How interims can help you plan for the 'new normal' and a hybrid working model
Organisations are now in a position to consider what returning to work will look like and what strategies and planning will be required to facilitate that. Prompted by the feedback of employees as well as the relative success of remote operations, many organisations are considering returning to work under a hybrid working model with a mixture of office and home-based working days.
This requires long-term planning and strategy, with interim managers an excellent resource to enable a smooth transition when planning how to safely allow your full-time members of staff to return to the office. They can coordinate disparate teams, create timelines, and project manage to successfully implement change designed to support a healthy working environment for the future success of the business.
How to plan for a hybrid working model
Planning a return to a hybrid working model requires input from and collaboration among multiple departments, from employee management via HR to software installation from IT, combined with effective project management to oversee change.
Implementing a successful hybrid working model relies on effective planning, strategy, and communication. Logistical decisions may include:
- Will there be a set working pattern for all employees or will they have autonomy to choose their work pattern flexibly? (and will this be interchangeable or fixed in a contract?). How will this impact employee benefits, promotions etc?
- Office and desk space – will the same office space be required, and will there be a shift from fixed desks to hotdesking or desk sharing? Downsizing offices is a possibility for those seeking a hybrid model long-term.
- What new technologies are required to support an onsite-WFH work model?
How interims can support with a phased return to work:
Interim managers have the key skills needed to support core business operations and can help support your key executives achieve business continuity when returning to business as usual. When planning your phased return to work, they can quickly identify any issues and quickly utilise their skills to implement solutions to targeted outcomes, whilst passing on their knowledge and expertise to your permanent staff in the process.
There are several ways interims can help phased returns to the workplace, particularly those with change management and business transformation, HR, and finance experience, as they can support with the following:
- HR interim managers can be deployed to assist with furloughing staff and the return of those employee contracts to include hybrid working, employment law and so on. Interim HR professionals can help bring the expertise needed to alleviate pressures every business is feeling at the moment.
- Finance departments are likely to need short to medium term strategies to assist returning to the ‘new normal’ that interim finance leads can help lead and oversee.
- Business transformation specialists are in particular demand – interims can be utilised to manage changes to work practices as a result of Covid-19 and the gradual return to offices. This includes creating Covid-safe workspaces, managing space for hybrid employees and may even include help with relocation, particularly if offices are being downsized as a result of hybrid working. Not only do change specialists oversee transformation projects they are skilled in coaching the business through change.
- IT Interim Managers can help with software-specific projects, where new technologies may be utilised to better serve the hybrid working model.
Oakwood Resources can help to accelerate your business requirements by sourcing interim managers who are assessed based on their skills and experience and who can work alongside you to deliver successful outcomes for your business operational needs.