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Flexible work models are in high demand and business leaders around the globe are looking for ways to make their business more attractive for freedom-seeking employees. However, going from in-office to remote is a big step, and for some businesses, it might be easier to adapt to a hybrid model rather than jump starting into remote work.
There are many different paths for your business to become more remote-friendly. Here are 5 suggestions from us on how to take your business remote or implement a hybrid model.
Many companies are following an office first approach when it comes to remote work. This system sees employees spending the majority of their time in the office, but being allowed to work remotely for a couple of days each week or month.
This model has been widely adopted by companies even before the COVID-19 pandemic changed the state of modern work, and has mostly been referred to as a companies home office policy. However, many businesses have started offering flexible working hours in combination with remote days. This sees employees choosing their own hours, and therefore experiencing additional freedoms to design their working day in a way that suits them best.
The flexible model is taking it one step further than office first: Employees can freely choose where they would like to work. This means they are welcome in the office any time, but can ultimately spend their days working from home entirely if they choose to do so.
While the flexible system is generally not including a fully remote option, it still provides workers with a lot of flexibility. But depending on which model the management personnel is choosing for themselves, there is a slight chance of picking favourites among employees, which can potentially impact a team’s motivation and performance.
The remote-friendly model is attractive for companies that are just starting to look into remote work possibilities and don’t want to commit to a full remote approach just yet. Varying from business to business, this system sees some employees working from home or remotely full time, while others are still office bound with some home office days of their choosing.
This model is especially handy when exploring a new market and starting out with some remote employees in a specific country where companies don’t have an office just yet. They can hire talent and start to penetrate the market, without having to invest in new facilities straight away.
The next step up from the remote-friendly approach is a complete remote model. The big difference here is that employees are encouraged to work remotely the majority of the time, rather than just being given the opportunity to do so if they wish.
Usually, the remote model is a company-wide policy, seeing everyone pretty much working remotely most of the time. This calls for specific policies and processes being in place, for example, in regards to providing proper equipment and software, to create a seamless working experience no matter where people are based.
Lastly, some companies are adopting a mixture of all these models and letting their employees choose which system they want to adhere to. Basically, when signing a work contract, their workers pick an option and decide if they want to be in the office the majority of the time, or mostly work from home, or be fully remote.
However, there is a potential for imbalances among teams if the majority of workers choose one option, and thereby single out other individuals who chose a different option. This can quickly isolate the one team member in the office or at home and should therefore be planned out in more detail.
Of course it is crucial to consider financial benefits and workload implications the more policy-demanding models might have for your HR department, but at the end of the day, employee motivation and satisfaction should be at the top of your list.
So, if you want to adopt a more flexible work approach in your business but are unsure which model to pick, it might be worth it to create an employee survey and see which option your workers actually prefer.
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