Four Hybrid Workforce Best Practices to Implement in 2024

Author: Scott Kinka

When the COVID-19 pandemic flipped the world on its head four years ago, many organizations scrambled to adapt. They weren’t prepared for a quick transition to remote work, nor had hybrid workforce best practices laid out and ready to go.  

Fortunately, thanks to technology and support from companies like our partner Zoom, organizations quickly pivoted to support a remote workforce. 

While there were plenty of growing pains through the transition, now, a few years later, the workforce landscape looks quite different. The pandemic proved that people could work from home and be productive and that many prefer working from home at least part of the time. 

According to Pew Research, in 2023, roughly 35% of workers who can work from home choose to do so full-time 

This desire to work remotely has pushed many organizations to adopt a hybrid approach, with employees splitting their time between the office and home.  

So, how do you make hybrid work a practical option for your employees in the long term? What are some of the hybrid workforce best practices you should consider adopting for 2024? 

What We Know About Hybrid Work

The pandemic brought many lessons, but one of the biggest was a deeper understanding of what employees want.  

The Pew Research study noted that 34% of employees who work from home most of the time say they’d like to work from home ALL the time.  

The most significant factor driving this desire to be part of a hybrid workforce is the balance between their work and personal lives. When surveying telecommuters who work from home all/some/most of the time, 71% said it was due to the work/life balance it provides.  

However, it’s not just about their personal lives. In the same study, 56% said remote work helps them meet deadlines.  

The push for hybrid or remote work is twofold from a business standpoint. First, there’s the financial aspect. CFOs are looking for ways to cut costs with hybrid work to reduce overhead expenses.  

Then, there’s the employee satisfaction factor. It’s not a secret that hiring has been a challenge in many industries for the past few years.  

After The Great Resignation of 2021, finding and retaining talent has been challenging, so employers are looking for ways to keep their workforce happy and engaged. The ability to work hybrid or remotely can significantly influence whether your top talent will stay for years or seek employment elsewhere.  

The bottom line is that more companies are moving towards a permanent hybrid structure, so best practices are necessary.  

 

Four Hybrid Work Best Practices for 2024 

Like any other organizational policy or procedure, your hybrid workforce’s best practices should constantly evolve. If 2020 taught us anything, it’s necessary to be agile and flexible, so reviewing and updating these regularly is critical.  

Here are four best practices for 2024 and beyond based on our experiences and Zoom’s recommendations.  

#1. Clearly Define Expectations and Policies 

The foundation of your hybrid work best practices is built by clearly defining and communicating your expectations and policies. However, up to 72% of companies have not defined their hybrid work strategy. 

Employees should know when they are expected to be in the office, when they can work remotely, and what resources and tools are available.  

Your best practices should include guidelines for attendance, communication, and productivity standards that apply to both in-office and remote work. 

One of the biggest frustrations of hybrid work is a lack of consistency when it comes to what tools are used for what purpose. Research from Gartner found that 47% of workers struggle to find the information needed to do their jobs.  

Your policy should clearly articulate how each tool is used and for what purposes, including email, chat and file sharing. Also, this should set expectations for response times based on each tool, as communication is likely to be asynchronous as you’re not able to walk over to your colleague’s desk to get your questions answered. 

#2. Provide the Right Technology 

When the pandemic kicked off, we were all in a frenzy trying to connect with everyone as quickly as possible. Now, you may find that the solutions that worked then aren’t necessarily the right ones for your organization’s future needs.  

Part of having your hybrid workforce’s best practices in place is ensuring everyone has the tech they need to do their job effectively — regardless of their physical location. 

You may find that your tools need to be updated or enhanced to reflect the realities of hybrid work. With four years of using tools like team chat, video conferencing and more, you may need new ways to keep your team engaged and united.  

Plus, with companies looking to contain tech costs, it’s a natural time to consolidate tools and eliminate duplication. In reviewing your tech stack, the goal is to ensure that each new tool helps make meaningful connections among team members regardless of location.

A great example is Zoom’s Intelligent Director, which can create a more interactive experience for hybrid users. Using multiple cameras and AI technology, the Intelligent Director decides the best angle to display individuals in a Zoom Room within their video tile. This innovation helps make it feel more like an in-person meeting. 

#3. Include Your Employees in Policy Creation 

Moving forward, your employees are easily the best source of feedback for creating additional hybrid work best practices. Understanding what works for different people in various roles allows you to develop policies that get the buy-in from your workforce.  

Keep in mind that when your employees come to the office, they want to be there with a purpose. Leaving the house and getting to the office can be challenging, so they want their time in the office to be valuable.  

According to a survey by Zoom, the number one reason your employees come to the office is to socialize, and this bonding positively affects employee mental health.  

Consider how you can create policies that support your employees in building strong team relationships. For example, since socialization is vital to your employees, they’ll not be thrilled if they come to the office and can’t sit with their teammates or use a conference room the one day a week everyone is there.  

Using tools that include a reservation system — like Zoom Workspace Reservation — allows people to book the space they need ahead of time. This helps foster connections and is a small way to ensure that employees feel like they’re getting the most out of their time in the office. 

#4. Create Seamless Experiences  

It may seem like considering your physical office isn’t necessary for your hybrid workforce best practices; however, the hybrid work model involves your employees visiting the office periodically.  

But what does your office look like? Is the office set up for how people work now, and does it seamlessly support the technology your hybrid workers use?  

Flexible technology is one of the keys to ensuring your physical office space still offers value. You need to ensure every employee can walk into the office and instantly connect to the same tools they have at home. For example, you want to ensure they can collaborate online and via video, have a two-monitor setup, and have access to all the tools they use at home daily.  

Ultimately, the most important thing is that you pick a single platform and ensure anyone can walk into a conference room and easily start up a meeting just like they would at home. With the quick pivot to hybrid work, many companies are struggling with their conferencing infrastructure.  

Once you’ve selected a platform, ensure there’s consistency with how the team uses it to communicate with customers and partners. By detailing potential areas of confusion (like what happens if you’re in a Zoom Room and get a Teams invite?) you can ensure a seamless experience for everyone involved.  

Hybrid Workforce Best Practices Boost Success 

By proactively evolving your hybrid workforce best practices, you’ll be able to bolster productivity and employee satisfaction.  

Remember, a one-size-fits-all solution doesn’t exist, and it’s crucial to customize your approach to align with your company’s distinctive culture and objectives.  

Embrace the future of work by integrating hybrid work best practices and cultivating a workplace poised for success in the digital age. 

Bridgepointe are experts in helping customers design and implement the right communications and collaboration infrastructure for hybrid work. Book a free consultation with an expert today.

Disclosure: Companies referenced in this post are Bridgepointe Technology partners who sponsor content as part of our ongoing relationship.

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