As work environments slowly shift back to a sense of normalcy following the global pandemic, many employers are left with a decision: do we stay remote, or should we bring all our employees back into the office? In this new normal, a healthy mix of the two will create the best results for your business. Through a hybrid workforce, your employees can get their desired in-person communication and sense of belonging, in addition to the flexibility and comfort that they obtain working from home. Here are four tips that human resource departments should consider when creating a hybrid workforce.
Hybrid Office Environments
As the effects of the pandemic gradually subside, many businesses will begin to assimilate their employees back into the workplace. However, many people have grown accustomed to remote work over the last year, so some may be more receptive to the idea than others.
According to a study by PWC, “83% of employers now say the shift to remote work has been successful for their company…” up 10% from last year. Although office culture promotes a sense of camaraderie and teamwork for many organizations, for others, it poses a challenge in the form of child care or long and arduous commutes. It’s important to take into consideration what is best for both employee and company, and often a hybrid approach fits the bill.
For the company, a hybrid model offers the ability to make better use of your current office space and engage in new possibilities for the area you currently own. Some businesses may have been hiring during the pandemic, which means they don’t currently have the office space to inhabit all of their employees anyway. By using your space in the most economical way, you can reduce costs and increase productivity.
For employees, a hybrid model brings with it the flexibility that is most sought after. Work-life balance perks, like taking care of kids, saving on gas, or being able to fit in doctor’s appointments, are invaluable to workers.
Although working in-person has benefits, such as a sense of increased team bonding and ease of communication, making sure that employees are able to work remotely, at least partly, can have a positive impact on both their morale and productivity, in addition to the businesses goals.
Financial Literacy Education
Financial literacy is often something that is very much overlooked; from high school onward, people are underexposed to the importance of financial literacy and the impact it can have on the rest of their lives. According to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), 78% of Americans believe they could benefit from more financial literacy information.
The pandemic, one of the largest factors toward the transition to a hybrid work environment, also caused a great deal of financial stress on many people. From family, friends, and loved ones losing jobs, getting furloughed, or encountering other pandemic-related expenses, people are looking for ways to help recover. Aiding this improvement in financial literacy is a great starting point toward allowing employees to take more control of their financial futures, and help alleviate some stress they may be experiencing due to their financial situation.
Providing your employees with information surrounding financial literacy is not only a direct benefit to them, in potentially easing their financial stress, but can also help them become more productive at work and increase employee retention. Although there are many different aspects of financial literacy that can be touched upon, here are a few questions that often come up:
- What’s the difference between a 401k and Roth IRA?
- Which type of mortgage refinancing is right for me?
- Should I focus on long-term or short-term investments?
Depending on the average age of your workforce, the focus of your financial literacy education may vary, which is to be expected. By giving people a strong basis for their education, they can begin to feel more confident in their personal finances.
All aspects of financial literacy are important to individuals, and can play a large factor in determining their future. From managing credit scores to ensuring you are taking out the proper loans, for better or for worse, money dictates many of our actions. Putting your employees at ease by providing them the continuing education they need in regards to financial matters can help them feel more comfortable at your business. This increased connection can result in a more efficient employee who is providing more value to your business, and less likely to result in turnover.
Flexible Time Tracking Software
Time tracking software has always presented a challenge to many businesses, whether it be implementation or consistency of use. Time theft, accidental or otherwise, poses one of the largest issues for businesses and can result in a great deal of lost finances. Ensuring that you have a comprehensive time tracking software in place can save your business many headaches and a large sum of money.
Time tracking isn’t just about counting how many hours each employee is working, but can also provide some very valuable data that can be used to further improve the business. From figuring out the average time it takes to do a task to understanding where your resources are most required, all the benefits that time tracking provides can be used when re-evaluating various aspects of your business.
By understanding how your employees are spending their time, you can begin to figure out the best ways to make improvements to your company, like reducing extraneous activities or improving resource allocation, all of which can have a positive impact on your employees as well as your bottom line.
Increased Attention to Employee Burnout
Employee mental health is something that many businesses, rightfully so, are taking more into consideration moving forward. As younger generations enter the workforce, the emphasis on mental health has been something that they have been putting at the forefront of their job searches, and something that companies are beginning to adapt to more frequently.
According to Spring Health, a mental health care platform, “More than three quarters (76%) of employed Americans report they are currently experiencing worker burnout.” Employees who experience burnout are more likely to suffer from depression, higher levels of stress, and an overall decrease in their experience and efficiency at work.
In order to combat burnout, many organizations are re-thinking the way they structure their employees’ time off and are hiring student interns to help complete projects. From increasing the hours they have off per year, to creating an environment that encourages the use of those hours, companies who promote an atmosphere of care and consideration toward employee burnout can actually save money by giving employees more time off.
Employees who are on the clock but not contributing to the company due to the effects of burnout are potentially costing more money than if they had not been working. In addition, supporting your employees in any of their struggles will continue to build that comforting and considerate work environment that many top employees are looking for, both increasing your retention rate, in addition to attracting top talent to your business.
As hybrid workforces continue to expand across the globe, many companies will continue to experiment with trial and error in different aspects of their growth. From encouraging employees to take control of their own financial futures to implementing the easiest and most efficient form of time tracking software, these changes pose a great opportunity for companies to grow in their current field. Embracing the idea of a hybrid workforce allows your business to pivot with any future challenges and can offer the best of both worlds from an employee’s perspective, creating a positive environment for everyone involved.