How to Create a Hybrid Work Policy for Your Office

Posted by ET Group on September 25, 2023


Helping your team members succeed with hybrid and remote work is about inspiring them to embrace the potential it offers. While it can be tempting to create a traditional hybrid work policy that everyone on your team needs to follow, it’s usually more effective to establish a few useful guidelines and give people the freedom to follow them in the ways that work best for each individual.

We value autonomy at ET Group and believe in fostering workplace cultures based on trust and empowerment. That’s why we take a human-centered approach to our hybrid and remote workspace solutions. Read on and learn how to nurture a flexible work environment that helps your team benefit from the full spectrum of advantages the hybrid model offers.

See Also: Managing Your Remote & Hybrid Workers

Drawing of employees on laptop with other workers stepping through the screen to symbolize hybrid workplace.

The Importance of Nurturing a Flexible Work Environment

Our philosophy at ET Group is that the freedom hybrid work offers can be maintained by building trust and empowerment within your teams. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have any guidance in place around hybrid work at all—but it does mean you can support various work arrangements without necessarily enforcing rigid rules.

By embracing autonomy and trust, your company acknowledges that employees are unique individuals with diverse needs and work preferences. This employee-centric approach forms the foundation for designing a hybrid work policy that accommodates different work styles and personal circumstances.

What’s In a Traditional Hybrid Work Policy?

Your hybrid work guidelines should provide a framework for how employees choose to balance working remotely and in the office. A traditional hybrid work policy would normally include:

This information should provide clarity to employees about expectations, accountability, and work schedules. It can also help create a sense of fairness, ensure consistency, and enhance overall productivity by giving employees the flexibility to work in the environments that feel best for them.

However, it’s important that these policies have room to accommodate your team’s specific and evolving needs as well, rather than being written in stone. We always encourage open communication and collaboration, allowing employees to decide where and when they work based on their roles, responsibilities, and personal circumstances.

People joining hands in office over paperwork with drawings of employees overlaid to symbolize creation of hybrid work policy.

Building an Effective Framework for Hybrid Work: A Step-By-Step Guide

Setting guidelines for hybrid work that effectively cater to your organization’s unique needs is a multi-step process. Here’s what to consider if you want to inspire people to lean into hybrid work without creating a policy that can feel too restrictive.

Agree on Clear Objectives

The first step is to clearly outline the goals you aim to achieve by migrating to a hybrid work environment. Whether it’s to boost productivity, cut costs, retain talent, or enhance employee satisfaction, having clear objectives will guide your policy’s formulation. It’s ideal to invite your team to participate in this process so that everyone has input into what goals you’re choosing and why.

Identify Eligible Roles

Identify which roles and positions can accommodate flexible work locations without negatively impacting performance. Roles should be evaluated based on their functions, the need for in-person collaboration, and the technological requirements of the role. You can also encourage your team to identify the roles they feel would be best suited to hybrid work—some of your employees may want to spend more time at home, while others might prefer to complete certain tasks on-site!

Develop Work Schedules with Your Employees

We find it’s best to let employees choose their own balance of in-office and remote days, rather than requiring them to have a certain number of one or the other each week. While some degree of overlap is ideal for team collaboration and relationship-building, it’s also important that your team members each have the autonomy to set schedules that work effectively for them.

Set Communication Guidelines

Outline which tools your team will use to communicate effectively. Decide on the expected response times, meeting practices, and guidelines for sharing and storing information to ensure consistent communication.

Specify Technological & Workspace Requirements

Identify the technological tools and workspace requirements for remote work. This may include providing company hardware, setting cybersecurity standards, and providing a stipend for workspace setup. Consider using a human-centered approach to discover the right solutions that work best for everyone’s unique needs, rather than making assumptions.

Outline Performance Metrics & Accountability

Clarify how team performance will be evaluated in a hybrid work model. Establish clear metrics and KPIs that focus on output rather than time spent working.

For help applying these steps to your organization, reach out to ET Group. Our consulting services are specifically designed to help businesses adapt successfully to hybrid work, and include personalized guidance on how to create policies based on your unique needs.

Employee working from home in accordance with new hybrid work policy.

Ensuring a Smooth Transition to Hybrid Work: Key Considerations

We find that collectively creating the approach your organization takes towards hybrid work is almost better than having a policy in black and white—but moving to the hybrid model can still be a big transition, and there are still some steps you’ll want to take to help everyone avoid unnecessary friction. Here are some key factors to consider:

Overcoming Resistance

Some team members might resist the transition to a hybrid work model. Continuous communication, training, and reassurances about the advantages of the new work model can help overcome this initial reluctance.

Ensuring Fairness

It’s essential to ensure that your approach to hybrid work doesn’t inadvertently favor one group over another. Regular check-ins, open channels of communication, and feedback systems can help monitor and address any concerns among your team members.

Managing Productivity

Ensuring productivity in a hybrid model can be challenging. Establishing clear expectations with your personnel, agreeing on performance metrics, and utilizing project management tools can ensure tasks are completed in a timely manner.

Nurturing Culture & Collaboration

Maintaining a cohesive company culture and fostering collaboration can be tricky in a hybrid work setup. Regular team meetings, virtual team-building activities, and periodic in-person events can help maintain a strong team dynamic.

The Future of Hybrid Work Policies

As the way we work continues to evolve, hybrid models are likely to become the norm rather than the exception. While it can be tempting to rely on a traditional policy to keep your organization on the same page about hybrid work, creating a more flexible arrangement based on trust and autonomy can help you make this necessary transition more smoothly.

Remember also that moving towards hybrid work is not a one-time task but a dynamic process that should be regularly revisited and revised based on your changing needs. In doing so, you can strike a balance between flexibility and structure, ensuring that your organization remains resilient, adaptable, and successful well into the future.

For help embracing hybrid work at your business, contact ET Group. We’ll be happy to chat with you about your needs on a quick discovery call and provide ideas you can use to start successfully embracing hybrid solutions.

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