The nation is reopening as the warm weather rolls in and more people get vaccinated. The worst of the pandemic seems to be behind us, and businesses are eager to get their teams back into the office. A National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions’ survey found that 61 percent of employers hope to have at least half of their workforce back to the worksite by the end of Q3 2021. Even the big tech companies are calling their employees back into the office. On April 3rd, Google announced it wants its workers back in the office ahead of schedule.

Many employees are not excited

For many employees, it’s been a year of remote work that they are not eager to say goodbye to. A Mercer survey found that 56 percent of employees would consider switching jobs if work location flexibility was not an option. That is a whopping percentage! The flexibility offered by working from home appears to be hard to give up. Working from home does not have to be an all-or-nothing proposition though. 52 percent of those surveyed said they preferred a hybrid model where they worked at the office around three days out of the week and two from home.

As the economy improves, job candidates will begin to regain some of the leverage they lost when the pandemic struck. Employers will start to feel more pressure to offer more flexibility.

3 steps to implementing a hybrid WFH model

So, if you want to take advantage of this time when a hybrid work model is a bonus, not a standard feature, this is what you can do:

  1. Find out if this is something your current employees want. Remote work isn’t for everyone, and your existing team might hate the idea of working from home longer than they have to. Maybe your team loves being together and might not like the idea of having to work with remote colleagues. You can set up a team meeting to talk about a hybrid work model or roll out an anonymous survey to find out.
  2. If all signs point to ‘go’ after you talk to your team, it’s time to figure out how it’s going to work.

    Questions to answer:

    • How many days are people coming into the office?
    • Will the days be scheduled or ad-hoc?
    • Will you be changing the office layout to fit the new work model? This could mean more meeting rooms or common area desks.
    • Is everyone getting this perk? If not, how will you make it up to the people whose jobs can’t be done from home?
    • How will you handle employees whose performance suffers or take advantage of the flexibility you give them?

    These are just some of the questions you need to ask yourself. Talk to your leadership team to see what concerns they have. Keep the lines of communication open with your whole team. You might know what’s important to the executive team and management, but don’t leave out the rank-and-file employee perspective.

  3. Role this out as a pilot program. Changes will need to be made. Clearly communicate to your employees that changes will be coming. As you learn what works best for your organization, things will evolve. If you’re part of a large organization, roll it out on a small scale first.

One person’s problem is another’s opportunity. A lot of employees don’t want to give up the flexibility of working from home. You can take this as an opportunity to help your business. You can help employees achieve a better work-life balance, keep some that might be thinking of leaving, and attract great employees from companies that can’t offer the same level of flexibility. To stay informed of employer and employee trends subscribe to our newsletter today.