Although employees are returning to offices, companies are finding that a return to how the workplace used to be is no longer the preferred choice.
Now everyone is aware of how beneficial remote working can be; employees are hesitant to return to traditional ways of working. The result is that more companies are taking a hybrid approach to the workplace.
Employees now have two workspaces — one is the official office of the employer, and the other is the home (or even out and about!).
Flexible but functional hybrid working is more important than ever, but it’s not without its challenges. To overcome those challenges, the right technology can prove extremely beneficial and could be the key to a successful shift to a hybrid workspace.
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The Importance of Video
Remote working isn’t new, and neither is the online meeting. Of course, from 2020 on, the explosion of both was hard to ignore. Employees who had previously only attended meetings via video were suddenly empowered, and all team members were now equal.
Looking forward, most business meetings will involve some members attending via video call. If hybrid working is to remain effective, profitable, and productive, workspaces will need to ensure that physical offices have more access to video endpoints. If there is a rise in video traffic, teams in the office should be able to jump into meetings as needed.
This might need a new approach in terms of how video networking is designed. For now, having cameras and laptops available in meeting rooms is the key.
Never underestimate the importance of video for hybrid teams, even from a social perspective. Video communication can be the foundation for in-house communication in a hybrid workspace, as the visual connection improves understanding and clarity.
Space Management Tech
With people coming into the office on some days and staying home on others, it can be hard for bosses to reclaim efficiency in the physical workspace.
After all, if half of all desks are unused, and entire meeting rooms are only seen by the cleaners, why have the office at all? The shift to smaller workspaces means better management of those workspaces.
Hot desking tech can be extremely useful and is a vital component of developing a well-written hybrid working policy. From allowing access to the premises on the right days to ensuring a more efficient visitor booking system, the right space-management software can be a game-changer when it comes to hybrid-workspace efficiency.
It’s important to manage and track employees when they enter and leave an office. Not only does it make space management easier, but it also ensures hygiene practices are fully optimized too. For firms that have downsized their office space following the pandemic, a space management tool is now a must-have.
A New Approach to Onboarding
New employees might never work in the office, remaining 100% remote for the foreseeable future. Others will get hired and be expected to spend some time in the office and some time working remotely. That can make onboarding very complex and even problematic if the issues aren’t tackled in the right way.
That’s where cloud-based onboarding applications come in. Rather than in-person onboarding and training sessions, businesses need to ensure that onboarding is just as productive when being run remotely. Failure to address the potential issues of a stilted onboarding process will only lead to employee dissatisfaction.
To ensure that every employee, whether 100% remote, hybrid, or full-time in the office, is made to feel a part of the company culture, onboarding needs to change. Use the right onboarding technology to ensure that every new employee gets access to the resources and training they need.
One of the potential problems with the hybrid workspace is communication channels. Sorting, tracking, and managing tasks across geographically-dispersed employees can make task management significantly more difficult, resulting in low productivity and wasted time.
To ensure ongoing projects are managed more effectively, workflow management tools are becoming vital.
And there are plenty to choose from. The key here is to choose a workflow management platform or application that matches your needs. For example, Monday.com is ideally suited for teams that are 100% remote, while Trello continues to be a great universal option.
One of the main missteps for business owners making the shift to hybrid working is to assume the current workflow management systems will adapt to the new way of working. Unfortunately, while many communication tools offer some form of task management feature, these are far less useful when teams begin to disperse. Don’t make the mistake of relying on lackluster tools, and look for a workflow management solution that aligns with your sector and your working methods.
Start Using Tech in the Hybrid Workspace
There’s been a lot of discussion and many more blog posts and articles written about how best to manage hybrid workplaces. Everything from how often teams should be physically present in the office to whether we need an office at all are complex questions with a multitude of answers. Those answers will depend on you and your business model.
If you’re yet to make the shift to hybrid working, you must plan it in advance. While the leap to mass remote working took many firms by surprise, hybrid working is here to stay, and with time and resources, it could be the best business decision you ever make.
The good news is that no matter what kind of hybrid approach you take, there are tech solutions available to tackle the biggest barriers to efficiency. Take your time to talk to your teams and find out what they need and which processes are causing roadblocks. Find the solutions that have real-world applications and benefits, and your switch to hybrid working could become the key to faster brand growth.