The hybrid workplace whereby people spilt the working week between the home and office is fast becoming the future of work.
In the post-pandemic world, how this balances out in individual workplaces is a discussion that businesses and staff are having (or will need to have) to ensure that productivity is not impacted.
The shift to this new way of working is gaining permanence in the minds of employees who have just spent the past few months at home. In fact, hybrid workplaces are now what the majority of workers (77%) want according to recent research by Adecco, which looked at decoding what the new era of work could look like.
One of the key themes from the Adecco report was the changing way that productivity is measured. The move to hybrid working means that tracking results, not hours, is emerging as the new way to measure productivity. With this in mind, we thought it would be helpful to share 4 essential tips to boost productivity in the new normal.
#1 A safe, productive working environment
When staff eventually return to the office the workplace must be Covid-secure. This goes without saying. But social distancing, changing workspace layouts and staggering start times to avoid the rush hour will change the way teams and individuals work together, collaborate, interact and socialise. And it’s this human interaction and co-operation that gives teams a creative spark and improves productivity and innovation. It’s one of the main reasons why some people prefer to come into the office in the first place. Careful thought will be needed on everything from seating plans, to using the work technology that keep teams connected to meeting and social spaces.
#2 Avoiding presenteeism and unpaid overtime
The lines between the working day and home life can quickly blur, especially when people have been out of the office for a while and the daily routine has totally changed. Presenteeism, whereby people continue to work when they are unwell, or they work through breaks or put in longer hours, will all impact productivity. At home or in the office. For remote workers, this is being dubbed e-presenteeism when people are staying online as much as they can and working beyond their regular hours.
With limited options for taking a holiday for the foreseeable future, employees might also be tempted to save their holiday days for better times. This is also counterproductive if there’s not time to recharge the batteries.
#3 Active communication on employee benefits
The scale and magnitude of the change that employees and the companies that they work for has been unprecedented. Businesses have worked hard to build a culture of open communication and this includes improving benefits communication. Just under half (44%) of firms increased benefits communication during the lockdown according to Willis Towers Watson research and it’s critical that this communication continues to keep staff engaged about the benefits that are available to them and improve uptake. An employee benefits platform with in-built communication tools to share information and updates, seek employee feedback and build an inclusive online community will be a big help here.
#4 The right work technology
Long term, are your remote workers able to access the work technology and tools they need to work productively from home? Research by Riverbed found that 94% of business decision makers said that technology glitches had impacted workers and businesses while working remotely. Poor quality video meetings, frequent disconnects from corporate networks, slow file downloads and long response times when loading apps were the biggest causes of IT issues. Companies are recognising that long term investment is needed to support a productive remote workforce. And businesses are preparing to do this. Up to three-quarters of respondents (72%) in the Riverbed survey said that they were planning to increase investment in the coming years.
Sustaining positive productivity gains
A study by Sapio Research and Skout found remote working was already having a positive impact on productivity according to a third of businesses (34%). Employees are also reporting positive trends with 27% of workers saying that they were producing work of a higher quality. We hope you’ve found these 4 tips helpful to lock in any positive gains from the big remote working experiment we’ve all just been through. Improving the health and well-being of your team and evolving your employee benefits offering is crucial here. We’re here if you need our help.