There has been an increasing acceptance of hybrid work culture post the pandemic. Covid-induced lockdowns brought a paradigm shift to how corporates considered work, so much so that the ‘workplace’ became anywhere an employee had access to the cloud and the right online tools to connect with coworkers. As the pandemic’s rampage recedes, companies worldwide opt for a hybrid work culture. One takeaway from the “Pulse of the American worker” survey among 2000 workers conducted by Prudential and Morning Consult in February 2022 is that “hybrid is the future of work”. 72% of the survey respondents say that the hybrid model is beating their expectations.
So, what is a Hybrid Workplace?
A hybrid workplace blends both in-office and remote work to let your employees enjoy the freedom to decide the ‘when and where’ of their work, thus boosting their satisfaction. While Covid-19 forced companies to adapt to the new normal of working, post the Covid and lockdowns, companies are steadily embracing the new normal, having realized the merits of remote work. HR officials have assessed the benefits of remote work to develop a winning formula of combining remote and in-office work to achieve goals faster and smarter. It remains an indisputable fact that the global pandemic has set new trends in how people work.
How does a Hybrid Workplace ‘Work’?
A hybrid workplace is all about ‘how’ people work more than ‘where’ they work, as the remote work culture of the past two years has proved beyond doubt. The technical capabilities of a hybrid workplace give your employees tremendous flexibility when choosing the locale for managing their work. A good internet connection, a computer system, and access to a smart, cloud-backed digital workplace solution ensure that employees get seamless and secure access to data to get their work done. Hybrid work enables your employees to leverage technologies to collaborate with their geographically dispersed teams in the same manner anyone maintains good relationships with their long-distance friends. And it would be the employers’ responsibility to ensure the office remains a place your employees would love to come to for their in-person work schedule, thus enhancing employee experiences.
Impact of Hybrid Work on Company Culture
The pandemic-induced remote work paved the way for companies to move away from the rigid and formal form of communication to a seamless and fluid intercommunication, thus breaking the silos. A McKinsey blog says that the ROI for the shareholders will be thrice as from companies with a strong culture than from others who don’t have a distinct employee-friendly culture. When employees work more from home and less in the office, the physical premises of your company becomes the new ‘off-site’. The ‘work-first’ culture of pre-pandemic days switched to a workers-first culture during the pandemic days of remote work; something companies worldwide are trying to uphold through the adoption of smart collaboration tools by digitizing their business processes.
76% of the workers surveyed in a Salesforce study say collaboration directly impacts company culture. The relation between collaboration and culture gleaned from the study are:
1. Employees prefer informal and open communication: This gives equal access to information.
2. Stronger and more open relationships can be built through chat-based collaboration: This would help your employees remain more motivated and engaged at work.
3. Flexibility is vital when it comes to choosing tools: Smart technologies would leave your employees happier and more productive. Employees dissatisfied with their tools are likely to be unhappy at work.
Read more: How to Keep Your Remote Teams Connected
Importance of Technology in a Hybrid Workplace
Technological capabilities are vital to the smooth functioning of hybrid workplaces in more ways than one. For a digital workplace solution to succeed in a hybrid culture, the following technical capabilities need to be developed:
1. Smart integration of systems and tools
You need to adopt a smart digital workplace solution with capabilities to integrate all the applications and systems required for your business operations to make your digital journey meaningful. The integration enables members from different teams to collaborate effectively to manage their workflows on a single platform and increase the efficiency of your hybrid workforce in the event.
2. Measures to secure your valuable data.
Your digital platform needs to have adequate security protocols in place to safeguard your data when your dispersed employees access it from anywhere. Capabilities like Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), Single Sign-On (SSO), patching solutions for potential security breaches, using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to secure the connections of all devices that access your data, and using the built-in security features on the platform to secure your virtual meetings, are some of the measures you need to take to secure data on your digital platform. The tools you use must be secure by design and private by default to secure your hybrid-work future.
Adopting a hybrid work model calls for an employee-centric approach through better employee empowerment and investment in training and upskilling. Organizations are expected to increasingly make decisions that will empower their employees to make and meet smart goals.
Top Three Trends expected to Reshape the Hybrid Workplace in 2022
- Employee insights and data analytics will enable smarter completion of tasks.
- Employee welfare and well-being are built into business strategies.
- More investments are expected to be made in technologies to enhance employee experiences.
Your business needs a smart digital workplace solution like InfinCE to enable your hybrid workforce to work smarter and faster. Here is how InfinCE would be a valuable asset to your hybrid workforce.
- Offers a one-stop solution for all your IT infrastructure needs.
- Secures your data with virtual private servers with scalable server configurations to meet your changing business needs.
- Has a smart intranet to improve your internal communication and interactions.
- Offers virtual desktops to accelerate productivity.
- Has feature-packed collaboration apps to streamline and effect smarter collaboration and communication, including easy and secure file sharing.
- Offers a comprehensive employee directory from which your team members can directly initiate a chat, call, or email.
- Enables individual and group audio and video call for enhanced communication.
- Simplifies your data analytics through custom dashboards powered by custom and standard tiles.
- A curated marketplace on the platform with many open-source and commercial business applications to suit your business needs.
- Seamless IT infrastructure management from a single place.
- Secures your data through stringent access controls.
- A single sign-on to enable easy and secure access to your information assets.
Whether you decide to go for a fully remote, hybrid, or totally in-office work model, InfinCE can let your employees work smarter and faster to meet your business objectives. Feel free to reach out to our experts for a free demo.