Hybrid Work Essentials: Everything You Need to Do It Right
February 2, 2022
Hybrid work could be the future — a mix of both in-person and remote work. And it could be an improvement in the way we work, combining the best of both worlds. It’s the reason 63% of high-revenue growth companies recognize the value of hybrid work and wholeheartedly embrace it. They understand it increases employee productivity by providing them with the flexibility to work in the most suitable environment for them.
Offering hybrid work options is also becoming increasingly important to having the best talent. Because more than one-third (35%) say they would resign if they no longer had the option to work from home. Are you wondering, what does it take to pull it off? How can we have a successful hybrid work model? For example, how can you have employees alternating between working on- and offsite without it being disruptive?
Read on to learn everything you need to know to do hybrid work right. We look at all the essential aspects of it — from the tools and technology you need in place to hybrid workplace culture.
Navigating Traditional and Virtual Workspaces
Traditional offices aren’t going to disappear, but they’re no longer going to be the sole place where people work either. There’s going to be a second workplace, our homes or wherever we can work remotely. And for a blended model to work, properly navigating this new hybrid workplace is going to be vital.
The question now becomes: are we going to change our office space, and how can employees have all the resources they need to work equally effectively at home? Here’s how to answer these questions, as well as how to benefit the most from your hybrid workplace:
- Reduce your office space to save on costs: People will be spending some time working onsite and sometime offsite. As a result, many businesses are thinking of moving to smaller office spaces. This tactic would allow your business to save money on infrastructure, utility, and maintenance. Another viable option is to have a flexible office space which is partly owned, partly rented. It lets you effectively manage your work environment as the number of employees who need to come into the office increases or decreases over time — you’re prepared to handle these fluctuations. Flexible office spaces have grown tremendously in popularity. 86% of companies in 2020 said in the future, they’ll use a flexible office space. And flexible workplaces are only continuing to grow in popularity and become more widely available.
- Convert isolated spaces into collaborative environments: It’s clear, most employees want to see their colleagues when they come into the office. A recent study shows more than two-thirds of remote workers felt disconnected from their colleagues. It’s one of the reasons why they want to engage in hybrid work, so it’s important they’re not still isolated from each other when they do come into the office. Especially since research suggests the unstructured collaboration which happens outside formal meetings is key to having a successful business. Offices should be designed to suit collaborative work, such as brainstorming sessions, and meetings. They shouldn’t be designed for people to work alone in rows of desks with their boss looking over their shoulder in an old-fashioned style of management.
- Make offices agile to suit flexible hybrid work schedules: The office of the future will be changeable according to the demands on any given day. This can be done with multipurpose furniture which can be moved around to support collaborative work. And when you need solo time to focus or more privacy, you can use demountable partitions. Offices can also include different formal and informal areas, where people can collaborate, as well as designated quiet zones.
- Make sure employees have the tools and resources needed to work at home: 1 in 10 employees don’t have an adequate Internet connection. This is partly because 46% of them say their employers don’t contribute to their remote work expenses. The trick for your business to make hybrid work productive is to ensure employees can always stay engaged with the platforms your company uses. We can purchase or rent tools, infrastructure, and digital security which they can use in the office, at home, or on the go.
The Tools and Technology of Physical and Remote Work
With the hybrid work model, you have a second workplace — the virtual workspace. And when your business operations are taking place online, you need the right tools and technology to make them work. For example, there’s been a surge in organizations worldwide using hybrid cloud technologies. And in 2020, the worth of the hybrid cloud market was $56 billion USD.
Even though people are switching back and forth between physical and remote work, it doesn’t mean business operations can’t flow smoothly. With the right technology, we can avoid disruptions so employees can seamlessly switch between on- and off-site engagement.
With the correct tools, we can make the physical and online offices more connected. Because these tools help promote communication, collaboration, and productivity in the digital environment.
Want to know how to avoid disruptions and have a smoothly operating hybrid workplace? Here are the tools and technology you need to optimize productivity in your workplace:
- UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) can create a cohesive, seamless communication experience: UCaaS unifies all the communication forms in your business from messaging to audio and video conferences. It’s key to having a successful hybrid workplace. It lets your team communicate at any place, any time and using any device. Even if there’s a physical boundary between you, UCaaS can eliminate any communication boundaries. 70% of employees saw improved collaboration in their workplace with UCaaS. For example, even if you’re in the office and your colleague is at home, you can connect and collaborate with them at the click of a button. This also improves the productivity of your teams.
