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9 Frequent Pitfalls of Hybrid-Distant Work and The way to Keep away from Them

The previous yr has massively affected the best way we work. We’ve been specializing in navigating the brand new panorama of working from residence, and now it’s time to look to the long run.

Because the UK leaves what’s hopefully its final lockdown behind, and companies throughout the nation are allowed to open their doorways once more, we’re questioning: is hybrid work about to change into the brand new regular? 

As we think about the execs and cons of hybrid work and await additional developments, let’s check out the most typical pitfalls of a hybrid-remote work setting – and what we are able to do to keep away from them. 

1. Lack of House

The flexibility to make money working from home sounds wonderful. There’s the liberty to remain in your pants in case you need and the liberty to construction your day nonetheless you see match. Sadly, the fact is usually a little less-than-ideal.

One main impediment when working from residence turns into the norm, reasonably than the occasional deal with, is the dearth of area. Most staff don’t have a house workplace setup. The self-employed most frequently do, however anybody who has been used to going to an workplace every single day has most likely kept away from investing in a spare room with an workplace chair and desk.

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And when it’s important to be productive from the identical desk the place you’ve simply had breakfast and from the place you may have a transparent line of imaginative and prescient to the TV, it could possibly change into more and more tough to focus.

Relying on the extent and the supply of alterations wanted to arrange a greater WFH setting, some staff could be able to assemble themselves an area they’ll work from. 

A method employers can assist is to supply to assist with the prices – this could possibly be by offering a set sum of cash to every employees member, sending them one of the best new {hardware}, or letting them declare again related bills. Simply because they aren’t bodily within the workplace doesn’t imply your employees have stopped working for you and in the direction of what you are promoting targets. 

2. Not Having The Proper Instruments

One other downside that may come up when working remotely is a scarcity of instruments. Many companies needed to alter to the brand new actuality of distant work virtually in a single day, left them with no time to organize. Consequently, many distant groups have by no means totally developed their processes and procedures and are nonetheless working with out the instruments they should succeed. 

In order for you your hybrid groups to be as productive as they moderately can, you might want to guarantee they have the appropriate instruments for the job. Relying in your line of labor, you could require a standardised strategy to share information, for instance, versus the other ways your staff are reaching for at current. 

Earlier than you enter the world of hybrid distant work, fastidiously look at the roles of each worker. What do their jobs entail? By making selections in regards to the instruments for use, you may guarantee everybody can a) excel at their job and b) be on the identical web page. Plus, you’ll save your group the effort of figuring it out themselves.

3. Poor Collaboration

This is among the largest challenges of shifting to a hybrid mannequin. Environment friendly collaboration is vital to success. Sadly, attaining it may be tough even when everybody concerned in a venture is situated in the identical room, not to mention when they’re related solely by the frail waves of their respective WiFis. 

To beat this impediment, you might want to guarantee you may have chosen your group fastidiously. Randomly assigning individuals to a venture primarily based on arbitrary causes will hinder any potential progress.  You wish to match individuals for his or her abilities and the best way they work collectively. Irrespective of how competent people are, you’re in bother if they’ll’t stand one another.

In fact, complementary personalities (and abilities) isn’t the one factor you might want to plan for. Your group should have entry to the identical sources, even when they don’t technically want all of them. Specifically, ensure all of them have entry to inside communication options, like group messaging.

That is particularly vital in a hybrid setting, as everybody could also be working from completely different places. Whereas it may be price facilitating in-person conferences, it additionally must be attainable for everybody to speak from residence. 

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4. A Work-Life Imbalance

This problem is extra particular person – but it surely’s nonetheless one thing firms can assist with. Anybody working remotely would possibly wrestle with their work-life stability, which is a surefire path to burnout. 

You would possibly suppose that having the choice to get up late and keep away from the commute is healthier than rolling away from bed. When you could be proper, it ignores among the different issues: the construction going to work offers means there’s a clear finish and a transparent starting to the workday. 

Once we make money working from home, these traces can get blurred. It’s simple to wrestle to begin or preserve working late into the night. Provided that working from residence can negatively impression our high quality of sleep, it actually is not any surprise we are able to get caught in a vicious circle. 

Overcoming the work-life imbalance when having fun with hybrid work is finally a burden shouldered by the worker. Nonetheless, you may assist – don’t ship pressing emails exterior of working hours, and encourage all employees truly to sign off on the finish of the day. Creating a piece tradition the place nobody works past their hours and the place nobody is predicted to answer issues instantly regardless of the time of day, could make an enormous distinction.

That stated, discovering the appropriate combination of flexibility and construction won’t be a simple process, and there’s no one-size-fits-all resolution. Discuss to each worker working in a hybrid setting and discover a resolution primarily based on their particular wants and habits collectively. 

5. A World of Distractions

It may be tough to keep away from time-wasters at work. There’s social media, the chat app we use to meet up with colleagues, the ever-filling inbox, to not point out the mere existence of our telephones!

To eradicate some, if not all, of those distractions, be sure to’ve chosen the appropriate instruments for the job. In case your group has to spend time figuring out how you can share information or get in contact with one other division, it’s solely going to sluggish them down. For example, you may implement new instruments and ask your employees to make use of time trackers to establish the unhealthy habits they won’t realise they’ve.

