How To Prioritize The Well-being Of Your People In A Hybrid Workplace
Effective management is an integral part of any organization; teams look up to their leadership for motivation and feedback for their work. A team’s morale, productivity, and success rely on the relationship between a team and its manager. This requirement is independent of the nature of the workplace; whether it is in-office, remote, or a hybrid workplace, the bond between a team and its manager needs to be strong to facilitate decisions and communication.
But dynamics of workplace models have started changing and more employees prefer remote working at least a few days of the week. So it is important for business enablers, leaders, and team managers to focus on deliverance through hybrid models.
Best of Both Worlds
A hybrid workplace model is a mix of in-office and remote workplace models. It is a flexible and supportive tool that helps employees engage themselves for better productivity and still maintain a work-life balance. Team managers and leadership benefit from this model by nurturing a productive and stable workforce.
Importance of Well-being of Employees
The facilities and structure of a workplace model may have numerous benefits but its efficacy is limited to its utility and functional value to the organization. A hybrid workplace model with all its advantages is effective only when employees and organizations can see added value to their workflow management. However, to make any system efficient, the top priority of any organization should be employee welfare and their ability to feel good about the new adjustments that they need to make.
Importance of Social Life
After the initial few weeks of the pandemic, most employees working from home started feeling lonely. Most employees exhibited symptoms of anxiety and depression during the lockdown phase. And interestingly, it was not just limited to employees who lived alone and had no family around them.
Human beings need social interactions to manage their psyche. Despite a shortage of time between work and family, most of us take time out to hang out with peers and friends. On the contrary, people who deprive themselves of occasional harmless banter turn reclusive. During the lockdown, most employees could not interact with colleagues and friends in person. Virtual meeting rooms have certain limitations and cannot replace the in-person experience. As a result, isolation from the world and serendipitous news related to Covid led to unfavorable effects on employees’ mental health.
Pointers To Ensure Employee Wellness
Owing to the cited reasons, human resource organizations must look at means that prioritize employees’ mental health. Let’s examine simple strategies that workplaces can follow to ensure that employee well-being is prioritized:
- Engage In Conversations
Communication at levels is essential, more so when we work as a team. Everyone is not good at opening up to work colleagues or managers about their emotional quotient. But there is no means to know how an employee feels without having an honest conversation about it. HR professionals, training and development teams, and leadership need to converse with their teams. Organizations can take the following steps to facilitate open communications:
- Spend time discussing non-work-related stuff with every employee on regular basis.
- Share organizational news and explain the implications on individuals’ growth.
- Conduct one-to-one meetings and take feedback and updates from employees
- Give constructive and productive feedback about team members’ work. Simply telling them where they lack is not going to help as much as letting them know what needs to be done.
- Reiterate your support through verbal and actionable deeds. Praising the improvement of a team member who is struggling at handling work-related issues is as important as admiring a star achiever of the team.
- Support The Team
Supporting teams in adjusting to a hybrid workplace model is essential. Although many employees prefer remote work, few cannot make the required adjustments and can face difficulties in coping with the system. Function leads and managers need to be more compassionate towards each team member’s circumstances and abilities to handle the change. A little empathy can go a long way and get the desired results in hybrid workplace models.
- Gain Trust
As a manager, your biggest achievement is gaining the trust of the team that is working for you. This is possible only when the leadership is going beyond the teething problems of any change or technological glitches and letting your team know that you trust them to deliver their best.
Employees who trust their leadership display the following attributes:
- They communicate about the issues they are facing openly.
- They are in a better position to display their potential at work.
- The trust displayed by their line managers incentivizes them to work as a team.
- Delegation of work and achieving team goals is easier when trust between team members and management is in place.
- Set A Good Example
A team without a good leader is directionless and cannot achieve its goals without guidance. Though every organization aims to hire self-motivated individuals to perform tasks, it is a fact that teams are led by efficient managers who set an example for them.
A hybrid workplace model should also strive at setting the time spent at the work desk. Screen time fatigue should not set in; requisite breaks need to be allowed for employees working from remote locations. In your emails and team meetings, you should insist your team take small breaks and look away from their monitor. You should set the work time and not send an email out of hours. Your actions and words should explicitly state the demarcation between work and relaxation timings.
The hybrid working model is relatively new and most of us are trying to find solutions for all the settling issues that are cropping up in its infancy stage. Since we are in the initial phases of a model that is here to stay, keep it simple and be honest. If you are not able to figure out the barriers that your team is facing in a new hybrid model, then it is ideal to ask them what they need as a support system.