Business people working at desks. Male and female professionals working in modern office space.
Hybrid workplaces are becoming increasingly common, but takes thought and planning to create and implement an effective hybrid work policy.. — Getty Images/alvarez

Now that employees have experienced the flexibility of remote work, many aren’t willing to head back to the office full time. Hybrid workplaces are becoming increasingly common, but it’s hard to know how to accommodate these requests. Here are five tips on setting up a hybrid work week.

[Read more: How to Develop a Hybrid Office Policy]

Remote schedule based on employee team or cohort

One option is to separate your employees into different teams or cohorts. This policy will only work for certain types of businesses, but it ensures that anyone working on specific projects will be in the office at the same time.

This type of environment can foster greater collaboration among groups or cohorts; however, it also segments your workforce, possibly even more than it was before. If you don’t also foster cross-team engagement, this hybrid work strategy may lead to isolation or cliques that can interfere with positive workplace culture.

Remote schedule based on position

You can also schedule employees for remote or in-office work based on their positions. Some employees need to be in the office more often due to their job requirements, while others can do most of their work at home.

This hybrid work strategy ensures that essential personnel are available when you need them. A challenge with this strategy is to create a fair in-person work requirement among different positions. If one person gets to stay home every Thursday while everyone else remains at the office, some of your employees may feel the policy is unfair or could accuse you of bias.

It’s also important to avoid allowing upper management to work remotely while forcing other staff members to work in the office. Doing this may drive a wedge between your management team and staff.

If you’re not sure what the right policy is for your company, you might consider surveying your employees about what they want or need. The goal is a happy and engaged workforce, including your staff’s opinions in deciding the hybrid policy for your company may help you get there.

The 3/2 split

Many companies are opting for an easy-to-understand 3/2 split. In this arrangement, the entire office has to come into work three days a week and then gets two days to work remotely.

This approach is beneficial for the following reasons:

  • It includes everyone in the hybrid schedule, so no one feels left out or unfairly penalized.
  • It’s easy to remember, so employees won’t show up to the office on a day when they aren’t scheduled.
  • It allows everyone to share the same hybrid scheduling experience, which can foster a better sense of shared workplace culture.

For instance, the 3D printing technology company Carbon has already seen some of the benefits of this approach. They discovered that allowing employees to work from home often improved productivity.

This strategy resulted in better bottom-line results for the company; however, Carbon is still experimenting with the exact layout of its schedule.

Employees choice

You can also let employees choose whether they want to work remotely or in the office. Your employees probably know how to utilize their time for maximum productivity. Why not let them choose what days they come into work?

Google is already trying this approach and allowing employees to follow a hybrid work schedule or apply for full-time remote work based on their job requirements. If you decide to go this route, be prepared to have an honest conversation with each of your workers. Ask them what they think would be best for the company and their own lives.

Remote-first policy

Finally, you can try implementing a remote-first policy. This policy assumes that while some employees may come into the office as needed, the company standard is remote work.

This is the policy that Quora established, and it’s been working for the company so far. The company converted its office into a co-working space for all employees. Employees are allowed to relocate to any place where Quora can legally employ them.

If you’re not sure what the right policy is for your company, you might consider surveying your employees about what they want or need. The goal is a happy and engaged workforce, including your staff’s opinions in deciding the hybrid policy for your company may help you get there.

[Read more: How to Keep Track of Remote Workers]

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published January 07, 2022