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Is A HybridRemote Workplace Right For Your Small Business?

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Is A HybridRemote Workplace Right For Your Small Business?

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Is A HybridRemote Workplace Right For Your Small Business?
Is A HybridRemote Workplace Right For Your Small Business?

For small businesses facing challenges in recruiting and retaining a skilled workforce, a hybrid workplace may be the solution. Combining in-office and telecommuting gives employees more flexibility and can bring a number of benefits to employers.

A September 2022 American Express Small Business Online survey found that more small businesses are using flexible workspace options, with 49% of respondents offering hybrid and remote work options. 77% of the group said it helped them attract new hires.

“The blended remote model can work in any industry, but the way it is implemented can be different in each industry,” says Colm Clarkson, CEO of Blend Me Inc., a remote work specialist.

A successful hybrid workplace may look different for every business; Here's what to consider when creating your own.

Why might you consider a hybrid workplace?

Recruitment and retention.

With many employees accustomed to working remotely, offering a hybrid workspace could help companies hire employees who want to work remotely and retain employees who value the flexibility of a flexible workplace.

Lower price

Having fewer staff on site can reduce a company's need for office space. This usually results in savings on expenses such as rent, utilities, furniture and equipment, parking, security, and other costs associated with maintaining office space.

Performance potential

Flexibility in the workplace can lead to increased productivity. According to Owl Labs' State of Remote Work 2022 report, 62% of employees believe they are more productive while working from home. When employees have flexibility in the workplace, they are happier, which studies show can lead to increased productivity.

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What should be considered when creating a hybrid workplace?

A mixed workspace can be done in several ways. When considering whether to implement a hybrid workplace model and how it might best suit your organization and your employees, consider the following:

Roles and preferences of employees

Understanding what your employees want can help you decide which hybrid workplace is best for your business, says Charlene Leiby, president of ITM Group Inc., a consulting firm that provides training programs for companies. “When we talk about hybrid career options for employees, it's important to remember that some employees don't want a hybrid career. “I know some people who have been trying to work remotely during the pandemic and have usually been told no thanks,” Laby said in an email. You can then choose a hybrid workspace that allows employees to work in the office or work remotely.

You also need to consider your industry and the role of your employees. For example, if you're in retail, you might want your salespeople to work onsite while allowing other teams like finance to work remotely.

Communication software and technologies.

In a hybrid workplace, HR software helps with recruitment, onboarding, training, and performance management, while communication apps like Slack, Zoom, Google Workplace, Microsoft Teams, and Zapier can facilitate communication between office and remote workers.

As your business transitions to a hybrid workspace, you may need to upgrade your hardware. For example, you can replace desktops with laptops and equip meeting rooms with video conferencing so that people in the office and people from far away can participate in meetings.

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Policies that apply to the entire workforce

Companies may review policies and procedures to ensure they are properly applied to all employees, whether onsite or remote. Consulting with legal and HR professionals can help you learn how to ensure that in-house and remote workers are treated equally in work assignments, scheduling, pay, promotions, and more. You can include additional training for employees and managers.

Periodic review and adjustment

Employee preferences and the needs of your business can change over time, and most companies will face some growth challenges when they first transition to a hybrid workplace. To keep everyone happy, the company must “evaluate and adapt along the way,” Laby says.

“Hybrid success comes from listening to employees, being willing to try new things, communicating openly, and constantly practicing,” Laby said.

What is the right hybrid business model for your company?

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