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In more ways than ever before, employees now have the upper hand over their employers. As many industries continue to suffer from labor and talent shortages, employers may find themselves asking – what can I do to retain and attract employees? And while a generous paycheck and employee benefits may go a long way, its going to take more for employers to keep their organizations appealing.

It is time for employers to start revamping and re-envisioning their workspaces. The way that business is conducted has evolved drastically during the Covid-19 pandemic, and employees desire modern workspaces that will accommodate their contemporary needs.

Flexibility

The time and location flexibility that comes with remote work has been something that many employees have come to value in the past few years and are not willing to give up. Employees have enjoyed extra free time thanks to a lack of commute and have experienced an improvement in mental health – which, in turn, has benefitted employers greatly as productivity has soared.

The hybrid working model has become very popular. There are several hybrid-work models that employers may consider:

  • Office-Centric: employees spend most of their time in the office, but have either designated or the option for 1-2 remote days each week.
  • Fully Flexible: employees have complete discretion to choose if, and when, they would like to work from the office or from home.
  • Remote-Friendly: certain employees are strictly remote, while others may have the option to work from home some days but are primarily on-site.
  • Hybrid-Remote Office: employees have complete discretion to decide whether they would like to work fully on-site, fully remote, or to fluctuate between working on-site and the office.
  • Remote First: most employees work remotely, and employers structure their entire business model on their remote work.

Employers following or considering a hybrid or remote model need to be conscious of the applicable laws when employing individuals out-of-state, to ensure compliance with those employment laws. We also addressed this topic in a previous newsletter article under the headnote Multi-State Rules for Remote Employees (see here). If you have any questions regarding this, please reach out to us.

Technology

It is important to have the right technology available when managing a hybrid team. Employees, whether on-site or remote, need to have access to all the same information and should have sufficient communication platforms.

Some helpful tools for managing hybrid employees may include:

  • Cloud productivity tools
  • Shared calendar
  • Document management software
  • Communication platforms with multiple channels
  • Workflow management software
  • Chat features, and
  • Video conferencing capabilities.

Updating technology in a workspace is not only beneficial to hybrid working, but may also prove useful for streamlining processes which can save both time and money. This can also enhance collaborative capabilities in general through heightened transparency and communication.

Office Space

With an increase and update to office technology, also comes the need to update the spaces around that technology. For some employers this may mean installing more single person workstations, with hook-ups for technology, to meet their employees’ needs for privacy and quiet.

For others who are looking to incorporate collaborative spaces, this may include the creation of hybrid-friendly conference spaces. Such spaces combine the traditional conference set-up with audio and video conferencing technology, to allow remote-workers to effectively collaborate and feel a part of the team, without depriving on-site workers of the in-person interaction.

Takeaway

Remote and hybrid work is the “new normal,” and employers should lean-in and re-invent their workspace to gain a competitive edge and grow their organizations.

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