Years ago, people saw bringing work home as a bad thing. Work belonged in an office and should never cross the threshold of the front door at home. A lot has changed since then. Remote and hybrid work have now become the gold standards for what employees look for in a great position However, working from home ― or hotel rooms ― introduces a crucial challenge: managing the work-life balance.
What Is Hybrid Work?
This arrangement allows employees to work from home and the office. Hybrid configurations range from 50/50 splits to coming into the office once per week or even once per month. This type of work has become increasingly popular in recent years, as employers have realized the benefits of both remote and in-office work. It also provides a compromise for employees who want to work remotely and employers who want all employees back in the office.
What Are the Challenges of Hybrid Work for Employees?
The main challenge for employees is maintaining a healthy work-life balance. When people work from home, they can easily let work consume their entire day. They may start working early in the morning and continue working late into the night. This can lead to burnout and resentment towards both work and home life.
Another big challenge is managing two separate work environments. This can become difficult without a clear division of work and home. Employees might also struggle to leave work in one location and pick it up in another.
How Can Employers Help Employees Adjust to Hybrid Work?
Ultimately, employees must take charge of their work relationships and environments to balance work and home. However, employers can take steps to help employees adjust and reduce the risks of burnout.
1. Provide the Right Tools for the Home Office
Hybrid and remote work looks different for individual employees, even those in the same company. Some people start their workdays in their pajamas with a cup of coffee. Others have designated work areas they choose for focus and functionality. Provide the tools employees need to make either of these spaces functional for work. Here are some examples of tools workers might need:
- Printer / scanner
- High-speed internet
- Work laptop
- Smartphone / tablet
- Microsoft 365
2. Create a Flexible Work Schedule
Hybrid work made it easier for employers to spread their recruitment efforts into different time zones and countries. Consequently, 8 a.m. for one employee might be 5 a.m. for another. Consider putting these things in place to ensure flexibility:
- Avoid compelling or encouraging workers to complete assignments, take calls or respond to emails outside of core working hours.
- Provide a range of core working hours for employees to choose from to account for differences in time zones and preferences.
- Require employees to put their core working hours in designated areas, so other workers know when they can reach them.
- Record all Teams meetings so employees can catch up with meetings they miss on their own time.
- Reduce the reliance on meetings and try to have them no more than once or twice weekly.
- Review core schedules to determine the best time for weekly meetings.
3. Provide Mental Health Care Resources
Burnout has gained increased recognition as a work hazard over the past half a decade. Yet, some employers have not taken steps to alleviate the risk. Not surprisingly, record burnout rates have contributed to problems with employee retention.
Here are some examples of resources good employers provide, which are also compatible with hybrid work settings:
- Mental health days
- Employee assistance programs
- Wellness programs
- Counseling services
- Stress management resources
4. Encourage Vacation and Time Off
One of the most important things employers can do to help employees reduce burnout is to encourage them to take vacation days and time off. This may seem counterintuitive, but employees need time away from work to recharge. Here are some ways to encourage employees to take a vacation:
- Make it easy for employees to request time off by implementing an automated system.
- Offer flexible vacation days so employees can choose when they want to take time off.
- Encourage employees to use all their vacation days.
5. Preserve Work Autonomy
Managers sometimes struggle with delegation. However, it's essential to let employees control the process and outcomes of their job functions, especially in hybrid work settings. Managers can accomplish this by allowing workers to prioritize tasks to tackle first. Workers should also participate in collaborative efforts to set goals for the company and their respective teams.
6. Get Social on Office Days
Employees often looked forward to Casual Fridays or social events at work. Companies can lure employees back to the office by calling them in for more than just work. Some employees are natural introverts and will not care much for social events. However, others might relish the opportunity to meet for morning coffee or end Friday evening with an hour of team-building exercises.
What Technology Can Employers Use To Help Employees Adjust?
Even well-intentioned employers might not have the resources to take a hands-on approach to help workers adjust. Thankfully, Microsoft has introduced several tools to help workers maintain work-life balance and preserve focus, such as Viva Insights.
Cloud migration provides access to a world of tools employees can use to set and maintain boundaries between work and home. By providing the right resources and encouraging employees to take advantage of them, employers can help reduce the risk of burnout and improve work-life balance.
Cloudficient streamlines the migration process for employers looking to leverage more hybrid work tools from Microsoft. Contact us for a quote.
With unmatched next generation migration technology, Cloudficient is revolutionizing the way businesses retire legacy systems and transform their organization into the cloud. Our business constantly remains focused on client needs and creating product offerings that match them. We provide affordable services that are scalable, fast and seamless.
If you would like to learn more about how to bring Cloudficiency to your migration project, visit our website, or contact us.