Businesses across Ireland have embraced the concept of a hybrid workplace; the flexibility where employees can work from the office or work from home. This new way of working offers many benefits, but without the right planning, culture and technology, many businesses won’t reap the rewards of a strong hybrid workforce.

In an ever-changing world, HP consistently responds to the needs of businesses. We understand that as more of the Irish workforce are returning to offices in a hybrid approach to working, systems need to be effortless for business – from the set-up process of printers to ordering supplies and monitoring security,” said Neil Dover, Country Manager for HP Ireland.

For instance, HP Instant Ink for small business offers a subscription service and the new LaserJet Pro with HP+ is an intuitive printing system so that business owners can dedicate their hard-pressed time and energy on growing their businesses and efficiently managing their hybrid workforce as opposed to managing technology.”

5 tips to develop and maintain a strong hybrid workforce

1 – Open Communication

With hybrid working, day-to-day schedules will differ from person to person, as some colleagues will be making use of the flexibility and working at different times throughout the day depending on their schedule. To manage this, lines of communication should always be open. Business leaders will need to be more direct and intentional when communicating, as well as considering the tone to ensure messages are delivered how they were intended it to be.

With open communication, it also ensures that everyone can clearly communicate their availability to the team whether it be through email, status updates, or other online channels.

2 – Establish clear goals

When managing a hybrid workforce, it’s important to ensure that everyone understands their responsibilities by establishing clear goals. With the flexibility that comes with hybrid working, managing this from early on will ensure the entire team moves at the same pace to achieve the collective goals of the business. Regular meetings or check-ins will support this. Fostering a strong sense of trust and culture within a business is key to the hybrid work environment. People are expected to work at the same level at home as they would in the office, but at times, people tend to be even more productive working remotely which can often lead to burnout. The recent ‘Future of Work and Skills’ study by PwC[1] highlighted that workers are resigning from their jobs in record numbers around the world as burnout has become its own epidemic. Establishing clear goals and expectations, while maintaining open and regular communication, will help to alleviate this.

3 – Equip the hybrid team with the necessary technology

Making hybrid work, work, is not as simple as just buying new solutions and waiting for productivity and wellbeing to magically maximise themselves. It’s a unique management challenge that creates opportunities. Facilitating a good office and home office setup will help ensure productivity. Business leaders need to provide the necessary technology so that employees can efficiently do their best work on site and remotely. New HP Instant Ink for small business and LaserJet Pro with HP+ saves small business owners time and money while providing productivity tools to meet the needs of your workforce.

Providing the necessary technology for a hybrid workforce ensures the whole team are on the same page. Key features and benefits of the HP Instant Ink for small business and the new LaserJet Pro with HP+ are:

  • Enhanced productivity; never running out of toner with the subscription service, HP+ Instant Ink for Laser,
  • Effortless management: guided, cloud-based setup to remotely and easily configure and onboard printers as well as their centralised billing capabilities,
  • Advanced security; 24/7 security monitoring with HP Wolf Pro Security instantly embedded and preconfigured,
  • A low environmental impact: with HP+ delivering Forest First printing i.e., for every page printed for the life of the printer, HP contributes to the restoration, protection and responsible management of forests working with NGO partners like World Wildlife Fund.

4 – Embrace feedback

Business leaders and managers need to be open to receiving feedback to understand and improve the hybrid working environment. Going hand in hand with this, is giving feedback so that everyone is aware of their performance levels.As workforces are split between home and the office, it’s important to remember that while this way of working offers flexibility, the change in approach can be a stressful time for some colleagues. With this in mind, business leaders should be open to listening to staff and should implement any necessary adjustments for the better of the workforce.

5 – Find ways to connect with all staff

Connecting with colleagues at your workplace, whether it be on site or remotely, helps to bring people together and reaffirm a sense of belonging and inclusivity in the business. Colleagues are not always looking for grand gestures, but often the small ways of connecting with colleagues can have the most impact such as getting lunch or even a virtual coffee together.Remaining competitive and building a resilient workforce in the modern marketplace requires a commitment to inclusivity, something that must be reflected in all organisation’s hybrid work tools, processes, and solutions. It’s the only way to ensure every employee is heard, feels connected and is set up to succeed.