Hybrid or Nah?

Updated: Jul 19, 2021

5 Considerations for the New World of Work

1. Office Space: (Great movie, right? Well, this time we’re talking about office space as in office design.)

You’ll want to consider whether returning to the office is even feasible right now, given office design, the nature of the work, and standards the organization has set while considering the health, safety, and engagement of employees. It cannot be ignored that some employees and customers may not yet feel comfortable returning to the former-normal.

We’ve decided to retire “new normal” verbiage after all, right? Consider whether you need as many meetings as you had before and how they will be handled. Maybe there’s an opportunity to make them even more efficient now. Some are using Video Technology to record portions of meetings that can be broadcast to larger audiences, thereby eliminating some meetings or shortening them. If going back hybrid or even fully-remote, does that in-person mandatory meeting really need to be a meeting? If it does, does it really need to be an in-person meeting?

2. Technology:

Lights camera, action?!? Do you require cameras on or allow for a break for employees to have them off? Flexibility here also promotes inclusion and supports engagement because no one likes to feel forced to do things. Does your current set-up allow for both hybrid and remote options or just one or the other? Even if you plan to return fully to the workplace at some point, unless you plan to bring everyone back at once and have a solid plan for that, we don’t advise doing so.

We’re seeing most organizations focus on creating plans for a hybrid approach, flexing teams to allow for a certain capacity of the team to return on certain days of the week or staggering work hours. It is always advisable, when possible, to involve the team in the process by asking what their thoughts are. As we’ve seen in our clients and network, there is a variance in whether or not teams want to remain remote, return to the office, or would prefer a hybrid approach to return-to-work. Many organizations are surveying their teams and sending communications- a best practice we celebrate, by the way. Open and frequent communication is best for engaged teams and cultures, and will do wonders for your Employer Brand!

3. Travel:

What do the new travel restrictions and guidelines mean for you and your team, especially if International travel is part of the equation? Maybe you have figured out some creative new ways to save on travel budgets and burnout for the team. We’ve been made aware that some companies have even had better customer experiences with customers and prospects, and have even seen increased employee engagement with decreased travel for roles historically considered to be high travel. Might be time to update that Travel and Expense Policy. Consider that some of your team may want to travel more with friends and family than for business, so you could get an engagement win there!

4. Recruitment:

Things are moving and shaking out there in the world of Recruitment again, and it’s no longer the Employer’s Market. Employees are starting to shape the world of work more than ever and being very vocal about increased balance, flexibility, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Corporate Responsibility, Work Perks, and more. These things have been increasing more and more in importance over time over Total (tangible) Compensation. You’ll also want to consider that the Future of Work could mean even more productivity and opportunities to develop teams if you play it right.

All that time spent on the morning commute could be poured into a morning workout to give your employees more energy for the day, which boosts positivity and brain power. Employees would have more time to devote to projects, may be able to start or end their day earlier and still meet expectations and deadlines, and be happier in the end. Maybe they’d even have more time to devote to mentoring another employee. We’re big on Mentorship and think of the Ripple Effect that having this type of collaboration in your organization could bring. You get to boost your team and others’, as well as the organization’s Brand, thereby breaking down those dreaded silos. Fun Fact: Some clients are even seeing those silo walls come down in the remote environment.

We’re proud to have clients who are seeing their employees and opportunities to connect with other top talent in new ways, and who have committed and recommitted to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and to focused engagement efforts of their team. This isn’t easy work, but you’ll reap the benefits in the end of building engaged teams and cultures. So will your Employer Brand! Some companies were already leveraging Video Technology for interviews long before the Pandemic, some have embraced it since. Either way, you have options and you should consider what’s worked best and what will work best for the Future of Work. Creativity goes a long way!

5. ADA Rules of Engagement still apply:

Even in the Remote environment, employers will still be responsible and accountable for managing through the Interactive Process with employees needing a Reasonable Accommodation to perform their Essential Job Functions. This Law applies to employers of 15 or more, both Public and Private Sector. Check out our article from last month regarding Reasonable Accommodations. This Fact Sheet from EEOC may also prove helpful as guidance for more information.

We’re Jazzed for June! See what we've been up to lately in #TheHROffice:

CEPHR, LLC is now a Minority Business Enterprise! Please join us in celebrating another way to bring Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to the workplace and to Communities! We look forward to the opportunities this new designation will bring to help achieve our Value of Inclusivity.

The Continuing the Race Conversation Virtual Diversity Series that our CEO Tiffany Castagno Co-hosts with Suman Kapur, CEO of Well Balanced Solutions, commemorated its first year on June 11th! The Series was started after the murder of George Floyd, with two friends checking in on each other. It has since evolved to a safe space making big Community impacts! All are welcome to join the conversation any Friday at 12 PM EST: https://bit.ly/3w30FoO. You can also catch past replays here: http://bit.ly/ContinuingtheRaceConversation

Our CEO Tiffany Castagno was proud to be featured in Issue 1 of Into Self Care Magazine, which strives to bring Self Care into the workplace and our daily lives and individuals. A special thanks to Abby Jules for the feature and for the Self Care TV interview to discuss the impact of workplace culture and management know-how on the wellbeing of employees. We discussed tips for employers to improve infrastructure, branding, and workplace culture.

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