It’s been three years since the pandemic completely changed how businesses operate and people live. How quickly time flies! As we reach the 3-year mark and the dust seems to settle, there’s a lot to look back on (and look forward to). The hybrid workplace model, which wasn’t even heard of prior to 2020, has now become a global norm. It has reached a point where businesses that do not offer a decent degree of remote working flexibility to employees are scorned at.
And while this new-fangled model is now poised to completely take over the traditional, in-office way of working, thanks to the many benefits it offers both to employees and businesses alike, it hasn’t been a smooth ride. Read on to uncover our take on what’s working in the hybrid workplace and what isn’t.
The Far-Reaching Benefits of the Hybrid Workplace
If the pandemic had struck the world somewhere in the 70s, people would have continued to throng offices with masks and (probably) adhered to social distancing measures. Since digital technologies were still in their infancy, the idea of a hybrid work model wouldn’t have been conceptualised and, almost certainly, not have worked.
But in 2020, digital is what made the world float its boat. The pandemic made us realise how critical technology is to the very existence of businesses (and people) and how leveraging modern innovations can help us do our work and earn our bread.
As “collaborate anywhere” becomes the mantra of forward-thinking organisations, let’s look at some of the benefits the hybrid workplace model offers to employees and enterprises:
- Convenience – The convenience of working from anywhere and getting things done quickly and efficiently. The hybrid workplace model has made it easy for employees to work at their pace, using devices they are used to, and from the comfort of their homes (and their pyjamas). Enterprises find this convenience translating directly into higher productivity and lesser burnout, which eventually results in better results for the business.
- Flexibility – The hybrid workplace model has paved the way for high levels of flexibility that employees never had when they were glued to their desk chairs in their 9-5 jobs. Today, employees can turn on their laptops from their beds, enjoy hot lunches with their families, and put in hours when they’re most productive. For enterprises, this converts into more efficient use of time and better morale, which is reflected in the work quality.
- Costs – Transitioning to a hybrid workplace has also led to humongous cost benefits. While employees can save time travelling long distances and cut down on fuel and food costs, enterprises can save millions in real estate, maintenance, and energy costs. Lesser number of employees working from the office means businesses require less physical office space and can save money on rent and office supplies.
Areas that Still Need Attention
The hybrid workplace has opened doors to higher levels of productivity and efficiency. But not everything has been hunky-dory. Several issues have lingered and caused problems for both organisations and employees, which need immediate attention. Since organisational culture is substantially more difficult to cultivate in a hybrid environment, people working remotely intermittently through the week are bound to feel disconnected at times. This impacts several aspects of day-to-day functioning, as we will now see.
Here are some areas of the hybrid workplace that need a makeover:
Establishing the Right Structure
Establishing the right structure is one of the greatest challenges of the hybrid model. Creating the ideal hybrid workplace requires better coordination of resources at home and onsite. Since homes now need to be fully functional, permanent workstations and offices need to be remote-capable collaborative stations; businesses need to invest in the right unified communication systems so everyone feels equally connected to the organisation’s culture, follows the same processes, and speaks the same business language.
In the in-office scenario, it was easy for managers to huddle teams into the nearest meeting room for a quick update. But in hybrid meetings, the lack of face-to-face communication has made collaboration a little difficult. Since hybrid work demands more extensive coordination of meetings and schedules, figuring out how to lead hybrid meetings with a small part of the audience online doesn’t come easy.
Organisations that want to fuel better collaboration between remote and onsite teams must embrace AV solutions that are designed to transcend spaces and connect people across multiple locations and devices. These solutions can bridge the communication gap while empowering teams as they work towards a common goal.
Giving Everyone the Same Place at the Table
When teams comprise a mix of onsite and remote employees, giving everyone the same place at the table isn’t easy. Those present in a conference room have the upper hand because they can quickly and easily brainstorm in person, causing those connecting from their homes to feel left out.
If you want your teams to have a robust WFH setup at home that is customised for unique needs and requirements, you need the right mix of monitors, webcams, headphones, keyboards, lighting, and even ergonomic chairs. These essentials can allow your employees to enjoy an exceptional visual collaboration experience, stay connected 24/7, do more with their devices, and also multitask more. Opting for the best solutions that have been crafted for productivity and assembled by tech experts from the AV industry can help you stay just as productive from your homes (or any remote location for that matter) as you do from the office.
The Bottom Line
The hybrid workplace is certainly here to stay, and while the model has opened doors to several far-reaching benefits, some concerns must be addressed as quickly as possible. When working with a mix of onsite and remote employees, organisations must prioritise investments in hybrid technologies that make collaborating with colleagues and connecting with managers a breeze. The right technology can also help overcome issues across resource utilisation, scheduling difficulties, and relationship building, enabling organisations to leverage all the rewards hybrid working presents.
Book a free consultation to learn more about the most viable AV solutions to adopt for a successful hybrid workplace model.