While the pandemic triggered a sudden, unexpected shift to remote work, the reopening of offices is now driving a more predictable but still fast-moving shift to the hybrid workplace. As we emerge from the pandemic, organizations are navigating the transition to a long-term hybrid solution.
According to a Gallup poll, about half of the U.S. full-time workforce say their job can be done from home, at least part-time. While 42 percent have a hybrid schedule and 39 percent work remotely all the time, 53 percent said their long-term plan is to work in a hybrid workplace. Just 24 percent expect to move to an exclusively remote work model.
What Is the Hybrid Workplace?
The hybrid workplace is a mix of remote working and in-person working that balances the needs of the organization and the employee. Some employees work exclusively in-office or remotely, while others split their time between in-office and remote workspaces. Some may work different hours depending on their roles and family responsibilities.
The hybrid workplace capability is nothing new. Only recently, however, has there been a sharp uptick in adoption, leading many organizations to reevaluate the technology that makes remote working possible.
Challenges to an Effective Hybrid Workplace
It’s no longer enough to enable employees to connect to the corporate network, log into their work email and access corporate IT resources. Rather than simply providing tools that allow the business to function in an emergency, organizations need to implement a scalable strategy for leveraging the hybrid workplace to optimize performance and drive growth.
Can employees seamlessly switch from in-office to remote working? Are remote workers just as engaged as in-office workers, or are remote workers in a separate silo? Are remote workers using the same tools as in-office workers?
Can you effectively manage and monitor technology and services used by remote workers? Are remote environments secure? Are compliance requirements being met?
Are you delivering an exceptional customer experience? Are you delivering an exceptional employee experience?
These are all questions that need to be addressed to create and maintain an effective hybrid workplace.
The Right Culture and Technology Are Essential
The remote work component of the hybrid workplace is a big change for many organizations. Mutual trust between leadership and employees must be cultivated. Those who choose to work remotely can’t have it held against them if a policy allows it. Remote workers need to feel as engaged as in-office workers. This helps organizations build a culture in which the entire team supports and believes in the company vision.
Of course, building such a culture is virtually impossible without the right technology. Collaboration tools such as video, audio, messaging and virtual whiteboarding allow employees to engage and interact in real-time, regardless of location. The key is to provide remote workers with the same capabilities, so there is no drop off in quality or function when working from home.
For example, virtual video conferencing experiences should closely mimic in-person experiences. Remote workers will feel more engaged and be able to collaborate more effectively.
SSD Can Help
SSD offers professional audio-visual design and systems integration to support the hybrid workplace. Also, our Assurance security solutions minimize the risk of data breaches and compliance headaches, while our managed IT services can keep your business operating at an optimal level. Contact us to discuss how we can help you take full advantage of a successful hybrid workplace.