line manager
Employee engagement and happiness depend a lot on the behaviour of their line manager. However many of those managers were hired based on their technical skills only and they lack people skills. Interpersonal skills are vital in this new workplace model. Line managers can improve emotional intelligence through training to help organisations create a healthy hybrid workplace. Companies must give them extra time to develop those skills and to properly manage their people.
4. Mental health
In a post pandemic world, mental health in the workplace is more important than ever. A poor psychological wellbeing can negatively affect employees and their productivity. Organisations must create a psychological safety in which people know it’s ok to not always be ok. Managers should be trained to see early signals of mental health issues. Health workshops within a workplace can be created to support emotional wellbeing and to improve manager and employee relationships.
5. Workers trust
Trust is the most the most important ingredient for hybrid work success. Ideally companies need to come up with a framework that sets out enough of rules and decision making in order to guarantee equal treatment in the hybrid workplace as much as possible. Employees working remotely feel that they have lost an important social group that they normally would rely upon. Buddy networks from the office can be chosen within a company that will communicate daily with those who work from home to discuss how they are doing and what they need in terms of support.
6. Right to disconnect law and meeting free day
Remote work model created a pressure for employees to be constantly accessible. Staff who are not able to properly rest can become burned out and less productive. Since many companies have shifted to a hybrid workplace model, no-meeting days and the right to disconnect law are becoming more popular in a work culture.
A right to disconnect allows employees to diconnect from work (emails, digital devices) outside normal working hours. It actually encourages them to take some time to rest to prevent burnout in the workplace. And meeting-free days can boost team morale as it gives workers more autonomy and additional time for complex tasks.
For the hybrid workplace model to be successfully executed, organisations need to put people at the center. Psychologically safe work environment is a key to job satisfaction and productivity. Managers must be trained to monitor and improve wellbeing of the employees. They need to find techniques to help people be more effective when working from home and not to stress them. Employees shouldn’t be afraid to talk about their mental issues. Leaders should prioritize their team’s emotional health if they want to create a compassionate and caring work environment where everyone is able to succeed.
With the rise of the hybrid workplace and developing concerns around employee welfare, businesses should review their current insurance policy. Adequate cover can protect organisations against potential claims from workers. Smart insurance companies should adjust their policies for national and international employees accordingly. This could involve adding few lines to cover new medical risks. Future trends in the corporate insurance will certainly involve wellness therapy for mental health and psychological support.
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