Though the pandemic pushed most industries into remote structures, many businesses are eager to restore that in-person energy they were so used to. Unfortunately, diving directly into full-time, in-person work is rarely the best solution.
As told by endless headlines and news stories, returning to the office is many employers' new, challenging focus. While these initiatives state intentions to boost productivity, many fall short by not understanding the wants and needs of their employees.
Whether you're offering more flexibility or cutting down on remote hours, hybrid work surveys can help you learn and assess your team's perspectives. With this insight, you can determine the best solutions to balance your workflow and improve productivity.
However, before you get started, you must learn the best practices and survey questions to customize your hybrid structure for your team's needs.
Benefits of Hybrid Work Surveys
The simple truth is that hybrid and remote work environments are still relatively new, at least in their current forms. We are continuously learning about new strategies, preferences, limitations, and differences between organizations. In short, there are endless ways to coordinate and sync your work schedule, so your best way forward is to talk to and listen to your team.
Most hybrid structures reduce the time you have to interact in person, so weighing employees' thoughts on new changes is more challenging. Surveys are often the most beneficial way to fill this gap by helping you gauge your staff's perspectives and balance your calendar accordingly.
Listening to and meeting your employees’ flexibility needs also builds trust within your organization. This often leads to better engagement and retention as your team feels heard, respected, and less overwhelmed.
Balance Your Workflow and Goals
Surveys are an effective way to gauge employees' workflow preferences as you create and implement your hybrid structure. In the survey itself, focus on your staff's scheduling and engagement. For instance, if you learn that employees have different school and daycare drop-off times, you should consider offering more flexible, personalized hours. Alternatively, if you find that productivity dips after implementing a new schedule, you should investigate the issue further and revise it.
A balanced hybrid schedule should make your goals more attainable. Studies show that a well-structured hybrid schedule improves employees' work-life balance, social support, and job satisfaction. So, by adjusting your team’s workflow, you also improve their motivation, engagement, and productivity. As a result, their goals are often more balanced and achievable.
Hybrid engagement surveys are key to understanding employees' preferences and the best work environments to fine-tune their setups.
When determining in-person hours, you should consider many employee factors, including:
- Commute times
- School and daycare schedules
- Internet stability
- In-person responsibilities and how they vary by role
- Workflow goals
- Productivity levels based on work environment
- Personal limitations for working in person or outside of the office
- Best days for in-person meetings and projects
Best Practices for Conducting Surveys
Every employee and organization is different, so your strategies should depend on their needs. Consider the following best practices when crafting hybrid work surveys.
1. Implement More Than Back-to-Work Focuses in Surveys
Many businesses have conducted "return-to-work" surveys focusing solely on adjusting to the office, particularly after reducing or ending hybrid work hours. While these types of surveys are beneficial for transitions, they don't help you assess hybrid employee engagement or satisfaction.
Instead, your organization should integrate periodic surveys focusing on various work environments to compare different perspectives. In doing so, you can more efficiently compare employees' workflows between in-person and remote days.
2. Consider Your Survey Frequency
How regularly you conduct hybrid work surveys significantly impacts their results and can help you solve productivity dips sooner. However, you must be careful not to annoy your employees with repetitive feedback requests, or else they may not focus on their answers.
As you plan your hybrid engagement surveys, consider how much time your team has between projects and caseloads. Additionally, ask yourself what you hope to achieve from your questions.
For example, suppose your survey relates to a recent scheduling change. In this case, you may only need one or two medium-length questionnaires spaced a few months apart. Alternatively, if you only want general workflow feedback, you should consider more frequent surveys with only a few questions.
3. Share Results and Thoughts With Employees
While surveys and feedback can improve transparency and trust with your employees, it's only one step in a multifaceted process. Discussing the results positively and humbly will help employees feel more heard and show them you are taking steps to improve their work-life balance. Additionally, it may make them more likely to share feedback with you later and pay attention to future survey questions.
4. Focus on Inclusiveness
Inclusiveness should be among businesses' top priorities because it expands perspectives, morale, innovation, and company culture. Engaging with your employees through one-on-one meetings and surveys can inherently make them feel more heard and included.
5. Keep Perspective and Information-Sharing Open
Hybrid workflows and practices are still evolving, so your organization must be readily adaptable. Hybrid and remote work surveys are crucial in this process by evaluating your team's needs as you grow. This way, if an employee struggles to focus in the office or someone has an idea to improve the workflow, you can adjust your structure as needed.
Maintaining a positive and open work culture plays a critical role in gaining perspectives, as employees may not share their thoughts if they don't think you'll listen. One-on-one meetings, group activities, and other engagement strategies can improve trust and the flow of communication.
That said, internal perspectives are no replacement for research and regular updates on industry changes. For instance, consider the software and processes similar companies adopt. Many Cloud-based services simplify workflow and information-sharing, though some may lower overall service quality. Therefore, it's crucial to research schedules and apps before using them and stay updated on hybrid workflow shifts.
Survey Question Examples
Though there are endless basic templates online, simplified survey resources make it easier to personalize your questions. The ones you select and write should be customized to your organization and workflow concerns.
Consider the following hybrid work survey questions:
- Are you content with the current in-person days in your schedule?
- Do you feel your current hybrid schedule benefits or hinders your work-life balance? Why?
- Would you have any conflicts or difficulties readjusting to a full-time in-person schedule?
- How much do you feel you take away from video meetings compared to in-person meetings?
- Do you feel the current video meetings are too frequent, not frequent enough, or just right?
- Do you have the tools, technology, and means to complete your responsibilities outside of the office?
- What tools or support could improve your remote productivity?
- Do you feel more or less motivated to complete your work after the recent changes?
- Do you feel more or less connected with the rest of the company after the recent changes?
- Do you feel our current platforms/apps benefit or impair your workflow?
- What can we do to improve digital communication and information-sharing?
- Do you feel comfortable working on team projects on remote days?
- Do you receive adequate feedback from leadership under the current work schedule?
- Do you have any specific feedback for improving our hybrid workflow?
Maximizing Your Hybrid Work Balance
Hybrid schedules are more than just convenient for employees — they can improve your entire company's productivity and profitability. However, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to hybrid work, so personalizing your structure will take trial and error — and that’s okay!
As an employer, you can boost your team's workflow by taking advantage of hybrid work strategies, including surveys. These tools are great ways to gauge how employees feel, ensure that they’re heard, and build trust — something that’s been in short supply with “RTO mandates.”
Once your schedule is locked in, you can leverage tools to ensure your team meets in person when it makes sense. You can accomplish your team’s goals by meeting with the right people at the right time. Learn how Scoop can help you fine-tune your hybrid work schedules to your employees' needs.