How To Make The Office Desirable Again

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office culture

The great remote work experiment is coming to an end, and for most employees, that’s not something they’re looking forward to. 

In case you’ve missed the memo: more and more companies are cracking down on remote work arrangements. 

Many are finding that remote workers make less productive employees while also attributing part of their success to the difficulty in managing remote teams. We’re seeing new policies rolled out across companies and offices – policies that force employees back into 9-5, Monday to Friday roles. 

Why does this matter for modern office culture? Well, as we work our way through an era where it seems like everything is changing at a breakneck pace, change is what makes us feel alive and inspired – from our homes to our workplaces.

Employees Want Hybrid Work 

Employees also want to work collaboratively, as we’ve all heard that being able to work with others across the country and around the world makes us more productive. 

This is why online learning courses that can be taken anywhere have become so popular, as well as companies such as Buffer, which give remote workers flexible hours – because everyone wants to work smarter, not harder. 

For most of us, working remotely isn’t just about making our lives easier; it’s about reclaiming a sense of control over our work. 

Hybrid working -working in the office for set hours or days and remote at other times- is the main way that most employers and employees can agree about working times. 

However, while a hybrid working arrangement sounds like a great compromise in theory, in reality, it’s not always ideal.

Why Hybrid Working Isn’t Always Ideal 

While some employees want to be able to work when and where they want, others find themselves either leaving the office early or starting before their boss does. 

This can lead to feelings of resentment, so as you’re about to find out: implementing hybrid working hours into your office is only going to work if everyone is on board. 

Read on for tips on creating an environment that values collaboration and creativity while also allowing employees a degree of freedom over their workday.

Managing Employee Happiness The Right Way

Make Everyone Feel Valued 

As great as it is to work remotely, there are a few drawbacks to it as well – namely, you run the risk of neglecting employees who aren’t able to work outside of the office. 

If your company is rolling out hybrid working hours, then make sure everyone (both remote workers and those in the office) understands what’s expected of them when and when they’re not. 

That means encouraging remote workers to be present while they’re online – especially if you’d like them to take part in video conferencing or conference calls.

Have Good Access To Services (wherever employees are) 

This means having HR support on the phones either 24/7 or at least during core business hours, investing in managed IT services to keep everyone online and able to work, and ensuring that managers are contactable and reliable. 

Even remote employees will begin to feel resentful if they feel like their service requests are being ignored or not taken seriously enough because they aren’t “in the office” with everyone else.

Offer Flexible Working Hours For Remote Employees 

Remote employees need more flexibility than their colleagues in the office as they’re often working from home, which may mean they’re able to work more hours than those who work full-time.

If your company is rolling out hybrid working hours, make sure you’re offering this kind of flexibility to their remote workers if they request it, especially something as basic as allowing them to leave the office earlier to accommodate particularly hectic family life.

Train Employees on Collaboration Across Geo-Distributed Environments 

While collaboration is something that remote workers and their colleagues in the office are both looking for, remote employees may need more training on how to work with people based in different locations.

This means having regular meetings to discuss key issues and concerns and making sure everyone knows how to use communication tools that help them connect with other team members (like video conferencing or group chat services like Slack). 

Remember: while you may be used to working remotely, your new remote employees won’t be. Make sure they’re equipped with the right skills and knowledge before they go off on their own.

Manage Expectations 

Remote employees need to be aware of the expectations you have for them, whether that’s a weekly check-in or sending reports at the end of every month.

This means encouraging remote employees to ask questions and make suggestions while they’re part of your team.