A year ago, every company was talking about what the new normal would look like in a post-pandemic world. Fast forward to today and most companies are still asking themselves that question. But when it comes to the workplace of the future, it’s increasingly evident that hybrid working models are here to stay.
Hybrid working models aim to achieve the best of both worlds by tapping on the benefits of working remotely and at the office. With enough preparation, they’re also versatile enough to complement almost any industry — even PR agencies like us.
Here are some tips we think all PR agencies should consider when it comes to getting the best out of hybrid working models:
Put flexibility at the forefront
Flexibility is at the core of a successful hybrid working model. This means giving your team the option to choose how and where they want to work. In Singapore, a recent Employment Herostudy showed that nearly half (46%) of employers implemented more flexible working options since the pandemic, with 39% planning to formalise flexible work options as the norm across their organisation.
Have robust working spaces
With hybrid working models, every visit to the office is now inherently purposeful. Team members might be coming in to brainstorm for a new PR campaign, to get some quiet time away from home or simply catch up with teammates or clients. Organisations like PR agencies, who thrive on creativity, can optimise their workspaces to promote collaboration and social interaction. Smart layouts with dedicated areas to boost collaboration as well as quiet corners to improve concentration can help employees stay productive at the office.
As we increasingly learn to live with the pandemic, making sure your employees feel safe at work is of utmost importance. With the recent rise in Covid-19 cases in the community, employers need to be able to implement strict safety protocols including social distancing, mask mandates and increased frequency of cleaning and disinfection to protect employees who choose to work from the office. In fact, a clean and safe environment can even contribute to productivity, with a global WeWork study showing that a safe environment actually improves individual productivity by 4%.
Build a strong company culture
According to McKinsey, companies with healthy workplace cultures offer three times greater total returns to shareholders. In a hybrid workplace, companies need to double down on the effort to implement a unified workplace culture that caters to those working onsite and remotely. It is important to be able to stay connected with colleagues no matter where they are at – home or office.
At Mutant, our culture is everything to us. Having joined the company during the peak of the pandemic, my entire onboarding experience was completely virtual. Even so, I was able to connect with not just my immediate team, but the wider company. Now, as we gradually head back to the office, we are able to seamlessly bring that connection into our offline environment as well. That’s the beauty of having a strong workplace culture.
While remote working has been great, it cannot fully replace the way we worked pre-pandemic. A hybrid approach that offers flexibility and freedom will be the way forward for most companies, including PR agencies. Now it is up to the business leaders to provide the right environment, tools and culture to support their employees on this journey.
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