Are you struggling to run your business now that some — or all — of your employees are working from home? We understand. There are a lot of challenges when you can't see your team every day.
- It's complicated to collaborate and get ideas from coworkers when you're doing a project.
- As a leader, you probably find yourself chasing people for status updates.
- It's also tricky to know if your team is getting distracted at home and not focusing.
You might be tempted to try to bring everyone back to the office, but there are a lot of benefits to a hybrid or fully remote workforce — so you should review your options carefully.
With a few simple considerations, you can thrive as a small business and compete on a broader scale with your competitors.
As a technology provider, we've helped dozens of entrepreneurs make the shift to remote and hybrid workplaces. Keep reading and we'll share some quick definitions and our top tips to help you thrive as a small business with hybrid workers.
What Is Hybrid Work?
A hybrid work model is when an employer incorporates remote, semi-remote, and in-office employees into the same team and work-related goals.
- Some workplaces use a structured model where employees return to the office on specific days set by the company.
- Other employers allow their team to choose which days they work from home.
Either way, the focus has to be on stability. Employees need structure to reduce stress and have confidence in the work they are doing.
Now that we're clear on what hybrid work is, let's look at some top ways you can thrive as an employer.
How Employees Thrive in a Hybrid Workplace
One of the major benefits of hybrid work is increased mental well-being. In a recent study by Salesforce, 59% percent of workers felt a hybrid work model contributes positively to their psychological well-being — and we know that happy workers tend to stay with their employer longer and are more productive while working.
Let's look at some additional ways your employees benefit from a hybrid workplace.
- Employees Feel Empowered: They love having the ability to work where they are the most comfortable and productive when they need to. For example, they can still work if there's inclement weather or school is canceled, and many people can focus and meet a deadline better from their home office with fewer distractions.
- They Have the Ability To Work From Anywhere: Some companies, like HubSpot, allow their employees to travel and work from anywhere for up to 90 days at a time. This allows employees the flexibility to see the world with their families while still getting work done.
- Reduced Travel Costs and Time: Workers enjoy not having to commute to the office as often — lowering their high gas costs, reducing expensive mileage on their cars, and decreasing time spent in stressful rush-hour traffic.
How You Thrive By Offering a Hybrid Workplace
One of the top benefits of hybrid work is increased employee retention. In fact, in a recent survey, over 50% of small business employees indicated they would be more likely to stay with a job if the employer offered hybrid options.
Let's look at some additional ways you benefit from a hybrid workplace.
- Reduced Expenses: Many businesses are also able to reduce their office size — decreasing rent and utility payments, lowering office supply expenses, and reducing the risk of illness with fewer workers on site.
- Fewer Disrupted Schedules: Employees are able to deliver presentations, attend meetings, and continue to work without disruptions from canceled flights, dramatic weather predictions impacting travel and childcare, or mild illnesses.
- Less Lost Paper and Erased Whiteboards: With your team working partially from home, you'll have better technology solutions so you don't have abandoned whiteboards in conference rooms or stranded post-its containing pivotal project details getting lost.
- Zoom Mullets Increase Productivity: Flexible work-from-home dress codes also provide an unexpected benefit for companies — employees are actually more productive. Researchers at Columbia University found that "Zoom Mullets" with a classy top half, comfy pants, and slippers actually help your team get more done.
How To Set Up Your Technology for Success
Cloud services are the cornerstone of hybrid work. They allow your employees to access important data and collaborate with coworkers and staff no matter where they are in the world.
Let's look at a few key things to consider regarding your technology.
- Implement Cloud Data Storage: Cloud data storage allows your employees freedom of when and where to work by having consistent access to necessary data and documents to complete tasks and collaborate with other employees or clients — making data sharing more effortless than ever before.
- Secure Your Company Hardware: One way that you can ensure data security is by providing hardware to your remote and semi-remote employees. Tech uniformity with company-issued computers and hardware can prevent many data losses. It also prevents employees from having sensitive company data stored on unsecured personal devices and makes sure data is returned to the company if an employee leaves.
- Monitor Data Usage: If company hardware isn't a feasible option for your business, other options can also preserve data security. One step you can take is to require employees to install applications controlled by the company to be used whenever the employee is working remotely. Required applications can monitor usage on company time. Some applications allow employers to rescind access and data if an employee leaves the company.
- Enact "When Working Remote" Policies: You can keep your data secure by having a policy that sets expectations regarding your employees' work location. Ensure your employees know the proper protocol when accessing company data. Be clear about what they should and shouldn't do when using company hardware, even if it seems obvious.
- Educate Employees on Data Security: Ensure that they know what phishing and spam emails look like and how to prevent falling victim to fraudulent activity online. Don’t be shy about letting your employees in on why you take certain precautions in the workplace. It might also empower them to know that they're part of a much larger system protecting your company.
Get Help Implementing Your Technology
Your technology setup and policies are going to be crucial to your success with a hybrid workforce. At Vorsite, we know that small business owners have a lot on their plate. You've got customers to keep happy and a team to lead — and figuring out the right tech is complicated and time-consuming.
Our experts can help you:
- implement security protocols and procedures to protect your data
- source hardware and software that would meet your needs
- create strategies for success with hybrid work
Schedule a quick 15-minute call and let us answer your toughest questions to help you create a technology plan for your hybrid team that will let you thrive in a competitive landscape.