7 Keys to Creating a Hybrid Work Schedule

Agile Workplace StudyA hybrid work schedule is a work schedule that combines elements of a compressed workweek, remote work and flextime. Typically, in a compressed workweek employees will have some long days where they come to the office for a set number of hours and then leave early on other days to make up the difference and then work remotely other times.   The combination of these methods can increase productivity and morale, reduce employees’ work-related stress, and decrease absenteeism. It is also known as an agile workplace.

However, implementing a hybrid schedule is not an easy task. It will take careful planning to make the transition as smooth as possible for both managers and employees. This article provides 7 tips on how to successfully implement a hybrid work schedule.

1. Communicate

It is essential to go over the new policy with all employees before it goes into effect. This way they can ask any questions and voice their concerns. To ease employees’ worries about how this will impact their schedules or other aspects of their jobs discuss hypothetical examples that explain how the schedule will work and share success stories of other companies that have successfully implemented a hybrid work schedule in their workplace. This way employees will understand exactly how this change will affect them and they can feel confident that their concerns have been addressed.

2. Identify scheduling and moral issues

A survey should be distributed to employees asking them about their concerns and ideas for the new policy. If possible, it would also help to gather feedback from managers as well. Look at how employees currently spend their time and identify any scheduling issues that may arise. For example, employees may be worried about how they will get projects done if they are expected to work 50 hours in four days instead of 40 hours over five days. Morale also needs to be considered. Employees who feel like their work schedule has become more flexible and fair are going to have a greater commitment to the company.

3. Create a detailed proposal

Once you have gathered all of this feedback, it’s time to create an official proposal with details on how the new policy will be implemented. Articulate precisely what the compressed workweek portion of the policy entails and present any rules that apply to employees who choose to take advantage of flextime. Also, be specific about which jobs qualify for the compressed workweek or remote working and how much time employees have to take advantage of it.

4. Include management training

If managers are expected to complete their regular duties during the hours when most employees are at home there needs to be proper training in place so they can manage these responsibilities effectively. Managers will also need to be properly trained in the concept of a flexible workplace if they are expected to supervise employees whose schedules differ significantly from their own. Also,  if employees are working different hours from their managers they may have trouble communicating or sharing information. Proper training in collaboration and communication will help integrate these teams into a productive, well-oiled machine.

5. Provide support for shift workers

If shift workers are included in the new policy they should have two weeks to weigh the pros and cons before deciding whether or not they want to participate. Since there may be scheduling conflicts with their outside commitments, this period will allow them to work it out and give them ample opportunity to voice their concerns and suggestions. Allowing some lead time before launch will also help management identify potential problems that may require more thought before the policy goes into effect.

6. Launch gradually

Although it may seem like implementing a new policy overnight will prevent further complications, launching the policy too quickly will only cause issues that can potentially delay or derail the change. Before choosing this route, consider how much time you need to launch properly and present this method as an alternative to your employees. If they are concerned about lack of preparation, ask them to help you brainstorm ways the change can be successfully implemented. The more input your employees have the better.

7. Train employees for success

Change can be difficult and it is important to encourage employees who will soon begin working a hybrid schedule to have realistic expectations. The new policy should provide them with social support from coworkers, supervisors, and human resources so they know they are not going through this alone. If everything has been done correctly the transition to a hybrid workweek should be a smooth one that both managers and employees are happy with.

It is important to remember that the goal of an agile workplace is to better accommodate employees’ needs and provide them with more growth opportunities. It can be difficult to change company policy, but organizations should remain open-minded about new ways to boost their business performance. Following these tips will help managers ensure that their employees are satisfied and respected under a new policy like the hybrid workweek.

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