News and updates for in-the-know vintage insurance experts and those who value their talents.
Did you know that in addition to property and casualty wahves, we also provide wahves for employee benefits, accounting, and human resource positions?
Our Hybrid Future
In February, JPMorgan’s co-president and chief operating officer, Daniel Pinto, told CNBC of work post-pandemic: “Going back to the office with 100 percent of the people 100 percent of the time, I think there is zero chance of that.”
 
There’s no doubt that in the post-pandemic world, a hybrid workplace model is the way of the future. And we’re here for it.
 
Many businesses were initially forced to consider or implement hybrid, flexible, part-time and contract work arrangements during the pandemic. But it’s an understatement to say they have been pleasantly surprised by the results. These arrangements – which have people in the office part of the time and working remotely part of the time – have been shown to boost employee morale, reduce tardiness, absenteeism and turnover. They also cut down on overhead costs (including office space and benefits) and improve productivity.  Workers clearly love them, too: In a LiveCareer survey, people cite flexibility, improved work-life balance, increased productivity, and being able to acquire new career skills as the top reasons they want to continue hybrid work arrangements post-pandemic.
 
On top of all that, hybrid work arrangements provide all the benefits of in-office work with the flexibility of teleworking. When it comes to mentorship, for example, nothing beats gathering together in person, in real time, to chat, share wisdom, ask questions and bond. In-person meetings are also critical tools for innovating, brainstorming on the fly and bouncing ideas off one another—often to produce something even better.
 
Perhaps the most exciting part of this inevitable and widespread shift to a hybrid model is that it will allow organizations to reap the benefits of experienced workers—from their expertise to their connections and mentorship capabilities. Flexibility and a certain level of autonomy are paramount for these highly valuable workers; the hybrid model facilitates both of these benefits.
 
It’s also worth noting that experienced workers have proven to be the best suited to flexible work arrangements: According to a recent AARP survey, Baby Boomers represented the highest percentage of people (45%) who reported “no change” to their personal wellness while working remotely during the pandemic, compared with 21% for Gen X, 20% for Millennials and 15% for Gen Z. A Nintex survey cited by Employee Benefit News had similar findings, reporting that 80% of older workers felt productive while working from home, compared with only half of younger employees.
 
At WAHVE, we’ve always championed a flexible work environment. While 100% remote work may not be in the cards as there are still many benefits for working in an office with your colleagues, having flexible work arrangements gives employers and employees the best of both worlds. I look forward to seeing where it takes us.
Sharon Emek, PhD, CIC
CEO and President, Work At Home Vintage Experts
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Tips for Setting Up a Hybrid Workplace
We’ve talked about the future of the workplace being a new, flexible model—one where employees work both in the office and at home, with part-time, contract, flex-schedule and job-sharing arrangements flourishing. But while 78% of employees say they very much want this hybrid model post-pandemic, according to an internal Forbes survey, only 43% of employers have a long-term plan in place for it.

Clearly, it’s time for us to start planning.

As a company that specializes in flexible job arrangements and a diverse talent pool, we at WAHVE know a thing or two about how to set your business up for hybrid-workplace success. There are a range of ways to ensure that your company reaps the benefits of both in-office and remote workers. Here are a few tips:

1.    Get in the cloud. When people are in and out of the office and spread out across the country, and in some cases, the globe,having access to critical files and company information becomes tricky. Migrating to the cloud can make it easier for employees to work and collaborate wherever they are by centralizing all work in a universally accessible location. There are many ways to do this, from investing in enterprise software solutions to using specific cloud-based programs such as Google Docs or Sheets. Choose which solutions work best for your business.
2.    Support remote workers. In addition to carefully considering and implementing policies for employees working both remotely and in a flexible or hybrid capacity, you’ll also want to be sure your company (and company culture) actively supports these arrangements. What does that mean? It means making sure your workers have the equipment they need to do their jobs outside of the office—from laptops to standing desks, from software licenses to ergonomic desks and chairs. It means being flexible in terms of working hours, maintaining regular contact (especially when workers are virtual), and instilling an atmosphere of trust and respect. Make sure people are recognized for their work and contributions, regardless of where they’re located.
3.    Invest in videoconferencing tools and room-booking software. You’ll want to make it easy for anyone in the office to meet with anyone else in or out of the office. Consider investing in top-notch videoconferencing tools as well as online room-booking software to ensure your team members have dedicated private spaces to collaborate.
4.    Consider flex desks. Related to the room-booking point, you may want to reconsider your office real estate setup. Flex desks—public desks that employees can book in advance for in-office use—may be able to meet your needs. Be sure to incorporate semi- or fully private small areas, often dubbed call booths or huddle spaces, to facilitate impromptu gatherings of colleagues for brainstorming or casual meetings and consider equipping these spaces with videoconferencing tools to make it easy for these employees to include their remote colleagues. 
5.    Consider recording all meetings—including ad hoc ones. You don’t want any team member to miss key details that emerged during in-office meetings or impromptu chats. You may want to consider recording meetings—both online and in person—for everyone to reference after the fact.
6.    Make your perks flexible. Ensure that your itinerant, part-time, contract and other employees can take advantage of your benefits by offering ones that are flexible and accessible anywhere. This means perks like stipends for meal delivery, online discounts, and digital subscriptions to apps, online learning, wellness programs, magazines and more.

It’s time for us to begin formally planning for a post-pandemic world. What are some of your top tips for ensuring a smooth transition to the hybrid workplace of the future?
WAHVE is an innovative contract talent solution that matches retiring, experienced career professionals with a company's talent needs. WAHVE bridges the gap between an employer's need for highly skilled professional talent and seasoned professionals desiring to extend their career working from home. From screening to placement, WAHVE is a comprehensive solution to qualifying, hiring, and managing experienced remote talent.
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