Hybrid work checklist (downloadable)

By
Max Shepherd-Cross
·
November 10, 2021

Hybrid work checklist

Use this checklist to ensure you’ve got everything covered as you transition to hybrid work—employee preferences, logistics, legal compliance, and workplace policies.

Gauge Employee Sentiment About Hybrid Work

Not all your employees will support hybrid work at first. This checklist will help you communicate your hybrid work plans and address common employee concerns.  

  • Be transparent about your hybrid work strategy with employees, including proposed policies, work schedules, and other changes.
  • Run company-wide pulse surveys to collect employee feedback on your ideas. Example survey questions include:
  • “How often would you like to come to the office?”
  • “Which activities would you perform in-office? Which tasks would be better suited to remote work?”
  • “Would you like a personal desk? Would you be okay with hot desking?”
  • Hold one-on-one meetings and group discussions with employees to address concerns.

Choose Your Hybrid Work Model (Remote-First/Flex/Majority In-Office)

Hybrid work comes in different forms: remote-first means everyone works remotely with the office only for collaboration and informal meetings, flex means two to three days a week of work from home, while majority in-office only allows for a day or two of work from home.

To figure out which hybrid work model best suits your company:

  • Consider the preferences of the majority of your employees from pulse surveys.
  • Find out how often senior executives are willing to work from home. If your top brass doesn’t buy in, you’ll have a hard time implementing hybrid work.
  • Think about where your workforce is located and if you want to hire locally or globally. Remote-first models work best with global teams, while flex and majority in-office models are more suited to fully local teams.

Consult Your Legal Team About Hybrid Work Laws

Even if there are no specific laws governing hybrid work in your country, you’ll still need to ask your legal team about employment laws in your location that apply to hybrid work too. Here’s a list of questions to keep in mind.

  • Do I need to reimburse employees for both office and home equipment (desk, chair, laptop, headset, keyboard, mouse, internet, mobile phone), even if work from home is optional?
  • Do I need to assess employees’ work-from-home set up to comply with laws like Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations, 1992, in the UK?
  • Do I need to provide health insurance coverage to global remote employees?
  • What kind of insurance policies should I invest in to safeguard my business from liabilities? Common options include employer’s liability insurance (EL) and portable equipment insurance.
  • Are reimbursements for transportation payable and tax-deductible? Generally, commutes to the office are not reimbursable. However, for workers whose primary workplace is their home and who only travel to the office on occasion, commutes may be reimbursed and are tax-deductible.
  • Do overtime laws (that require businesses to pay at least one-and-a-half times regular pay rates if employees work more than 40 hours in a week, for instance) apply to your business? If so, you’ll need to decide how you’ll manage time-tracking in a hybrid environment. Don’t forget to ask about salaried employees too, as they may be exempt from overtime pay.
  • Is your company allowed to operate in territories where employees are based and working remotely? This applies mainly to remote-first companies with a global workforce.

Create Your Hybrid Work Policies

You likely have existing internal policies, but you’ll need to tweak these to suit a hybrid work environment. Start with this list as you consider updating policies for a hybrid workplace.

  • Reimbursements: Depending on your state law requirements, decide which expenses you’ll repay employees for. Also, identify which employees are eligible for reimbursements. For instance, you may choose to reimburse home office equipment only for remote-first employees.
  • Wellness and health: Offer a stipend for benefits exclusively available in-office, so employees can enjoy them irrespective of location. Examples include a gym membership, daycare, lunch, and yoga sessions.
  • Code of conduct:  Spell out rules employees should follow, even when working from home—appropriate language, dress code, and actions.
  • Desk sharing rules: If you’re adopting hot desking to save office space, outline desk sharing etiquette. Example rules include:  
  • Keep workstations clean. Don’t eat at your desk.
  • Leave desks as you find them, don’t unplug wires or move equipment around.
  • Don’t talk loudly in spaces for deep work.  
  • Covid-19 protocols: Depending on your city and state regulations regarding Covid-19, outline pandemic-related measures such as mandatory vaccines, masks, hand washing, social distancing, use of contact tracing software, and temperature checks upon arrival.

