As the world of work continues to evolve amid flexible schedules and virtual or hybrid environments, organizations must thoughtfully consider if their hybrid strategies need refinement. While hybrid work aims to provide flexibility and work-life balance, poorly planned or inconsistently implemented hybrid policies can lead to inequities, communication issues, and disengagement. It's crucial for companies to regularly evaluate how their hybrid approaches are playing out and make targeted adjustments where needed.
Today we will explore the key factors for companies to assess regarding their hybrid strategies and provide examples of updates that can optimize effectiveness and employee experience over the long term.
Evaluate Equity Across Roles and Locations
One of the first areas for evaluation is whether hybrid policies are being applied fairly and equitably for all roles and employee locations. Remote and office-based employees should have reasonably comparable access to tools, resources and career growth opportunities. Some questions to consider include:
Are there inequities in things like technology access/quality, professional development funding or remote working allowances based on role or location that need review?
Do certain teams or categories of employees seem disproportionately calling into long meetings from home vs being able to go into an office or visit client sites?
Have new hire expectations and onboarding processes been sufficiently optimized for distributed teams?
Making hybrid equitable may require standardizing some flexible work policies, increasing remote equipment budgets, exploring co-working spaces or satellite offices, and optimizing virtual meeting and collaboration practices.
Solicit Employee Input and Feedback
Gauging employee sentiment is critical for continuously improving a hybrid strategy. Companies should survey staff periodically and incorporate input into policy decisions. Questions can focus on:
Satisfaction with level of flexibility and how work-life balance has changed
Effectiveness of communication practices between remote and co-located employees
Effect on productivity, collaboration and culture across fully remote and blended teams
Frustrations or barriers experienced with logistics of working across locations
Suggestions for enhancing tools, resources, trainings or supports
Soliciting anonymous feedback allows issues to surface before becoming problems and shows employees their voices are heard shaping the future of work. Addressing pain points boosts trust and buy-in for any upcoming changes.
Review Oversight, Management and Culture Practices
Another area for evaluation is whether management and culture-building practices need adjustment for distributed teams. Key questions include:
Are people managers equipped with the right tools, resources and training to lead remote/hybrid teams effectively?
How are clear goals, expectations and accountability being set across all teams?
What virtual and occasional in-person activities foster community and cross-team connections?
Are informal mentoring and sponsorship opportunities sufficiently enabled for all?
How is organizational culture and values reinforced for employees who may rarely see each other face-to-face?
Making management standards, trainings and culture practices more intentional can help distributed staff feel part of something larger regardless of location. Leading with empathy is also crucial.
Commit to Ongoing Assessment and Improvement
The most effective hybrid strategies don't take a set-it-and-forget-it approach. Periodically surveying employees, reviewing metrics and making targeted adjustments shows commitment to continuous enhancement. Companies should:
Form workplace experience working groups to routinely assess policies
Track and compare key metrics like productivity, retention and employee well-being across locations
Pilot new programs, re-survey staff and swiftly scale improvements
Communicate progress transparently to cultivate trust in the process
With openness to ongoing refinement, hybrid strategies can stay optimized as both business and employee needs change over time. Regular evaluation strengthens employer brand and loyalty in an increasingly flexible world.
To fully realize the benefits of hybrid work while avoiding potential pitfalls, companies must make iterative assessment and improvement a priority. Evaluating equity, gathering employee input, reviewing management practices and committing to ongoing evolution helps address issues proactively. A willingness to refine approaches based on data and experiences keeps hybrid strategies responsive without compromising business success or employment experience. With open communication and tailored adjustments, hybrid can deliver on its promise of flexibility, productivity and well-being for all parties involved.
Jonathan H. Westover, PhD is Chief Academic & Learning Officer (HCI Academy); Chair/Professor, Organizational Leadership (UVU); OD Consultant (Human Capital Innovations). Read Jonathan Westover's executive profile here.