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How to Effectively Transition to Hybrid Work

 

Across a range of industries, employees have increasingly advocated for remote working arrangements. Aside from valid health concerns amid the pandemic, remote work also lets them live further away from their workplace, save time and money on commutes, spend more time with their families, and dress more comfortably. Modern digital technology, employees will often say, enables them to stay connected to their colleagues and tasks, regardless of distance.

Some businesses, hesitant to lose their traditional workplace environment, respond by highlighting the importance of corporate culture as well as interactive brainstorming, arguing that emails and Zoom calls are a poor substitute for synergistic in-person exchanges. Team-building is a delicate project, they may say – and is much harder to achieve through computer screens.

Both sides are right, yet there is a middle ground that too often goes unexplored. Hybrid work models involve a mixture of on-site and remote work, combining them into a template that makes each side better off than they were before. Yet implementing a hybrid work model requires a delicate touch as well, and our audit firm in Thailand has developed four key recommendations to help the transition succeed.

1: Focus on culture

Employee loyalty, engagement, and performance depend on how much they believe in the direction of their company. Regularly scheduled and well-structured internal communications can clarify and highlight the company’s values, keeping employees aligned both practically and philosophically – even when they are in separate physical spaces.

2: Invest in well-being

Changes in routine, as well as the realities of remote work, can lead to burnout among many employees. Managers should show empathy as well as creativity when helping their people adapt to new operational norms. Every gesture in this direction, no matter how small, will be noticed and appreciated by the team.

3: Integrate new technology

In remote working situations, communication tends to be the bottleneck that slows down projects. Companies should therefore invest in smooth digital communications systems, to enable synergy across teams. At the same time, however, it is also important to recognise vulnerabilities. With so much data now stored online – both yours and your customers’ – secure systems and a security-conscious internal culture are a prerequisite for success.

4: Simplify through outsourcing

Coordination across physically distant teams is a challenge even at the best of times, without extra administrative requirements adding even more complexity. Companies practising hybrid work should outsource all non-core functions of their business to specialist organisations, so as to enable a clear and undiluted company-wide focus on the challenges and opportunities of their core business model.

 

Adapting to a hybrid future

By following the steps outlined above, your business can successfully transition to the kind of hybrid arrangement that will benefit managers, employees, and the company as a whole. Such a system will also help your company become more durable during any future periods of disruption, as your team will already know how to work well together both remotely and in-person.

However, knowing what to do is not the same as knowing how to do it. Grant Thornton has helped businesses in a variety of sectors improve their organisational efficiency – and our audit firm in Thailand can also provide direct outsourcing assistance on request. Contact us today to find out more.