CEO’s Guide to Building a Successful and Sustainable Hybrid Workforce
The current climate of the global workforce is in a state of perpetual change, with more organizations embracing hybrid models for their employees.
This trend has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic and its resulting economic effects, as businesses have had to quickly adapt their workforce planning strategies to survive.
To back this point up with data, a Gallup study found that only 32% of remote-capable employees worked from home at least some of the time before the pandemic began. Fast forward to 2022, and that number now sits at 52% and is expected to increase in the coming years.
What is hybrid working?
Hybrid working is simply a combination of both remote and office-based employment, allowing teams to operate remotely while still having access to their colleagues in person. It’s become an increasingly popular model due to its enhanced flexibility and the potential for increased collaboration and productivity.
What’s more, it allows organizations to better manage their costs and resources, since they can reduce their office space requirements and provide job opportunities to a broader range of talent As for the employee, hybrid models offer plenty of advantages, such as:
• Increased job satisfaction
• Reduced commute (cost and time saving)
• Improved work-life balance
• More freedom to work where and when they want
• Increased productivity
Considerations for successful hybrid workforce planning
As with any new initiative, there are certain considerations to take into account when planning your hybrid workforce model. Let’s take a look at some key points to bear in mind:
Job role compatibility
Despite the potential flexibility of hybrid working, it’s important to ensure that the job roles your organization is hiring for are compatible with a hybrid environment.
For example, roles requiring frequent team collaboration or customer interaction may not be suitable for a hybrid model. Conversely, roles that are more independent and need more flexibility may be more suitable for working remotely. As the CEO, it’s important to get a clear view of your organization’s needs when considering job roles for hybrid working.
Collaboration with HR
CEOs need to ensure that the HR team is involved with the planning and implementation of a hybrid working model. HR will be able to provide insights into employee preferences and can help with the development of processes and policies for hybrid working.
Effective workforce planning will play a key role in this, as it enables you to guarantee the right staffing levels are maintained and that teams are running optimally. But, what is workforce planning and how can it help to maximize the effectiveness of a hybrid operating model?
Well, workforce planning is essentially a process that enables an organization to ensure it has the right number and type of employees with the necessary skills to meet its current and future goals. This involves looking at the big picture and creating plans to meet organizational objectives, such as reducing costs or improving efficiency.
Hybrid work can be a great way to improve the overall operational efficiency of a business, but it can also present workforce planning challenges. To ensure successful execution, the HR team should be consulted to provide insights and guidance on how best to work with hybrid teams.
Technology is the backbone of any successful hybrid workforce, so it’s important to ensure you have the right tools in place for your staff to work effectively. For example, you may need to invest in collaboration tools such as video conferencing software or team chat apps.
You’ll also need to ensure your staff has access to a reliable internet connection and the right hardware for their role. It’s also important to ensure your IT infrastructure is robust enough to handle the increased demand.
Depending on the industry you operate in (and your geographic location), you may also need to deal with data security issues and compliance regulations such as GDPR. Employees that work from home, or public places such as coffee shops and co-working spaces, will need to be aware of data protection measures they can take to keep the company’s information secure.
Building an effective and sustainable hybrid model
When you boil it down, achieving and maintaining an effective and sustainable hybrid workforce model is all about communication. With this in mind, it is the CEO’s responsibility to provide employees with clear expectations around their roles and responsibilities, while giving them all of the tools and support they need to be able to thrive in a hybrid environment.
On top of this, the CEO should also focus on creating an environment of trust, respect, and collaboration. This will be key in helping employees adjust to the change and ensure that the hybrid model runs smoothly.
Coupled with careful workforce planning and the right technology, an effective hybrid workforce model could be the key to unlocking new levels of performance and productivity for your organization and securing a competitive advantage in the marketplace.