It’s no secret that the aftermath of COVID-19 changed the way employees all over the globe work. People have become accustomed to the flexibility of working remotely, as it gives them a healthier work-life balance. Inevitably, companies must adapt to accommodate the increasing demand of hybrid working or risk losing their top talent. This also applies to finding new talent, as many people seek more flexibility on how and where they work. 

Many companies have already adopted a hybrid working model, requiring people to come into the office two or three days a week, with the remaining one or two days working from home. Plus, modern businesses are becoming more global than ever before, which can only mean one thing: hybrid working is here to stay. 

Although there are many advantages of the hybrid working model, there are still major challenges to overcome. And one of the main challenges is monitoring attendance. But how do we deal with the challenges of a hybrid work model? And how do we effectively monitor attendance in a hybrid working environment? Read this article to find out.

Should employers monitor attendance in hybrid work environments? 

The increase in hybrid working has caused organizations concerns about monitoring employees’ attendance effectively. As a result, many organizations require employees to swipe in and out of the office to track whether they adhere to the hybrid work policy. However, employers need to be careful when monitoring employee attendance in the office, as some processes can seem invasive and promote a lack of trust instead of creating full transparency in the workplace

At the end of the day, it all comes down to why you want to monitor employee attendance in the office. The intention should be to enhance in-person collaboration across teams and to support employees in being more productive with their work and time.

What are the challenges with attendance in hybrid work? 

Employers are constantly faced with the growing challenges of adapting to modern attendance management and employee engagement strategies. One of the most common challenges organizations face when it comes to hybrid working is the need for in-person collaboration and connection with team members. It’s almost impossible to schedule an in-person meeting with hybrid workers if nobody knows who’s in the office and on which day. 

Staying connected with team members can be difficult when working hybrid. This can consequently lead to a lack of communication and misalignment within teams. Setting clear expectations for your people on the best ways to communicate and setting regular meetings can help to boost employee engagement and collaboration among your people.

Another challenge of the hybrid working model is managing productivity. An article from UC Today explains that a report from Slack shows that 50 percent of employees in the UK think their employers aren’t doing enough to improve hybrid working, which in turn can cause a decrease in productivity. 

Maintaining the right balance with work can also be a challenge for employees and employers as people may need help to establish set routines and may need help managing their time. However, it’s important to note that this isn’t due to the hybrid work model itself. Recent findings from Microsoft report that 87 percent of employees say they’re productive at work. Companies need to ensure that they’re supporting their people by enhancing the employee experience and wellbeing in the workplace. We’ll talk more about this below.

How to monitor and manage hybrid employee attendance 

Some companies are implementing workplace surveillance and installing monitoring systems to keep track of their people. This includes using productivity tools that track computer or laptop activity, manual and digital timesheets, and monitoring software that tracks all internal communication and working hours.

However, it’s important to note that employers who choose to adopt this approach should be mindful. Not only does it raise privacy concerns, but tracking employees can create raised levels of distrust in the workplace.

There are fewer evasive options for tracking employee attendance, including alternative hybrid work schedules. That’s where time and attendance management software come in handy, making the process of scheduling in-person collaboration as seamless as possible. Alternative hybrid work schedules for employees could be suitable for some employers as it allows team members to plan in-person meetings and collaborations effectively.

On the other hand, some companies might work better with a more flexible hybrid work schedule, where individuals can choose what days they come into the office. This method is usually more suitable for smaller to medium-sized companies.

The important thing to keep in mind is that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to an efficient hybrid working strategy. Remember to factor in employees’ points of view. Everyone’s circumstances are different, and companies should consider this when implementing their hybrid working policy. Exploring your options is wise before implementing a new hybrid work policy or deciding to monitor employees.

Best practices for dealing with attendance challenges in a hybrid work environment

As we mentioned before, monitoring employee attendance should purely be for the benefit of both employees and the employer. Arranging valuable in-person collaboration between hybrid workers should be the main reason for monitoring attendance in the workplace. Let’s take a look at some best practices for handling attendance challenges concerning the hybrid work model.

Firstly, employers must explain to their employees how projects, meetings, and strong collaboration can easily be planned around their time in the office. Monitoring attendance this way will give team members a clearer idea of project timeframes and deadlines, increasing productivity.

Employers should communicate with their employees the benefits of working in the office and why in-person collaboration is important to the overall success of the business and their overall careers with the company. Setting departmental goals and KPIs for managing productivity is a great way to encourage collaboration among your people. 

In addition, establishing and communicating a refined hybrid working and attendance management policy that aligns with your people and company goals is imperative. This will help mitigate any confusion or inconsistencies.

Companies should focus on enhancing the employee experience

Overall, it’s clear to see that the purpose of why you want to monitor employee attendance in a hybrid working environment can significantly impact your workforce’s productivity and engagement. If the intention of monitoring employees is to enhance the employee experience, boost company culture, and support in-person collaboration, companies will have fewer problems trying to convince employees to come into the office. 

Don’t forget that communicating the many benefits of hybrid working and in-person collaboration to teams is essential to encourage employees to come into the office on scheduled days.

Dominique Edwards

From Dominique Edwards

Dominique is a performance marketing copywriter at HiBob. She has over a decade of experience writing copy for businesses and more than seven working in HR. When she’s not writing copy, she reads fiction, eats at new restaurants, or spends time with her family.