In 2020, many businesses had to adapt quickly with the switch to a remote work force. This drove many leaders to quickly adopt hybrid work policies.
Now that we have at least 12 months of experience with a hybrid working work force, company leaders have the luxury to be more thoughtful and deliberate with policies and procedures around hybrid and remote work.
Here are four tips for businesses that are taking some time to review the past year and craft more long-lasting policies for remote work going forward.
1. Define Your Hybrid Work Model
Businesses will have to decide which hybrid work models will be effective for their teams and manageable by leadership.
There are different models that are workable for different staff in organizations. When this is specifically outlined, expectations can be managed among team members.
- 100% remote: Employees will never be expected to work in-person at the office.
- Office-occasional: Remote work is usual, but this model builds in requirements for in-person work to support meetings, better team bonding, and collaboration.
- Office-first: This sets the expectation that working in the office is the standard, but remote work can be available as needs arise. There may be a need to define those scenarios that may allow remote work.
2. Define How Work Gets Done
When a business has some staff working remotely and some in the office, the teams might experience disjointed schedules, confusion, and frustration over missed meetings, late arrivals or when they can’t get in touch with each other.
A hybrid policy should address the times when employees are expected to be working and available. If there is a need to communicate constantly throughout the work time, there needs to be a process and a means of communicating with each other in real time. The policy should outline these expectations for presence and availability.
3. Define Access to Sensitive Data
If your business deals with sensitive data, there should be strong guidelines around access to that data for remote workers. Since most remote workers will be working from their homes, the policies should outline procedures for security of sensitive data.
How to handle sensitive data (considering there may be others in the household)
Procedures around printing hard copies of sensitive material
Policies addressing security for logins and private websites
Policies around multiple users having access to work computers and equipment
Policies that may call for requiring a dedicated space in the home for working
4. Define A Successful Set of Policies
When you set up new policies, there is always a period of adjustment. If you include your staff as much as possible, the adjustment period will be faster, and acceptance will be more positive.
It’s incredibly beneficial to survey your existing employees for their feedback on the current working model and any proposed changes. This provides insight for employees as they are involved with creating the new work model policies. Involving staff and getting their input is a great way to find out what’s working and what needs improving.
Excelerant Has the Experience To Help With Those Policy Change Conversations
Updating policies and procedures in your employee handbook are important to a company’s success, and the professionals at Excelerant are ready to guide your leadership team through those policy update conversations – give us a call.
Christina Harper Olivier, PCC, PHR, CTP – Christina applies her expertise in the leadership development field to improving performance, strengthening operations and support her clients in reaching the next level of growth. She uses a “coach approach” to focus on the connections between profitability, employee engagement, retention and business results. Christina’s unique ability to quickly assess a company’s needs and chart a path for capitalizing on its investment in its people has made her a valuable partner in a variety of industries.