Preparing your team for a hybrid workplace
This week at Embryo, we are pleased to announce that we have finally been able to deliver our plan for returning to the office for our lovely (and very excited) digital marketing team members. A lot of time and consideration has gone into preparing this presentation, as all HR/ Operational roles will be aware, whilst we have to keep up with the latest news and government guidance for a safe and smooth transition back to the office, here at Embryo, we also have to monitor our rapid team growth and account for this moving forward. This has been an extremely hard process to keep on top of and be responsible for, which none of us had previously ever expected to deal with. Therefore, I wanted to focus this blog on providing other companies and people within similar roles to my own, with the tips that I have found helpful when delivering this news to your own team members and preparing them with a new hybrid workplace.
Before I touch on the tips for delivering this message, I thought it would be useful to list some of the key aspects I spent time considering when designing and implementing the new hybrid working structure:
- Plan a realistic timescale to implement the new hybrid structure, allowing yourself enough time to have everything organised and ready to go.
- Think about the technical equipment needed for both office and home working environments. What will be the most appropriate/flexible?
- Ensure you have carried out an updated risk assessment for you to then implement appropriate health and safety guidance.
- Consider which teams collaborate together daily, this will help you decide which groups can be in the office together.
- Consider the full capacity of your office space whilst facilitating social distancing guidelines.
Once you have completed the above, take a look at our top 3 tips for delivering your new hybrid workplace procedure…
Deliver in small groups
Once you have confirmed your hybrid workplace structure and guidance, try to organise the presentation delivery into small groups so that it feels less overwhelming for the team. This also reduces the chance of lots of questions being asked at once. Implementing a new hybrid workplace following the pandemic may be a very overwhelming element of change for people to adjust to, so it is important to be mindful of the way you deliver this message. We decided to organise department meetings in advance for the following teams: PPC, SEO, Web, Paid Social, Content, and Digital PR.
Explain first, present second
At the start of your meeting, before sharing your presentation, be sure to outline the purpose of the meeting, let your team know that they can ask any questions throughout the meeting. However, I would advise that you ask that if anyone has any specific questions or concerns, that they are to contact you directly following the meeting. This way, your team members can feel comfortable raising their concerns privately in a safe space. One thing that is important to announce, is that you have implemented a plan that attempts to accommodate the whole team whilst remaining a flexible hybrid workplace. Make your team aware that it isn’t feasible to be able to accommodate absolutely everyone’s needs (especially if you have a large corporation), however, you have found a solution that you feel accommodates everyone as best as possible.
Allocate roles where necessary
If you are taking part in the Lateral Flow Device (LFD) government testing scheme, in order to help keep a smooth process, be sure to allocate different roles to the people involved. Perhaps allow one person to receive all team test results, and another person to be the one to receive any technical issues throughout the process. This way, the team doesn’t get confused, and all of the information gets passed through correctly. This will also allow the person responsible for overseeing the scheme, to be able to report any difficulties that occur and provide feedback where necessary via the government portal.
After all of the time and careful preparation that has been put into our own return to the office hybrid structure, we have now successfully delivered the process to all departments. Our team are super excited to be able to have a mixture of office /home days, and we are particularly excited about having the opportunity to meet all of our lovely new team members that we have welcomed this year! Here’s to a positive future for all businesses moving forward, with some really exciting workplace changes ahead.