The working from home experience was new to some when the pandemic struck. After months of doing so, different attitudes towards it have come up. Some people have made firm decisions to continue doing it for as long as they can and others are craving for the olden lifestyle of working from the office. Others are in between and would choose either depending on the circumstances. Chances are that you have a decision on this.
What do you do if some team members want to work from home and others from the office?
On surface level, returning to the office seems like something you can green light immediately following the belief that as long as they deliver on time. But there is a lot more that should be considered for the move to be successful. This article has some aspects that can guide you when debating on such a plea. Even though you may not have accurate answers immediately, thinking about them can have a profound impact on your decision.
What will they need and when?
Reopening the offices will mean major readjustments especially if you had closed the offices fully, reallocated money previously used for renting and feeding, redesigned or reduced the working spaces, or given them up all together. If you were previously offering transportation or meals for your staff, you may have to think about how that will be handled.
If some employees are seeking an at-will working model, where they work from the office whenever they desire, then you will have to make adjustments on how that can be catered.
Can they work under minimal or no supervision?
It is an unwritten rule that the official workplace should be orderly and professionalism observed at all times. While this is not strictly observed by many while working from home, at the very least, those who are seeking an opportunity of going back to the office should assure you of orderliness and professionalism at all times. They should go back to the office to work.
If there is a large team, it helps to have an overall leader whom you can contact directly for updates and ensure there is order in the office if you will keep managing remotely.
Will they observe the safety protocols?
This essentially goes back to their ability to work independently.
One of the benefits of working from home was seclusion and safety. However, by reopening the offices, employees may have to interact with many people each day. Even if they have been vaccinated and there are supplies in the office, there is dire need of observing the safety protocols to prevent infections.
At the very least, they should assure of strict adherence to the safety guidelines.
How many people will be accommodated at a time?
As the flexibility of working from the home or the office is implemented, it won’t come as a surprise that more people would seek the chance of either returning to the office fully or whenever situations demand.
With that in mind, you ought to consider how you will handle future requests.
How will they collaborate with those who are working from home?
This is particularly important if some of those who are seeking an opportunity to go back to the office are in the same team. They can easily form sub-groups and leave those who are out of sight behind by assuming that they will catch up or are not needed all together. Some of these shifts can happen unconsciously or consciously, but they break the sense of belonging especially for those who are not working from the office.
While considering a hybrid working model, it is important to look further at the possibility of disconnection and a list of ways on how you will mitigate.
How will you manage the hybrid working model?
If you have been managing a remote team for months, then a hybrid working model will require a change in management style. Luckily, the model has been tried and tested by some managers and some unintended consequences noted. Familiarizing yourself with the requirements and the possible challenges can help you tremendously in responding and planning for the transition.
The pandemic has allowed us to test both options of working and see what favours us the most. This implies that hybrid working model may become inevitable for some organizations in the near future. Now with a list of aspects to consider, you will be in a position to choose what favours your organization.