Whether you love it or hate it, working from home has become a major part of today’s employment culture. In some cases, not offering a hybrid work from home/work at the office schedule is going to lose you talent, both in terms of hiring and retention.
While there are still plenty of people who prefer going to the office everyday, many others see the commute as an unnecessary expenditure of time, effort, frustration, and gas money.
While some government contractors simply aren’t able to offer work-from-home scheduling, those who can manage it should absolutely consider implementing a hybrid working schedule. Providing people with the choice will not only help you attract new talent, but it will help you keep the people you already have.
But if you’re going to implement a hybrid working schedule, you have to do it the right way. Ignoring some of the potential pitfalls can cause a lot of trouble. Below are some tips for how to implement a hybrid schedule as a government contractor.
Have a Plan
The first step is to have a plan. You need to know what your goals are for implementing the hybrid schedule and how it’s going to fit into your business model.
At the minimum, you need to have quantitative and well-defined answers to the following questions:
- How many days a week will employees be allowed to work from home?
- Will employees get to choose their work-from-home days, or will they be assigned in order to keep a balanced in-office presence?
- What equipment will employees be provided for working from home?
- How will you provide that equipment, and how will you keep track of it?
- Which government rules and regulations are applicable to working from home, and how will you make sure that you’re maintaining compliance?
If you fail to define these things and set guidelines, your hybrid schedule can become chaotic faster than you can blink. And in the world of government contracting, chaos can lead to massive problems.
Establish a Uniform Method of Communication
Communication is probably one of the most important pillars of a successful business, and that’s just as true for government contracting as it is for any commercial business. Unfortunately, it’s also true that a lot of communication happens via non-verbal cues and body language. Without those things, context can be lost and communication can be hampered.
Additionally, it’s really easy for people to fall out of the loop when they’re not present in the office for discussion, planning, and brainstorming. Email is great, but it’s not going to make up for the lack of face to face communication.
If you’re going to implement a hybrid working schedule, you’ll need to figure out a way to overcome these hurdles to prevent your productivity from being impacted. When people fall out of touch with the moment-to-moment happenings in the workplace, things can get pretty out of whack fairly quickly.
Ensure that work-from-home equipment includes video conferencing capabilities. There are a lot of platforms for this, such as Zoom, Teams, and Google Meet. For security reasons, it’s possible that you’ll have to use a special proprietary video conferencing platform as well. Whatever it takes, video conferencing needs to happen.
Not only does it need to happen, but it should happen regularly. Schedule regular video meetings and check-ins with people who are working from home to make sure that they’re kept up to speed and staying on track.
By keeping up with remote communication, hybrid scheduling doesn’t have to interfere with workflow or productivity.
Security is More of a Priority Than Ever
By allowing people to work from home, you’re adding more connections, locations, and devices to your company’s network. This, in turn, can significantly increase the dangers of security breaches and data leaks. In government contracting, security is incredibly important, and you don’t need us to tell you that.
To combat this increased vulnerability, you’ll have to work out a system to keep everything secure. One way to do this is by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN will encrypt all of the data that’s being sent between devices, making it much harder for hackers to intercept and use it.
Another way to ensure security is to use a cloud-based server. This will allow you to keep all of your data in one place, making it much easier to keep track of and monitor.
You should also have a clear policy in place regarding the use of personal devices for work purposes. In general, it’s best to avoid allowing this, as it can create even more potential security risks. If you do allow it, make sure that employees understand the importance of keeping their work and personal devices separate.
By taking the necessary steps to secure your data, you can help protect your company against the increased risks that come with remote working.
BOOST Is Here for Your Talent Acquisition and Retention Concerns
Of course implementing a hybrid working schedule can be a great help for attracting and keeping talent, but it’s not necessarily going to be the cure-all for the talent shortage that is plaguing everybody right now.
If your government contracting business is having a hard time finding and keeping talent, we can help. We understand the challenges so many government contractors are facing in the midst of this global talent shortage. We also understand the work it takes to overcome those challenges and bring great new people on board.
If you’re a government contractor and you’re struggling to hire, Contact Us today and let’s talk about how we can assist.