A company that relies on hybrid working models needs feedback from employees. To this end, regular on-site meetings must take place, especially in the early stages. At these meetings, everyone talks about the most important tasks of the last week. A guest article by Philipp Reittinger and Andreas Arndt.
On the social media channels, mainly on LinkedIn, a lot is currently about ideas and views on the question “Home office or face-to-face work?” Many decision-makers do not even weigh up the possibility of the hybrid solution. In it, however, lies the compromise with which all parties involved can often come to terms with. Philipp Reittinger and Andreas Arndt have chosen Hybrid as a form of cooperation since it was founded in 2018 – and so only four years later the team consists of 25 employees. Is there a recipe for success for “hybrid” and what ingredients do you need for it?
The basic requirements of hybrid work
In addition to qualities such as discipline and honesty, there must be a good basis of trust. This is the only way the boss can make it possible to work in a relaxed manner without having to appear on site every day or check every task. On the other hand, of course, employees also want more and more flexibility. The classic “9 to 5” job is rarely lived anymore.
In addition to technical aids and, if necessary, one or the other training on new tools, hybrid work does not require as much preparatory work as remote work. After all, the employees can answer each other’s questions and help each other on joint on-site days. Thus, a strong team spirit and cohesion is already the last basic prerequisite for implementing hybrid work in the company.
What makes the hybrid working model?
During the last two years, many companies have developed almost rituals and thus also new, digital traditions. In order to stay in constant exchange, no matter where you are, a kind of “Good Morning Call” often serves even in hybrid work. This call does not necessarily have to be made daily, but should take place regularly. The aim of such a virtual meeting is the exchange across the typical work topics. Here everyone comes together in a large and carefree group and tells each other about private experiences, highlights of the week or play browser games like skribbl.io together. With such fixed dates, the company ensures that the team stays in touch with each other. Rather, it also offers a good platform for sustainable team building. Another advantage of the meetings, about breakout sessions, even smaller groups can talk and, if necessary, arrange separately.
To communicate, teams in hybrid enterprises use solutions such as Microsoft Teams and Slack. These tools are popular in both the home office and the office and are easy to use so that everyone involved is always up to date. In addition, they make the employees accessible to their colleagues during working hours. Even in the event of a PC crash, everyone stays in the loop here, as most work messengers also offer an app for the smartphone.
A ticket system such as Jira or Asana, in order to be able to map project management regardless of location, is essential for hybrid work. A clear advantage of a ticket system is that everyone can organize themselves and structure the work. The tasks of the team, on the other hand, are also always just a click away and can be called up at a glance. Another plus point: Everyone always stays informed about which tasks colleagues are currently busy with and what their workload looks like. Above all, however, the use of ticket systems ensures that joint work processes are clearly divided and presented in closed processes.
How do I ensure a good hybrid workflow?
Of course, a company that wants to establish the hybrid model also needs feedback from employees. To this end, regular on-site meetings must take place, especially in the early stages. At these meetings, all employees come together and talk about the most important tasks of the last week and how they have mastered them. It is important to make it clear to the team that feedback on workflows is expressly and unfiltered. This is the only way for decision-makers to perfect the hybrid model for their own employees. However, managers should also use the appointments to address general topics such as upcoming team events, new employees, further training or process optimization.
In order not to be dependent on one or a single employee in the hybrid working model, ideas such as the work buddy system can be applied. Each employee gets a “buddy” from their own ranks, with whom he/she holds regular buddy meetings. In these meetings, the buddies brief each other on their own customers and current processes. In the event of illness or during the holiday season, the respective buddy can then step in seamlessly. But also joint work and reflections take place between the buddies. In most cases, this not only results in new perspectives, but also creative ideas, different wordings and new solutions. This also makes it easier for the buddies to do their own customer work. Whether the buddies change regularly or not depends on how big teams with similar expertise are.
Team events must also not be neglected with less social contact with each other. So why not, for example, make the buddy couples responsible for the organization of team events on a monthly basis? Another advantage of the resulting ideas: The events take place both online and offline and range from quiz evenings to wine tastings, depending on the idea of the work buddies – and such a virtual wine or drink stand can of course also be a good template for a regular virtual tasting.
Hybrid working is good for everyone
Through continuous optimization, other processes, such as onboarding from the home office, are also carried out. Positive side effects of the home office times are also more relaxed work, even dividable breaks and fewer distractions, which often arise solely from the fact that the boss continuously walks past their own workplace – and the resulting decreasing pressure to perform makes the employees calm, but above all happy.