Provide Equal Opportunities in a Hybrid Environment  

To ensure equitable opportunities for everyone, regardless of where they work most of the time, you’ll need to be more mindful about how you communicate with employees. Here’s what you can do to promote fair working conditions in your hybrid workplace:

  • Promote new work opportunities (like managing a new client or volunteering for a task) to everyone, not just employees in the office.
  • Go above and beyond to encourage all employees to give their input or share ideas. For instance, ask employees for feedback on an important project or open public Slack channels for brainstorming.
  • Take the time to connect with employees socially. Simply sharing some personal news before a meeting works too.
  • Ask employees if they need support in any way—personal or professional. Be empathetic to their problems and concerns.
  • Track promotions with respect to employees’ work choices (remote/in-office). Do in-office employees receive promotions more often than remote workers?

Pick a Desk Booking Software

Desk booking software helps you track employees’ work schedules and avoid overbooking your office space. Use this list to pick the best desk booking software for your business.

  • Shortlist software based on key features you need. Important features in desk booking software include:
  • Ability to book workspace in advance (based on desk type, space type, and department).
  • Visibility of employees in the office on a given day, so employees can better plan collaborative activities.
  • Test each platform and look for ease of use. Avoid software with a steep learning curve, as employees may find it cumbersome to use.
  • Look for software that integrates with tools you already use, so it easily becomes part of your employees’ workflow. For instance, Officely’s desk booking app lives inside Slack, a tool most employees use already.

Pick a Hybrid Work Schedule

Your hybrid work schedule tells employees the days they’re supposed to be in-office. Here’s how to pick a hybrid work schedule for your business:

  • Refer to pulse surveys you conducted  to gauge employee preference.
  • Look at data about the type of work employees do and divide tasks into office-based vs. remote. This tells you how often and when employees need to be in the office.
  • Consider the common types of hybrid work schedules and their pros and cons for your business and employees. Three common types of hybrid work schedules include:  
  • Fixed schedule, where all employees work from the office on given days of the week.
  • Manager-led schedule, where team managers choose when their team will be in the office.
  • Employee-led schedule, where employees choose when they come into the office.
  • Clarify which employees need to work fixed hours (like customer service reps) or need to come to the office all days of the week (like front-desk employees).  

Set Communication Guidelines for Hybrid Work

Communicating with an all-in-office or all-remote team is different than communicating with a team that’s half onsite and half remote. Use this hybrid communication checklist to overcome issues like leaving employees out of watercooler chats or running chaotic hybrid meetings:

Company-wide communications:

  • Consider moving all communication online permanently, even if employees are working in the office. Online communications should be accessible to everyone, irrespective of where they are.
  • Use public Slack channels to make announcements, ask for help, or even praise people.
  • Use collaborative note-taking tools like Notion or Tettra to document important company information.

Culture-building conversations:

  • Organize team activities like happy hours or games when employees are in the office.
  • Use tools like Donut (a Slack add-on) to facilitate random employee interactions online.

Collaborative conversations:

  • Make hybrid meetings the norm, so employees aren’t forced to come to the office.
  • Choose how to conduct hybrid meetings based on how many people are involved. If fewer employees are in-office, ask everyone to dial in. If more employees are in-office, consider using a large screen in a conference room.
  • Set rules around speaking in hybrid meetings—when to talk, how long to speak for, and avoidance of sidebar conversations.
  • Test and choose appropriate software and hardware for hybrid meetings.
  • Record all conversations, including informal coffee chats, so everyone can see them.

Plan Hybrid-Friendly Work Events

Not all your current events may be suitable for a hybrid work environment. Evaluate work events and make them hybrid ready.  

  • Make a list of company events you organize on a yearly basis.
  • Check each event’s suitability for a hybrid environment based on the activities involved, software and hardware available at your disposal, and anticipated glitches.
  • Consider whether you want events all-remote or in-office, if they seem more appropriate for either setting. Keep participation optional so employees don’t feel pressured.
  • Plan a healthy mix of remote-only or office-only events, so employees have different options to choose from.
  • Plan remote versions of in-person events and vice versa to maximize participation.

Repurpose Your Office Space for Hybrid Work

Hybrid offices are mainly used for collaboration, deep work, and informal encounters with peers. Consider adding a variety of spaces to your hybrid office to optimize in-office time:

  • Bookable meeting rooms or conference rooms for team meetings.
  • Bookable private rooms for phone or video calls with clients and others.
  • Quiet spaces for deep work, away from noisy areas like kitchens.
  • Casual seating for collaborative team brainstorming.
  • Breakout areas for impromptu chats.
  • Areas for recreation and relaxation like kitchens, cafes, or lounges.

Download the full checklist here.

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Max Shepherd-Cross
Max is one of the cofounders and CEO of Officely.

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