The workplace of the future seems to be overflowing with flexibility, virtual meetings and online collaborations. But does the new global trend pose a threat to connection, the creation of shared ideas, and useful ad hoc conversations?
What is a hybrid working model?
A hybrid working model is one that allows employees the flexibility to work both from the office and remotely – whether that’s from home, in a café, or from a co-working space. The benefits are obvious; improved work-life balance, less distractions, more flexibility and a welcomed sense of freedom.
Increasingly, organisations are seeing a trend that isn’t all that surprising; although employees are enjoying the new flexible model, working from the home office can leave people feeling isolated and out of touch with the professional environment.
At Waterman, we believe that co-working spaces are the future for flexible working models because they foster such a high level of connection. Over the last year we have seen our hubs flourish into strong, productive communities; places that encourage networking, stamp-out isolation, and give employees of all types the chance to be in an environment that works for them.
Here are Waterman’s top three tips for setting up a hybrid working model:
1. Create a flexibility framework
Have you considered creating a flexibility framework for your hybrid working model? Evaluating aspects of your business such as performance, culture, and autonomy and asking how a flexible approach can complement your business will ensure that hybrid works for you.
Alongside a flexible working policy, a flexibility framework looks at how employees work at their best, the types of roles they have, and how they should come together with other staff members to meet your business goals.
2. Foster feedback
Checking-in with employees is more important than ever when you have a hybrid model in place. That means communicating in a consistent, approachable manner and asking the right questions.
When you encourage regular feedback with staff to see what’s working and what needs to improve, your organisation can stay nimble and have employees that are working happily and efficiently. That could mean creating new ways to interact informally with your employees to facilitate both social cohesion and a trusting relationship where feedback matters.
3. Build a virtual community
Implementing an effective hybrid working model should always have community at the forefront. These days, any kind of team can use virtual project management systems to stay efficient, but a virtual community is a little different.
A successful virtual community means bridging the gap between teams that are in-house and those working remotely. If you’re already using a project management tool like Slack, you can use separate channels to set up group chats that focus on extra-curricular, non-work-related activities.
Creating that water-cooler environment can be done virtually – especially if you’re willing to start off chats with engaging questions or prompts.
Are you ready to go hybrid?
“When I come to Waterman, I get one thing that I don’t get anywhere else: the ability to sit alongside those entrepreneurs, those solopreneurs and those start-ups and scale-ups. That’s why I keep coming back: to leverage the amazing networking opportunities that are provided, in addition to the convenience of working in an office environment close to home.”
Are you ready to set up a hybrid model for your employees or for yourself? Waterman provides flexible workspaces with leasing options and working configurations to support you and your business. We offer virtual offices, dedicated desks, private offices, enterprise solutions, and modern meeting rooms.
Book a Waterman tour today to explore our impressive spaces in real life.