There’s a new look to many workplaces – half the desks are inhabited, half the staff carparks are full, and half the number of coffee cups are used on any given day. It’s not to say businesses aren’t running at capacity. Far from it. It’s just the other half of the team is working from home.
It’s feasible to say that this is the new way of working for the foreseeable future – a hybrid approach to ensure the health and wellbeing of staff and the smooth delivery of projects with minimal disruption and delay. The COVID-19 pandemic and recent Omicron outbreak have certainly contributed to employers considering different methods of operation and delivery.
But what impact does that have on team culture, and is virtual recruiting the new norm?
In our latest blog, we look at the pros and cons of the hybrid workplace and what that means for your recruitment strategy in 2022.
COMMUNICATION in the hybrid workplace
Zoom fatigue may be a new hashtag, yet online communication platforms, such as Zoom and Teams, have provided many a workplace with much-needed daily interaction between staff. From morning check-ins to lunchtime banter, daily messaging to Friday ‘drinks’, this technology has enabled staff and clients to communicate and stay connected.
But what of its long-term usage?
“Zoom and Teams (or their future equivalent) will certainly have their role in the workplace, but what that role looks like may change,” explains Judith Bright, Asset Recruitment Permanent Recruitment Specialist. “Rather than a half-day strategic planning session held over Zoom, this may be divided up into three one-hour sessions to avoid that feeling of fatigue, but still ensure that ever-important inclusivity,” says Judith.
MANAGEMENT in the hybrid workplace
Team engagement is critical for ongoing company culture, but managers and senior leaders must also learn to manage effectively in the hybrid workplace. A 2015 study of manager-led teams reported improved workplace engagement when daily interaction between managers and teams occurred.
“For many New Zealand workplaces, managers are extremely accessible,” explains Judith. “It’s one of the many benefits of the small-to-medium sized businesses that populate the New Zealand landscape. But that accessibility needs to continue even when managers and direct reports aren’t working in the same space. Lose that communication and workplaces will lose engagement, trust and, ultimately, staff in a tight labour market.”
PRODUCTIVITY in the hybrid workplace
The jury is out on whether working remotely increases productivity, but for much of the past two years, most of us have had to experience it. With the shift to a hybrid workplace which sees teams alternate between office weeks, employees have designated WFH days, and others work remotely for most of the week, productivity can be improved through trust, transparency and connection.
“Regardless of the hybrid look of a workplace, employees will be more productive when they feel informed and trusted to do the job they’re employed to do,” says Judith. “Robust and consistent internal communication, encouraging collaboration among different teams, and delegation of tasks can help to ensure employees feel up-to-date on company projects, recognised for their contribution, and a valued part of a company they enjoy working for.”
RECRUITMENT in the hybrid workplace
A change in workplace settings also brings different challenges for staff recruitment and staff retention but recruiting in the hybrid workplace can still achieve desired outcomes.
“At Asset Recruitment, we can still manage the selection and shortlist of candidates for roles,” explains Judith. “That hasn’t changed. And we’re also able to identify a candidate’s skillset via Zoom and Teams calls too. Some candidates will submit video CVs to give prospective employers an opportunity to see them in a digital setting; then there are other companies who are prepared to shake up their recruitment strategy a little and hire staff based overseas.”
The hybrid workplace certainly offers some exciting prospects for staff recruitment and engagement, but as the past couple of years have shown, it’s how we adapt to the changes that will determine success.
Looking to position excellence in a hybrid workplace? Speak with the Asset Recruitment team today.