Although not a new concept, adoption of the hybrid work model has accelerated dramatically in the past year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Combining remote, semi-remote and exclusively office-based working styles, hybrid working empowers individuals with the flexibility to have a say where, how and when they work.
This approach inevitably means that entire teams will no longer routinely occupy a single physical workplace, often hotdesking and rotating between on-premise and remote work environments. This brings its own challenges. Teams now need to be able to communicate and collaborate effectively from dispersed locations in the same way they did when they were together in the office.
How organisations navigate and address these challenges is shaping the workplace of the future. As organisations and their workers seek to reap the rewards of more flexible hybrid working, technology has a critical role to play in bridging the gap between dispersed teams.
For a full breakdown of the challenges involved in making the switch to hybrid working, and the technology solutions required to overcome them, take a look at our Insight Guide.
Here in this blog, we highlight three ways that hybrid working will change the future of the workplace:
Teams will Collaborate Differently
Conventional in-person meetings cannot now be routinely relied upon for brainstorming and ideation. Despite the benefit of human feel of face-to-face interactions, the reality of the new hybrid workspace dictates that some collaboration must take place between the office and home.
Whilst visual communication tools such as Microsoft Teams can help to connect teams more than conventional phone calls, they are ultimately just that -communication tools. Unfortunately, they are too often misunderstood as collaboration tools, but they lack the functionality to support truly collaborative teamwork. True collaboration requires teams to combine communication tools with other features that allow you to draw, share and critique work, such as digital whiteboarding and multi-device sharing functionality.
There will be new Demands on Technology Infrastructure
Whether your organisation had well-established remote working systems, or quickly adopted it in the wake of lockdown restrictions, large scale hybrid working will put new pressure on your technical infrastructure, likely requiring investment in digital collaboration tools, remote work systems and new hardware. Some organisations may choose to offer all employees laptops, for example, so they can have the same access to systems both at home and in the office without switching machines.
However, before investing in new technology it is essential that organisations assess the functionality that they personally require. Investment in innovative cutting-edge technology can become bleeding edge if not aligned to existing platforms, processes and requirements.
The most effective technology investments are those which bolster and enhance – not replace – existing infrastructure. Microsoft Teams organisations, for example, can benefit from solutions which enhance the multi-device and document sharing capabilities of the platform.
In order to empower in office and remote workers equally, teams need multi-device document sharing to present findings, infinite screen real estate to see the big picture and fully interactive digital whiteboards that allow for simultaneous contributions to act on their ideas with immediacy.
Work-life Balance will be a High Priority
Splitting between remote and in office work often offers no demarcation between the two. Remote workers can feel alienated, anxious and burnt out from the lack of boundaries between their work, social and family lives. Employees are working longer hours, checking emails outside of work hours more and need to be encouraged to prioritise their own wellbeing.
A regular wellness experience can be delivered for hybrid workers using calming imagery and sounds in multifunctional office spaces. 360-degree infinite displays provide an authentic immersive experience by enveloping all of the wall space around you, projecting visuals and sound that provide a calming escape from daily tasks and stress.
Encouraging hybrid workers to take a break from the monotony of daily tasks and practice mindfulness a few times a week helps to ensure the long-term wellbeing and performance of teams as they split their time across a range of work environments.
Laduma’s Digital Workspaces
At Laduma, we believe that the new breed of Hybrid Workforce needs a new breed of Hybrid Workspace. We provide a singular digital workspace platform, where you can bring all your favourite applications and tools with you to do your best work together.
Our mission is to drive innovation in a dispersed world by humanising collaborative workflows with technology that brings us closer together. We transform your current physical and digital spaces into digitally enabled hybrid workspaces, allowing you to work faster, smarter and more efficiently and to proritise your most important asset – people.
If you want to see our room mirroring, user profiles and round-the-clock support, among other features, in action, please request a demo.