A man sitting at a desk, analyzing data on his laptop, in a remote work environment.

How Do You Boost Employee Engagement in a Hybrid Work Environment?

As the workplace has shifted in the last few years, many offices have implemented hybrid or entirely remote work environments. Although there is no one-size-fits-all approach to workplace policies, hybrid and remote work are more popular than ever before. According to the New York Times, 27 percent of full-time workdays were done from home earlier this year. How can companies make sure their employees are connected and productive outside of the office? Here, we share 3 tips to boost employee engagement in a hybrid or remote work environment.

But first… Let’s take a look at why remote work is becoming more common.

Since the pandemic, we have seen massive shifts in the nature of work all over the nation. There are multiple contributing factors to this change, one of which is the new age of the workforce. As millennials and newer generations become the largest percentage of the workforce, it becomes increasingly imperative to understand their needs.

And they have spoken: a majority of millennials will not even consider a job opportunity if it does not have remote or hybrid functions. In addition, millennials report being the most open to new job opportunities if their needs are not being met. While older generations continue to feel happy enough in the office, remote work will continue to grow as the newer generations push for change.

For organizations that have primarily had in-office policies, this change does not have to be intimidating. In fact, the numbers make a compelling case for the value of remote work. Employees who work remotely report 47% more productivity and far less distraction than their in-office counterparts.

Whether or not these hybrid and remote options are the right choice for your company, it is important to understand employee needs as times change.

How to make it work:prioritize onboarding of new employees.

When new employees join a company with a hybrid or remote work policy, onboarding may look different. Informal interactions around the water cooler or coffee maker are not options for employees to develop trust and camaraderie when starting out. Even for hybrid employees who are occasionally in-office, interactions may be infrequent or in passing, rather than concentrated efforts.

This is why onboarding is a crucial jumping off point for remote and hybrid employees. Top tips for getting off to a running start with new employees include streamlining communication, holding a virtual team meeting to welcome the new employee, and one-on-one meetings with leadership to get to know one another.

Another important factor for onboarding is making your remote work policy clear. Ensure that new employees have the latest information on expectations while working remotely at your organization. This sets them up for success once the training wheels are off!

How to make it work: don’t micromanage.

As the workplace adapts to new policies such as working remotely, it can feel scary to give employees such autonomy. Keeping the value-add of remote work to your organization in mind can help. Another assistive tool that will ensure success is resisting the urge to micromanage employees.

Some organizations may want to surveil employees who are out of sight, but this is actually counterproductive. In fact, employees are more likely than ever to find another job where they do not feel intruded upon and their values are matched. Due to these factors, remote and hybrid companies should focus on adopting an asynchronous approach to work.

An asynchronous approach improves productivity, broadens the talent pool and reduces costs associated with a traditional office environment. It can also improve work-life balance for your employees, which is a main concern for the current job force. With this strategy, remote and hybrid teams avoid burnout and bottlenecking and can add more value to their work.

How to make it work: stay on top of data security.

With Internet connections spanning homes, coffee shops and hotels, cyber security is more important than ever. This is why it’s important to protect your business’s sensitive data and information, particularly with remote work.

Implementing VPN (Virtual Private Networks) connections, secure password management systems and two-factor authentication policies are trusted methods for data safety.

For specific customer issues, relations and information, always double-check the compliance regulations for that employee and make guidelines clear. When it comes to cybersecurity and data protection, there is no such thing as too secure.

Where do we go from here?

Again, hybrid and remote work policies are not the answer for every company. However, they are becoming increasingly common and as the demand for these options increases, it is important to know how to implement them effectively.

If your organization is interested in implementing remote policies, or needs assistance managing a policy already in-place, schedule a free consultation call with us to see how Humani can help!

As trusted HR advisors, Humani HR can help you navigate tough transitions with tailored plans to suit your situation. Connect with us to start a conversation.