The first lockdown has delivered proof that many jobs can be made remote in a matter of days if not hours. But the fact that it is possible does not mean that it is made in a good or wise way. Making a job hybrid requires a bit more than just relocating home - and this guide provides more details on the matter.
According to data gathered by data scientists from Ladder, up to 25% of all professional jobs in North America will be remote by the end of 2022. The remote work opportunities increased from under 4% of the highest-paying jobs before the pandemic to more than 15% by the end of 2021. After the lockdowns, employers have seen the benefits of hiring talented staff from all around the world, or at least from the whole country, not just one city or neighbourhood.
The shift toward remote work is also seen in the behaviour of the employees. According to the research done by Owl Labs, 48% of employees who were working remotely during the pandemic would start looking for another job. One in three of them would quit from the work immediately if not provided with the remote work possibility.
This situation encouraged the employers to provide their employees with hybrid work frameworks and to make their jobs hybrid. Yet not all jobs can be hybridised. While the lockdown proved multiple jobs possible to be done remotely, the overly enthusiastic approach is unadvised.
Hybrid jobs definition
First and foremost - what is ‘hybrid job’ meaning? Basically it is the job that can be done in the office or from any other location - depending on the employee’s will and possibilities provided by the employer.
There are three basic models of working in a hybrid way:
Remote first - where the employer does not require the employee to visit the office, yet the possibility remains,
Office first - in this model it is possible to work from home, yet working from the office is strongly recommended and employees are encouraged to do so,
Balanced - in this model there are no preferences regarding the place one works from.
More details regarding the hybrid work models and the way it can be done properly can be found in our guide to hybrid work.
Challenges to consider when making the job hybrid
It is common to think that the majority of office jobs can be transformed into either hybrid or remote positions, it is not always true. The company needs to carefully consider the factors that influence the job done in a particular position and the impact of external factors on the employee.
An obvious one - or at least semi-obvious. While it is true that it is impossible to work remotely in a warehouse or as a welder, white-collar jobs can be also challenging to hybridise. For example, one’s position requires instant access to multiple sources of information. This applies to traders, who need to observe multiple indicators at the same time.
While it is possible many times, some traders use large screens in their job, so going home and using their smaller displays may reduce the effectiveness of their work.
It is common for IT professionals to work from home without a problem. But on the other hand, it can depend on the level of seniority - for mentors and mentees it can be more efficient to work from office to have direct and swift communication with each other.
Security during remote work is an interesting and challenging topic for various reasons. Depending on the type of data that is processed or the work that is done, it can be wiser to restrict the ability to work from home.
One of key challenges is to ensure the security of the company infrastructure, including the situation when the employee is connecting with the network using his or her own internet service provider. Using the VPN can be the answer - sometimes. But this requires both the awareness, and the expertise of the tech team.
Companies tackle this challenge by requiring the remote workers to attend cybersecurity training. In 32% of companies surveyed by findstack.com the training is done twice a year, 25% do it once a year and 23% do it even more often.
The interpersonal relations
Last but not least, maintaining the relations in the distributed team can be a challenge itself. There is no easy way to build a remote team and sometimes it is necessary to meet in person.
Also, the little chit-chat near the coffee machine can be a great way to support the team building, even if it is forced by an obligatory day in the office. According to the Teamsgate.io 75% of staff say teamwork is crucial to the company success and 33% of employees believe that fostering the collaborative culture leads to increased loyalty.
How to build and test the hybrid job approach
If the challenges mentioned above are tackled, the company can decide to reshape the position into the hybrid or fully remote one. This requires a bit of strategy-level thinking.
Find good indicators
To successfully implement the remote work model, the company needs to reshape the way the performance is measured. With the a bit antiquated approach of paying for the attendance and “sitting in the office” the remote and hybrid work transformation is doomed. Thus, applying a more project and performance-oriented way of working, with transparent goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) is the foundation of embracing the new way of working.
By that, the company needs auxiliary technologies. One such example is the time clock. Remote workers can be monitored by using a time clock that records their hours and sends them notifications when they are at risk of exceeding their allowed hours for the day. Calamari comes as a perfect attendance tracking tool to pick.
Another example is the project management software that is a part of the rest of the working ecosystem. Depending on the personal and corporate preferences, Basecamp, Jira or Asana can be great picks.
Set up test periods
It is impossible to deliver a perfect system without trial and error. There are many pieces of advice on our blog regarding the hybrid work. Yet every company is different and may require slight adjustment in the working models and policies.
That’s why apart from setting up the KPIs and goals for a particular team, the hybrid job transformation needs to be supported by KPIs set for the whole process. This may include:
Employee satisfaction - measured using surveys,
Manager satisfaction - measured using surveys,
Productivity - measured with delivery vs. time manner,
ROI - savings on utilities vs. costs of new tools in contrast with the rising (or not) productivity).
Serve as a paragon of hybrid virtues
Last but not least, when implementing the hybrid work approach, the company needs to find ambassadors of the new way of doing business.
Senior and mind managers are natural ambassadors of the new order, with their influence on the rest of the team. If the manager never works in a hybrid way and is always present at the office, not a single person from the team will dare to work from home.
The same goes for team leaders, who can set an example and start exploring the new way of working.
Not every job can be transformed to be hybrid or remote. Early-spotting the obstacles and mitigating the risks by running test periods can be the best way to seamlessly transform the company into the hybrid mode.
If you wish to talk more about the ways the jobs in your company can be transformed into the hybrid and remote positions, don’t hesitate to contact us now!