A New Beginning: Setting up a Hybrid Office Model

By : Sylvia Luneau

The pandemic transcended how many organizations operate. Numerous organizations capitalized on working remotely, as meetings began to occur over video platforms and emails and instant chats became the most popular way to quickly communicate. Many have adjusted and adapted this “new normal” and intend to keep it beyond the scale of the pandemic. However, other organizations are planning to begin to incorporate a new model—a  hybrid.

There is an increase in organizations preparing to bring employees back to the office. Returning to work can boost employee productivity, enhance company culture and bring much needed social(ly distanced) interaction.

However, numerous organizations do not have the bandwidth to bring all employees back to 100% capacity. Therefore, the hybrid model was created, to help both employees and the organization prepare to come back to the office.

What is a hybrid?

Hybrids can take a myriad of forms, but the goal is to begin integrating employees back into the office, while continuing part of work online. Some examples of hybrids include: different teams splitting the week or teams switching on a week to week basis. No matter what shape this takes, it takes weeks to months of planning to establish.

As the age old saying goes, fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Preparation is imperative as we move into this new phase of work. The key is to ensure employees feel supported and the organization runs smoothly. Organizations can take months to plan an office move. Although this situation is not an office move, deliberate planning is a necessity.

How can Offices Begin to Plan a Hybrid?

1. Create a Plan: Decide who is going to work on these operations and plan the return to office. You will most likely need people who are senior enough to make decisions and know the business well.

2. Assign Responsibilities: Begin by creating a plan and delegating tasks to the appropriate team. Any project of this caliber will take numerous members to complete.

3. Research: Then, research the resources you have available. CDC and OSHA provide numerous guidelines on how to prepare safely to return to work.

4. Plan Your Budget: Consider the budgetary means and plan for new expenses.

5. Communicate: Employees should be kept informed to ensure individuals feel confident in any procedural changes.

6. Set a Timeline: Allot enough time to tell employees what your organization projects the return.  This allows employees to prep for change and ease anxiety about returning to office.

7. Alert your clients: Clients need to be well informed in order to not jump to conclusions about the viability of the business and their importance to the business.

8. Spring clean: This is a great time to purge old files. Additionally, review, revise, and revamp outdated IT technology for its stronger counterpart.

9. Anticipate a learning curve: Protocol will most likely have to be updated or altered. Therefore, expect some delays in the months ahead due to employees getting organized in the office.

10. Celebrate! Change is difficult but it is important you and your employees understand the “why”. Returning to office can ensure organizations stay in business, and can become stronger . Celebrate that your organization has taken the initiative and is moving forward.

This could be the opportunity to make positive changes. If you are in the midst of this model and need additional support, consider PsiNapse for temporary / contract staff.

Good luck and here’s to stronger business models!

Click Below for More Resources to Assist in your Return to Office!

  1. Returning to Work During a Pandemic
  2. General Business FAQ’s
  3. How to Safely Return to Work

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