How to Blend Working from Home and Working in the Office
More and more companies have switched to a “blended” office model. This means that employees can work in the office or work from home. Global Workplace Analytics estimates that 56% of workers have jobs that can work remotely. Many of us are already familiar with video calls from our social-distancing days, so a blended office post-pandemic isn’t a drastic change for many workers.
A blended office environment may allow employees to work from home a couple of days of the week. After the pandemic, many employees have grown comfortable with remote work. Working from home can be more relaxing than coming into the office for many workers. It’s up to the company and office leaders to decide what works best for their office and to set an example.
Many companies are concerned about whether or not employees will be productive at home. It might help to change the focus from time spent in the office to how efficiently employees can accomplish their tasks. Home-life distractions may be a predicament for some employees, but they also don’t have to work from home, and they can also work flexible hours rather than the standard 9-5.
Some companies have been “hybrid” since long before the pandemic. A hybrid company has offices in different locations. Rather than traveling to and from offices, businesses can opt to use video conferencing tools to communicate. This holds the same for blended work environments. Communication doesn’t have to fall to the wayside because an employee isn’t in the office. Encourage workers to use the phone or video call benefits to collaborate on projects.
Blended working can help the mental health of your employees. It can keep them happier and healthier knowing they can work from home a few days of the week. It can reduce the stress of coming in to work—we all have those days when we don’t want to be around others. Work from home days can also be beneficial when employees have medical appointments. It can make scheduling easier for them, and they don’t have to worry about the time lost when they can make it up later.
Working from home a few days a week can save employees money on gas, which makes them feel more financially secure, and it can save the company money on water and electricity bills. The time they save on the commute can go towards bettering themselves via exercise or mediation. This will help improve their mental health, which can make them more productive at work.
You may need to find your office’s perfect balance for blended working. Some companies allow employees to work from home two or more times per week. It might be a concern for employers that remote work will negatively impact their company’s culture. For new employees, you may want to consider establishing a baseline for days that they must be in the office. This way, new employees get to know their coworkers and acclimate to the company culture.
Your company may want to establish days that all staff should appear in the office for a team meeting to help with team-building. Consider having an office calendar where people write down the days of the week, they plan on working from home. You can also use the calendar to schedule team meetings or days when you’d prefer people to work in the office.
Many offices opt for laptops for employees to allow their staff more freedom where they work. Many offices have different workspaces or rooms for employees to work. Laptops let employees work from home more easily and allow more flexibility. Finding the right technology and programs for your team can help with communication and scheduling. Using a communication/messaging app or software can help with tasks and scheduling.
You may need to update your business insurance policy if your business changes to a blended work policy. If you have any questions, talk to a local insurance agent today and get a quote for a new business insurance policy!