5 Tips to Transform Your Business in the Hybrid-Work Era How to establish trust, transparency and clear metrics for success and accountability in a remote-employee structure.

By Ramon Chen

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Last year, thousands of companies were forced to adopt remote work in the interest of operational continuity and worker safety. The resulting ad hoc models weren't always pretty or perfect, but they did shine a light on the benefits of flexible work for both employees and businesses. As a result, we now find ourselves in the middle of a seismic shift that will shape how people work for years, if not decades.

Stats quickly bear that prediction out: According to Accenture's Future of Work Study 2021, 83% of global workers say that a hybrid model is how they want to work moving forward. But creating hybrid environments that feel stable and supportive of everyone, while optimizing productivity and quality of work, requires that companies establish trust, transparency and clear metrics for success and accountability.

Presenting key ways leaders can do just that.

1. Create (or update) your hybrid policy

Many companies are relatively early in their hybrid work maturity journey, and may still be struggling to figure out processes and procedures to best facilitate it. Don't feel bad if you're in that place: after all, there's no playbook for what we've been through, and every company and industry must work through challenges at its own pace. That said, there's no time like the present to stop and take inventory. What is going well? What things need to change or refined? What essential tools and resources are lacking or non-existent?

Creating an official hybrid work policy will help you answer these questions by defining clear expectations for every member of an organization and ensuring they are engaged, productive and successful — and developing it in collaboration with human resources, operations, IT, sales and marketing helps ensure that it'll be representative of various perspectives and needs.

Related: Lack of Workforce Insight Is Killing Your Business

2. Promote an equal experience

It's vital that every member of a hybrid workforce has equal access to resources and opportunities, regardless of where in the world they work. We all know that companies that focus on providing a top-tier customer experience tend to rise to the top of the pack, but now, those that are passionate about offering a fulfilling and inclusive employee experience stand to gain even more.

Whether your organization establishes fixed days for in-office and remote work or allows those decisions to be flexibly made at the team (or manager-employee) level, hybrid scheduling can be a benefit for all. Employees and managers should work together, however, to provide a continuous feedback loop that ensures balanced workloads and an equal experience at home and in the office. This is something that should be spelled out in your hybrid work policy, along with details about technology and equipment that will be provided to create a comfortable and productive environment.

Related: Employee Experience Matters More Than Ever. Here's How to Elevate It.

3. Embrace asynchronous work

Providing an equal employee experience requires giving everyone an opportunity to weigh in on critical decisions, and asynchronous communication is a necessary means to that end — in other words, being mindful that work does not happen at the same time for everyone. Documenting goals, processes and communication is essential for employees outside the office to have full context about what's going on. Asynchronous work is another area in which technology can help everyone feel included and bring company culture to employees wherever they are. When ActivTrak (of which I'm the chief product officer) made the commitment to embrace a remote-first hybrid work model, we adopted various technologies, including a team management platform and a social intranet solution to keep staff members in the loop at all times.

Related: How to Create an Asynchronous Work Culture

4. Identify (and optimize around) productivity patterns

In addition to fostering a fair and supportive work model, you also need to think about how you will measure outcomes and promote success for your hybrid workforce. Organizations that truly understand their customers and how to make them happy rely heavily on data, including signals that indicate how each person experiences their unique journey. These signals are equally important in understanding the employee experience, and workforce analytics can provide invaluable tools to help managers and employees understand when, where and how each person does their best work.

Workforce analytics can be used to identify productivity patterns and offer insights regarding software usage, cross-team collaboration, burnout indicators, workflow bottlenecks and more. For example, they could be used to help an employee tailor their schedule around the times when they are most focused (perhaps early in the morning) vs. when they may be juggling more distractions (mid-late afternoon). Building a schedule around how an individual person works, rather than according to their boss's time preferences, results in a healthier and more productive workforce.

5. Measure and evolve

One last piece of advice: This new world requires continuous discovery and engagement, of which activity data, employee sentiment, benchmarks and goals are equally critical parts. Insights are better when all inputs are brought together and correlated to outcomes, because the move to hybrid work is not a "one and done:" everyone needs a way to check in and have their work habits evolve to what works best for their changing circumstances. It's critical to have the tools and processes, as well as a foundation of trusted data, to make decisions that support individuals, teams and the organization as a whole.

Related: The Future Of Human Capital Lies In Data Analytics

Maximize employee potential and ensure well-being

Healthy, happy employees are naturally more productive. The Great Resignation is just the beginning: it's critical that organizations act now to adjust processes and acquire technology to support (and so retain) their people. Taking a data-driven approach to a collaborative planning process will help them understand the type of hybrid work that makes each of them happy and excel in their role. Trusted, accurate data shared transparently across an organization is a win-win for everyone.

Wavy Line
Ramon Chen

Chief Product Officer

As chief product officer, Ramon Chen oversees ActivTrak’s product strategy and works closely with the company’s marketing, sales and product teams to drive continued growth and market leadership.

Editor's Pick

A Father Decided to Change When He Was in Prison on His Son's Birthday. Now His Nonprofit Helps Formerly Incarcerated Applicants Land 6-Figure Jobs.
A Teen Turned His Roblox Side Hustle Into a Multimillion-Dollar Company — Now He's Working With Karlie Kloss and Elton John
3 Mundane Tasks You Should Automate to Save Your Brain for the Big Stuff
The Next Time Someone Intimidates You, Here's What You Should Do
5 Ways to Manage Your Mental Health and Regulate Your Nervous System for Sustainable Success

Related Topics

Growing a Business

How to Grow Your Business With Social Media

Miriam Fried, owner of MF Strong, shares why a solid online presence, including social media and Yelp, is important for starting a business and achieving continued growth.

Business News

After Being Told They Could Work From Home Forever, Employees Made Major Life Changes. Then, a New CEO Ordered Them Back to the Office.

Farmers Group CEO Raul Vargas is facing backlash for the change, but he says being in the office brings more "collaboration" and "innovation."


I Accidentally Became a Successful Entrepreneur. Here Are 5 Mistakes I Learned to Avoid When Starting a Business

PR is, at its core, storytelling. And the story of my now-thriving solo-owned business has been fraught with as many mistakes as successes, as many fall down the ladder as steps up. It's from my missteps, in fact, that I learned even more than from my triumphs, and this article presents 5 of my biggest blunders on the road to a flourishing small business.

Business News

Google Wants Employees Back in the Office, Considering 'Attendance' in Performance Reviews

In an email, a Google executive reportedly told employees that many new features and products unveiled during Google's developer conference last month were "conceived, developed, and built by teams working side by side."

Business News

A $12 Million Ship Collision Was Caused By a Texting Employee

Investigators found that the watch officer made a personal phone call and sent text messages prior to the collision.

Business News

'I've Got the Bug for Business': See All of Mark Wahlberg's Entrepreneurial Endeavors, From Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch to Wahlburgers

Mark Wahlberg owns businesses in several categories, including entertainment production, apparel, fitness, and nutrition.