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Tips for the Hybrid Workplace

Paige McKirahan

Paige McKirahan

November 19, 2021

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2021 has brought a lot of new ideas to the workforce: new benefit offerings, updated office layouts, and most notably, a shift from the traditional 40-hour in-person workweek. After companies began working fully remote in droves last spring, many have started to realize that their employees no longer need to be in the office full-time to get their jobs done.

Now, as we speed toward 2022, hybrid work is becoming increasingly popular. If you’re not familiar with the concept, a hybrid office is defined by Enterprisers Project as fitting two general frameworks:

  1. Employees work in-person some of the time and from home (or another remote location) the remainder of the workweek. The schedule is up to the company and can vary depending on position or industry.
  2. Some team members work mostly or entirely on-site, while other teams or individuals are entirely remote.

According to a recent study, 83% of employees said they felt a hybrid model would be optimal going forward. And since 62% of executives feel that their organizations would need between two and four days a week in the office to maintain strong company culture, it seems like hybrid models may become a serious trend in office culture.

But how can we operate a hybrid office correctly? Read on for three tips we think will help you start building the framework for a successful hybrid model.

Trust your employees’ opinions

The best way to ensure your hybrid office model will be well received by your team? Give them a say in the set-up and trust them to follow it accordingly. Despite many executives’ disdain for fully-remote work schedules, WFH isn’t as bad as some may make it seem. Hybrid workers can be just as productive, if not more, than those working in the office full-time. And giving them additional flexibility and a say in their schedule can boost work performance. As reported by Sungard AS, 78 percent of the roughly 2,000 workers surveyed believe they would be more productive if they could choose to work on-site or remotely as needed.

Trusting that your employees are involved in their work regardless of their location is another piece of the puzzle that many managers miss. Micromanaging your team and treating them as if they are “less engaged” on account of remote work can actually end up damaging your company culture more than helping it. 81% of hybrid employees report being highly engaged, making them the most immersed in their company culture compared to those working on-site (72%) and fully remote (78%).

Set-up your office accordingly

New office schedules require new office set-ups. With COVID compliance and safety standards at the forefront of many managers’ minds, coming back to the physical workplace will require some overhaul for even the most modern pre-pandemic offices. Distancing your desks and sanitizing spaces is only the beginning. Next, you need to manage headcounts, mealtimes, meeting rooms, desk reservations, and even visitor interactions all at once. But how?

Luckily, the pandemic has birthed an entire industry dedicated to helping you run your office as efficiently (and safely) as possible. Integrations like our technology partnership with Envoy can help you make your office return easy as our platform allows you to keep track of employee attendance, daily headcount fluctuations, desk assignments, and more. It is even interwoven with our meal program solutions, so you can manage all of your office needs right in one place. Envoy also boasts a catalog of technological capabilities ready to help your hybrid space thrive, and even offers a full hybrid workplace platform to make collaboration a breeze.

Find perks that can accommodate your company’s changing culture

Of course, we’re a company that puts great value in the way our physical workplace provides a meeting place for team members to convene, connect, collaborate, and build a meaningful culture among their colleagues. There’s nothing like it! But as companies’ priorities and needs shift, we’ve shifted to meet their needs.

To help our hybrid clients maintain their corporate culture, we’ve worked hard to adapt our offerings and move with the times. Check out some of our great culture-building solutions aimed at keeping your hybrid team engaged,

  • Group Ordering: This solution is perfect for those with flexible headcounts who want to allow their employees to choose their meals and have the option to order additional items from the vendor.
  • Pantry Services: Pantry services are great for teams in the office looking for nourishing snacks, energizing coffee, and beer taps for unwinding after a productive day. Selection is driven by your team’s preferences and inventory is managed based on consumption – perfect for fluctuating headcounts.
  • Employee Snack Boxes: For teams choosing to stay remote, our snack box program is a great solution for those wanting the perks of a Food and Beverage benefit, but from the comfort of their home. Employees are able to select their snacks and coffee, boxes are conveniently delivered right to their door, and clients are invoiced monthly
  • Virtual Experiences: Our Virtual Experience Platform is a great way to connect remote and hybrid teams through engaging and team-building events. From wine and charcuterie tastings, trivia, paint classes, and seasonal offerings, there is always a new class or event to try!

As companies transition back into the workplace, they can take advantage of a mix of these services to make their teams feel valued, regardless of where they’re physically located. Learn more about these offerings here.

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“Cater2.me has been able to get our employees from all different departments together, to get away from our desks, recharge, and be able to return to our work, happy and full.”

—Ellen K., Employee Experience Specialist, Frame.io