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It’s not simply exterior distractions that may trigger issues – we’ve all been in these conferences that might have been an electronic mail. Earlier than you invite individuals to a gathering (whether or not in particular person or a video name), ask your self in the event that they actually must be there. And in the event that they do, attempt to keep away from that assembly going off-topic.  

Simply bear in mind: micromanagement isn’t the answer. When your staff make money working from home, cease your self (and their different group members) from checking in on them too usually. A relaxed and uninterrupted work setting is extra prone to result in the outcomes you need.

6. Cybersecurity Threats 

The hybrid work setting will be very uncovered to an entire host of cybersecurity threats. Not solely has the variety of cybercrimes dramatically risen throughout the pandemic, however the truth that your employees are utilizing quite a few routers and units to entry delicate knowledge may also present simply the loophole an attacker must infiltrate your organisation.

In case you have a carry your personal laptop computer coverage, or in case your employees are taking their workplace laptops residence on distant days, you might want to guarantee these units are completely protected. It might be finest in case you had a really dependable antivirus, firewall and risk prevention device. You additionally have to implement clear and easy cybersecurity insurance policies and supply sufficient coaching on your staff.

By instructing them to establish widespread dangers, together with phishing, unsecured web sites, unsafe passwords, and so forth, you may minimise numerous the chance that comes with hybrid work. 

7. Social Distancing at its Worst

In case you’re not cautious, the hybrid office can find yourself feeling just like the worst of each worlds reasonably than one of the best. It might probably mix the stresses of an workplace workspace whereas additionally selling the inherent loneliness and isolation of working remotely. 

When working from residence, your groups are naturally minimize off from one another. However once they do are available in, particularly if it’s for 50% of their time or much less, they’ll deal with getting sure facets of their work accomplished and principally socialise solely with the colleagues they want enter or suggestions from. 

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If they’re having bother being productive at residence, they could be more and more work-focused within the workplace, which is able to minimize down their socialisation to a naked minimal.

To avoid this concern, foster the human contact each remotely and within the workplace. Have a weekly video chat the place everybody can chat about their week. When within the workplace, have joint breaks or mealtimes the place no work is mentioned and when individuals can get pleasure from the advantages of working from an workplace: speaking to different people. 

8. A Disruption to Routines

Once we have been plunged straight into distant work, numerous us struggled with the disruption. The identical concern is current (although to a lesser extent) in hybrid work environments. Switching between getting up at a sure time, preparing, maybe getting ready a meal and an outfit, and commuting could be very completely different from working from residence. This modification in habits can result in stress and a drop in productiveness. 

Fortunately, this downside is a simple one to resolve. The hot button is routine. Maybe your staff wish to make money working from home on Mondays and Fridays and are available into the workplace mid-week? Any mixture of days will work, so long as you attempt to line up workplace and non-office days. You would possibly even discover {that a} week in/week off system works higher.

Your foremost problem can be discovering an answer that works for everybody. Relying on the scale of your hybrid group, it might not even be attainable. As a substitute of attempting to drive the answer that almost all is comfy with, make it some extent to discover a resolution for everybody, even when which means there are only a few days within the month when each single worker is bodily current within the workplace. 

9. How Are We Imagined to Handle Hybrid Groups? 

Lastly, there’s yet another level we have to contact upon. 

And we do actually imply contact upon, because the hybrid group administration is a subject that warrants a completely new article. Nonetheless, let’s simply run over among the foremost issues to place in place:

  • Write clear processes: staff ought to at all times discover out what to do, whether or not at residence or within the workplace.
  • Over-communicate: it’s higher to be clear than misunderstood.
  • Minimize your assembly occasions down: bear in mind, if it can be an electronic mail, it ought to be an electronic mail.
  • Embody everybody: make hybrid working obtainable to everybody. In any other case, you’re prone to create friction between groups.
  • Provide and ask for suggestions usually: while you’re extra distanced out of your colleagues, it may be tougher to guage your efficiency. Keep in contact, and be sure to’re all pleased with how issues are going.
  • Belief your staff and don’t micromanage them: harassed staff aren’t productive. Keep away from making them really feel such as you’re continuously trying over their shoulder.
  • Be clear about your expectations: have clear targets that must be met so that everybody is aware of what they’re doing and when.

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Remaining Ideas 

It’s a cliche, however the way forward for work actually is now. What we as soon as thought not possible had change into a actuality: those that as soon as claimed hybrid work meant doom had been pressured to eat their phrases. 

Nonetheless, simply because we are able to now embrace hybrid work doesn’t imply the whole lot is immediately excellent. A hybrid work state of affairs blends the worst of distant work with the worst of workplace work and ends in utter catastrophe.

To reap the advantages of the hybrid work mannequin, be sure to fastidiously think about its potential pitfalls and do your finest to preempt them reasonably than work on fixing them once they have already begun disrupting your productiveness.


Fabi Pina is the Content material Director at Startupresources.io. She writes about startups, with a deal with branding, design, and digital advertising and marketing.

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