The face of business, more specifically how employees work, has been changing in our post COVID environment and one of the biggest questions that employers have now is how they will be able to comply with the new regulations while at the same time being able to enforce their internal company rules. For example, how do you equalize the rules for employees so that it is equitable to those who are physically working in the office versus those who prefer a hybrid environment? How can you be sure what kind of rules you can apply to ensure productivity? What kinds of things are considered part of the new work normal and what goes too far? What should an employer do if they have an employee who is not meeting the metric? What should employees do if their employer's new rules are too restrictive?
One of the best ways to manage hybrid employees is to develop a formal teleworking policy, Some larger companies have had them in place for some time, but for small business the use of hybrid employment is new. Don't develop your telework policies in a bubble, ask you employees to participate in the development. If you take the time to listen to their questions and concerns, they can be directly addressed within the policy itself. If the employees have input, then you will have buy in once the policies are in place.
Ask hybrid employees to remember that they still follow the same office hours as those employees who are at work in your office space. If they need to leave to run an errand you should go over your expectations and how they should document their time. Some offices require that you put in leave, others may request that you run errands over your lunch hour. Whatever path you choose as the employer, make sure that all of your employees are aware of the rules, as well as the consequences for not following them.
Finally, make sure that your hybrid employees will be able to continue to maintain a good work-life balance. They should have a dedicated workspace and the equipment that they need to be successful. They should also have well established workload or completion rate expectations in order to assist them in maintaining their level of productivity.
There are many creative ways to manage your new hybrid employees. This new kind of work environment can be productive to both the employee and the employer as long as rules and expectations are established ahead of time. Hybrid employees can represent a vital way to continue to leverage your talent pool. It may take a little more thought to set up but the benefits to both the employer and the employee are numerous.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Carolyn Dragseth is an attorney with over 25 years of experience in Contracts, Business, and IP law. She is a member of various leadership and business councils. She currently resides in Louisiana where she works for the State and is a small business owner as well. She enjoys writing, horseback riding, and hiking. She can be reached at carolyn@dragsethlaw
.com or 225-888-0015.
This article is not intended to be legal advice, please contact us if you are in need of legal assistance.