As 2021 moves along, enterprises are considering what the path forward may include as vaccinations pick up speed. While many employees may continue to work from home, a large percentage may choose to return to the office, creating a need for a thriving hybrid workplace model.
While accommodating different workforce needs can pose a challenge, forward-thinking organizations will consider the hybrid workplace model an opportunity to rethink areas like productivity expectations and enterprise collaboration. These decisions will largely be made by executives and line-of-business managers, but IT teams will be central in equipping new workplace settings with the right technology.
Consider these three factors when making decisions about how to organize a hybrid workplace:
Safety: Even with widespread vaccination rollouts, it doesn’t appear that a cavalier attitude toward wellness will be possible anytime soon. IT teams may be called upon to introduce technologies that better protect their workplace populations with solutions like touchless light switches or AI sensors for video conferencing settings that make automatic adjustments based on who is in the room and how many participants there are. It may also include voice biometrics that authorize participation in certain technologies without having to touch a keypad.
Experience: The pandemic introduced new work-life balance under circumstances nobody anticipated, but work-from-home employees may be reluctant to give up some of their flexibility and lack of commute.
Enterprise collaboration is one key part of the experience component of a hybrid workplace model. Team members can count on expedited decision-making, status indicators, and shared workspaces all within a unified communications as a service (UCaaS) solution. The ability to reach colleagues and discuss client projects with the elimination of travel time and resources is a boost to productivity.
Technology supporting a hybrid workplace model is one way in which IT can improve the appeal of returning to the office. You might compare it to the fight for viewers between theaters and television producers. For a long time, ramping up from drive-ins to theaters with stadium seating and premium food options gave the in-home experience an impossible standard to match. Now, with movies streaming direct, all that’s lacking is the all-encompassing popcorn smell.
For now, the hybrid workplace model may lure workers wanting to return from home with spacious office options, green spaces, and ergonomic furniture. These perks may make squeezing into a home office converted out of a corner of a bedroom less appealing.
Expectations: As technology equips enterprise collaboration for better productivity, every organization will have to temper these advances with reasonable expectations. Employees returning from a work-from-home setting will have had different sets of circumstances impacting their work speed and productivity. While at home they may have had challenges such as a child participating in online school, they may have had many off-hours to complete projects. While an on-site office may be better overall, it may still come with its own set of distractions and challenges.
As your enterprise considers a return to work, you may be contemplating the merits of a hybrid workplace model. Contact us at ITBroker.com for information about technologies that equip enterprise collaboration and prioritize the safety of your workforce.