What Is Hybrid Work?
Hybrid work is an emerging work model that gives on-site, remote, and mobile workers the flexibility to work wherever and however they feel most productive. It can take many forms, such as going to the office on certain days of the week or having some employees work from home and some in the office. Employees favor hybrid working because it gives them more flexibility in their work schedules and ensures better work-life balance.
How to Do
Hybrid work is much more than sending your workforce home. Once your organization has made strategic decisions on hybrid work, the next step is to formulate a well-defined plan and build up effective policies that outline key parameters of this work schedule. Here are a few things you may want to take into consideration.
Who is eligible for remote or hybrid work arrangements?
What types of flexibility are available to ensure employee productivity?
How to gauge the employee performance of your hybrid workforce?
How to find the balance between independence and collaboration?
How to maintain a higher level of employee morale?
Do your employees have equal opportunities in the hybrid workplace?
As the roll-out of hybrid work models, your company culture also needs to catch up. According to McKinsey, companies with healthy cultures have three times greater total returns to shareholders. And vice-versa: 70% of transformations fail, largely due to people- and culture-related challenges. A sense of belonging and engagement is going to be the top priority for a healthy hybrid work culture. Give your hybrid workforce seamless connectivity, access to necessary resources, alternatives to ad hoc interactions, automated processes & workflows, and more to support their work, thereby delivering a consistent experience across on-site and off-site modalities.
All the above leads to the cornerstone of a successful hybrid work strategy – the right technology.
Essential Hybrid Work
Technology matters more than ever in a hybrid working world. Despite being willing to embrace this upward trend, some businesses are not well equipped to make the transition. Without the support of proper IT infrastructure and tools, a hybrid model can instead get in the way of business. Here are some of the top hybrid work technologies that you should consider investing in.
Workplace technology: with employees back to the office, the key to an effective hybrid work environment is to align space and people. Some companies and shared office spaces have adopted workplace scheduling solutions to consolidate space resources. These solutions usually incorporate booking software, digital signage, and 3rd-party calendar integration, allowing employees to view, create, and manage bookings anywhere anytime.
Video conferencing: video conferencing has become an integral part of any successful business operations ever since the pandemic. To actively engage a mix of people in the office and working remotely, figure out if your meeting rooms are equipped with proper audiovisual equipment, your employees using laptops for meetings require additional headsets, webcams, or other devices to improve audio and video quality, and your IT infrastructure potentially limits how people can participate.
Smart office: a smart office solution is comprised of a set of technologies that connect to the building, IT infrastructure, and employees. For example, IoT sensors are used to capture real-time occupancy, people count, environment, and other data in the physical world and translate them into digital format. These data can help you find out how office space is being used and make more informed space planning decisions. You can also preconfigure some integrated systems for automatic operation based on these data.
Unified communications: Unified communications, especially the cloud-based as-a-service solution, UCaaS, is gaining popularity in the age of hybrid work. As integration of many different types of communication channels, it converges audio, video, messaging, and more for everyone to access on whatever device they are using. It is as commonly used by small businesses as it is by large companies that have hundreds of thousands of workers to unify employees scattered everywhere.
There are many other technologies particularly useful in the hybrid workplace, such as online whiteboarding, real-time document collaboration, project management, VPN, two-factor authentication, etc.