- Apps which record employee schedules and bookings can improve productivity and collaboration: They help us schedule people according to certain tasks and timeframes. So, we can coordinate individual flexibility and keep departments running smoothly. An enterprise app lets you record this information all in one place. In this way, employees can make the most of the days when they do come into the office. And teams can have smoother collaboration.
- IoT devices can ensure the safety of your employees: We can use IoT sensors to count the number of people inside the building. These sensors let us ensure we’re limiting its occupancy. They can even identify desks needing to be sanitized based on how much they’ve been used.
- AI can help us optimize office spaces and increase efficiency: You’ll have fewer employees working onsite. How do you need to optimize your office spaces instead of having unused space? Hot-desking, the practice of allocating desks and rooms to people on an as-need basis, will become a more useful practice. This can reduce office operation costs by 30%. And with the help of AI, we can automate this process, making it much more efficient. For example, self-service workplace apps can let employees book a desk or meeting room. They even let you customize your workplace to suit your needs.
Hybrid Workplace Culture
Workplace culture is vital, especially with 40% of employees considering leaving their jobs this year.
Companies making sure employees feel like a valued part of a team is more important than ever. But how do you promote a positive company culture with some of your employees working offsite?
Additionally, 83% of workers prefer hybrid work, so we need to review our current practices, consider the needs of everyone who’ll be working remotely and integrate hybrid work into our long-term plans.
Are you wondering how to integrate hybrid workers into your current business practices? Here’s how to eliminate the physical distance and build a sense of community in the hybrid workplace:
- Encourage informal communication over digital channels: Hybrid work accommodates the 67% of remote workers who want more face-to-face interactions with their colleagues, plus lets people effectively work from home. The critical question is: how do we promote more spontaneous conversations online? UCaaS platforms make online communication easy and efficient. This solution helps break down silos by encouraging engagement and collaboration. It also lets us have more opportunities to stay connected and share social moments with each other. And as your team adopts the shift to hybrid work, UCaaS gives you the tools to build an important sense of community, even when some are working remotely.
- Make information easily accessible: Remote workers shouldn’t feel like they’re out of the loop or behind on information. When information is broadly shared, it helps ensure every employee is on the same page, giving your company the opportunity to excel at hybrid work. Information can be shared through an online newsletter, a company intranet, a shared drive, or other digital platforms. A collaboration platform can also have a built-in newsfeed to help ensure all employees see it.
- Share online praise and encouragement: When we’re seeing some of our employees face-to-face and others are working remotely, we may sometimes forget to show appreciation to the ones offsite. Part of the reason employees would accept an offer for a different position is because 76% of them don’t feel valued. Our praise should go beyond the office environment. With platforms like Teams, it’s easy to give encouragement online. And when we take the time to do this, it shows our commitment not just to remote workers, but everyone.
- Have a communication plan: 33% of employees say the lack of communication negatively impacts their morale to the greatest degree. And in a hybrid environment, we need to give special attention to communication. Engaging with our employees also helps us move away from creating an impersonal environment. We need to make sure to include remote employees in meetings and any office activities. And we should be available to touch base with them through an online communication platform whenever we need. There are also many types of events and other activities we can do virtually.
We’ll Help You Meet All Your Hybrid-Work Needs
It’s become very clear — the right communication plan and technology are vital components to support a successful hybrid workplace.
We can have our business work like a well-oiled machine with technology which improves and automates our processes. And we can use digital communication channels to promote work culture and ensure the engagement of remote employees.
Inteliquent can help you do all of these. As a company, we specialize in remote work solutions and infrastructure, we’ll help you put the right cloud solution in place to optimize your business’s communications.
With our fully integrated collaboration solutions, your hybrid workplace will experience new levels of productivity and customer satisfaction.
Are you looking for a communication service to help your employees smoothly collaborate and communicate? Talk to our hybrid workplace experts today to get started.