As the businesses, cities, and countries your organization conducts business with are all in wildly different phases of reopening, it may seem that we are all in a near-constant state of evaluating what the future of business looks like. Is the future truly remote? If the past few months have been any indication, many employers and employees alike are indeed satisfied with working from home long term. However, there are also many that long for the camaraderie and culture that more easily translate to in-office work. To balance the seemingly conflicting opinions of these groups, perhaps the solution is a “hybrid workplace” where employees split time between working from home and in the office. As recent months have shown, cloud and collaboration tools are undeniably crucial to making a hybrid workplace possible.
Currently, companies are handling remote work in a variety of ways. Some have gone fully remote until 2021, some have instituted staggered schedules where employees work in-office on different days and from home other days, some leave it up to the employee’s individual discretion, and so on. However, employers are starting to look at longer term solutions and alternatives to accommodate the growing interest in and need for extended remote work. Many are beginning to see the hybrid approach as the best of both worlds, combining the structure and socialization of in-office work with the independence and flexibility of remote work.
Productivity and innovation are the only ways a company can stay competitive in today’s environment. Collaboration is the fuel that drives that productivity and innovation. Therefore, a hybrid solution is only successful if it drives collaboration. Employees returning to a physical workspace are not returning with the same mindset they left with. It’s likely, for example, that we may never again cram a conference room full of people. Enhancing conference room technology will be critical as more attendees join meetings from offsite. This has the double benefit of ensuring employee health and safety and driving productivity and collaboration.
To enhance speed-to-adoption and cost-effectiveness of collaboration solutions, organizations must act quickly and leverage existing tech stacks wherever possible. Leveraging collaboration platforms with multitudes of features built in (instead of vetting and instituting several individual tools that are not connected to one another) promotes employee adoption and satisfaction. And there has perhaps never been a better time to institute large, sweeping changes, as adaptability is very much the new normal.
Below are a few considerations you may want to think over regarding a hybrid workspace:
- Will hybrid work policies be companywide, departmentwide, or even on individual level?
- How will you create or maintain a sense of company culture between remote and in-office work?
- How can you tailor collaboration technology to the needs of individual roles, departments, and locations?
- How do you ensure that hybrid or remote workers do not miss out on advancement opportunities?
- How will the physical workplace need to adapt to accommodate the needs of external workers?
Cisco’s “A Blueprint for Hybrid Workplaces” is also a good resource for assessing often-overlooked aspects of enabling a hybrid workspace.
GDT’s Collaboration Solutions experts deliver quality collaborative experiences that combine unified communications, cutting-edge video capabilities and state-of-the-art conferencing services. Our experienced, highly skilled solutions engineers and architects design collaborative solutions that reduce infrastructure costs and enable customization to fit customers’ specific needs. Learn more about GDT Collaboration Solutions here.