4 ways to engage the hybrid workforce of the future

According to the 2022 Remote Work Report study by Employment Hero, 81 percent of Singaporean knowledge workers have expressed a desire to work remotely full-time. About half (49 percent) of those who have returned to the office full-time have done so only under a directive from their superiors.

With young people influencing the future of work, remote and hybrid work is here to stay – the survey reveals that Gen Z (33 percent) and millennials (27 percent) make up the biggest proportion of respondents who will leave their jobs if a work-from-home option isn’t offered. 

Unsurprisingly, this trend is less resonant with older workers – 78 percent of survey respondents aged 55 and above would stay at their jobs even if they were forced to work in-office full-time.

The report also notes that remote and hybrid employees are making the most out of the ability to work anywhere in the world – 30 percent of respondents have relocated further away from the office or have taken a working holiday, while 41 percent of them would consider doing so in the future.

Gen Zs are relishing in the advantages of remote working, as they have less commitments and responsibilities – they are 78 percent more likely to consider moving abroad, while 57 per cent of them are more likely to consider taking a working holiday.

The report was conducted among a total of 983 respondents located in Singapore, comprising 402 office workers, 462 hybrid workers, and 119 fully remote workers.

Making up for the lack of in-person engagement

The main gripe of employers when it comes to managing a hybrid or remote team is the lack of in-person interaction. This makes activities such as onboarding new employees, team-building, culture-building, feedback, and brainstorming more challenging, as bouncing off ideas and real-time exchanges are non-existent.

How then, should employers adjust to ensure that their hybrid teams feel connected and productive? 

Here are four tips that can help managers better engage their hybrid teams.

1. Set clear expectations for your hybrid teams 

Letting your staff work remotely a few days of the week means giving them a considerable amount of autonomy. Your teams would still require guidelines, structures and targets in order for them to deliver. Ensure all directives and deadlines are clearly communicated, and hold them accountable for their responsibilities. Make sure to check in on their progress regularly, but be mindful not to micromanage.

2. Get comfortable with your office team collaboration tools

From Trello to Microsoft Teams, Slack, and WhatsApp – collaboration software has made remote working a reality. It has even helped companies ride out lockdowns and social distancing measures without much compromise on productivity

3. Have regular in-office and virtual check-ins

Employers have made the mistake of forgetting to assign their hybrid and remote workers duties, or even worse, overlook them altogether. Make your hybrid teams feel like they are part of the company by scheduling regular one-on-one time, such as daily morning team check-ins with both hybrid and in-office employees.

4. Invest in equipment for both in-office and virtual meetings

Remote and hybrid teams sometimes lack the conferencing infrastructure to have more efficient and engaging meetings, according to a Logitech survey. As a result, meeting participants are distracted and often multitask, checking emails, social media, or browsing the Internet during virtual discussions. 

One way to close this gap is to equip your remote and hybrid teams with video conferencing tools and equipment to ensure they have all that they need to have productive meetings. Loan them hi-res webcams, or noise-canceling headsets, or subsidise their Internet speed upgrades. Investing in their home infrastructure also has the extra impact of making your hybrid and remote teams feel valued.

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