Make Hybrid Working Work for Your SME Business

Best practices to empower a sustainable distributed workforce

The working experience of the past two years has fundamentally reshaped the way employees define the role of work, and what they want from the office. As more people experience the benefits of flexible working, it is certain that the old ways are not coming back.


Businesses need to rethink their workforce strategy to enable hybrid working on a more permanent basis that balances business outcomes with employees’ new expectations. Managers now face the challenge to enable productive teamwork and boost employee morale for the long run, all while ensuring a safe digital work environment.

Here are three best practices to guide your SME business in navigating the transition to long-term hybrid working:

Encourage inclusivity and connectedness

In the age of hybrid work, the workplace is no longer tied to a physical location, but where teamwork and interactions take place.

Airbnb’s Chief, Brian Chesky believes that people will still return to offices, but it will be for different purposes, specifically for collaboration spaces.[1]

By enhancing the way your teams collaborate, you can continue to empower effective communication and spur innovation. Investing in modern collaborative tools, such as remote communication solutions and video conferencing equipment, will help create the same presence whether the employee is seated in the office conference room or at his home, enabling everyone to feel involved and connected.


Establish a constructive culture

Culture is the heart of your business identity, and a key factor to company success. When cultures are effective, organisations experience upsides in growth and talent retention.

While many employees have benefitted from the flexibility of remote work, dilemma exists between the desire to work remotely and the nostalgia for teamwork and corporate culture.[2]


With the reduction of regular in-person interactions, managers will need to be more intentional in fostering team culture and nurturing a sense of belonging. This can be achieved by creating platforms for people to expand their networks – from organising virtual coffee or networking sessions with colleagues across departments to providing cross-functional learning opportunities.

By maintaining the human connection and strengthening your community, employees develop a stronger identity with the organisation, which can help them to thrive.

Ensure a cyber-safe environment

A successful hybrid work model also calls for a heightened emphasis on cybersecurity.

As employees access corporate data and applications via external networks, their exposure to cyber risks becomes greater. It is now critical for businesses to develop a comprehensive security strategy to safeguard their employees and data.

However, most SMEs lack the security know-how and resources to defend against the threats of opportunistic cyber criminals looking to exploit a growing online workforce.[3]

To help SMEs protect their businesses, Microsoft makes it easy to safeguard against various types of cyber threats including phishing, ransomware, and data theft with their all-in-one productivity, collaboration, and cybersecurity solution – Microsoft 365 Business Premium.

It combines Microsoft’s best-in-class Office apps, powerful cloud services and comprehensive security, including Microsoft Defender, an advanced ransomware protection, so that both remote and in-office employees can have a peace-of-mind when connecting to external networks to access information from anywhere and everywhere.


The embrace of the hybrid work model shows that we are no longer bound to the conventional notions of office space and fixed working hours. With the right strategies in place, SMEs can leverage a distributed workforce to supercharge their productivity. Find out more about Microsoft 365 and the suite of solutions available to meet your business needs.


Talk to StarHub today to explore and evaluate your business transformation.

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