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The COVID-19 pandemic altered the way business functions, requiring companies of all types and sizes to now support some level of hybrid-working capability through policies, practices and technologies. So, what is a hybrid workplace? A hybrid workplace is an arrangement where employees come to the office occasionally and complete the rest of the task by working from home or third spaces (e.g., library, coffee shop or co-working space). Or it could be almost entirely office-based, with just a handful of workers or teams working remotely.
WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF A HYBRID WORKPLACE?
Some of the pros to a hybrid workplace consist of increased productivity, lowered costs, employee happiness, and safety during the pandemic.
Lowered costs: When a company understands how many employees will be in the office at any given point in time, employers can strategize with IT consulting around new occupancy levels to reduce the cost of rent, office supplies, and other business expenses.
Employee happiness: Having a free option to work when and where they want appears to have a significant effect on employee contentment. When asked, remote working employees described feeling happier and less stressed compared to their colleagues who remained working in the office.
Safety during the pandemic: Scientists and health experts continue to warn us that social distancing and mask wearing may need to remain in place for some time. A hybrid workplace helps keep employees safe during the pandemic, reducing the number of people in the office at any given time, creating ample personal space, and making it easier to stay distanced. Flexible workers can commute during off-peak times, or work from home if they or their family are at particular risk.
The cons of a hybrid working environment may include dealing more with security issues, increasing reliance on technology, and revamping the office space.
Security Issues: In a hybrid office, security measures may entail updating cybersecurity policies with a Managed Services Provider, providing security training to remote workers, furnishing a VPN setup (Virtual Private Network), examining the company’s devices of remote/hybrid workers by network consultants, limiting employees access to corporate data, and analyzing company devices for vulnerability to cyberattacks.
Increasing reliance on technology: This means everyone needs to be given the adequate hardware and resources—including laptops and phones, for example—to do their job no matter how far from the office they are.
Revamping office space: For companies to transition to a hybrid workplace, employers must invest in revamping their existing office space to meet the needs of flexible workers. A hybrid office requires technology solutions like extended functionality, including power outlets by seats for charging, conferencing screens to link up with remote colleagues, and strong Wi-Fi in any location where somebody might try to get some work done.
HOW SHOULD A BUSINESS PRIORITIZE SMART TECHNOLOGY IN A HYBRID WORK ENVIRONMENT?
The job isn’t as much charting this environment as setting the direction your business takes across it. So, when examining the smart use of technology in your hybrid workplace, here are a few suggestions for prioritizing this unorthodox approach.
Employees First: Adjust the adage “the customer comes first” for today’s business. A high-quality customer experience is what should come first. That means your staff must have the digital commerce, communication and collaboration tools to deliver that experience.
Partners Second: Yes, put your suppliers, vendors and other service and/or product providers ahead of customers, too. They enable employees to deliver a high-quality digital experience.
Customers Last (but Not Least): Don’t think of this advice as de-prioritizing. Consider it reverse-engineering for success
As the pandemic resurges, companies of all kinds still face creating and maintaining hybrid working environments. Plus, managing the procurement, implementation and maintenance of business technology that facilitates that workplace.
Now that you have a clearer picture of some of the pros and cons, think about what will work best for your company’s unique circumstances and people. Ready for smart technology in your hybrid workplace? Give us a call today at TeamLogicIT Plano (469) 573-3743 or contact teamlogicitplanotx.com.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT A HYBRID WORKFORCE
HOW DO YOU PREPARE FOR A HYBRID WORKPLACE?
- Keep health and safety front and center.
- Establish a clear virtual work policy.
- Give your managers the tools they need to be successful.
- Don’t stop investing in virtual work.
- Check that you’re right-sizing your expenses.
HOW DO YOU MANAGE THE HYBRID WORKPLACE?
- Consider switching from “hours worked” to milestones and deadlines.
- Utilize a consolidated communication and collaboration system like Office 365 and MS Teams.
- Encourage team engagement, exercises and shared goals.
TeamLogic IT Plano, a Team of IT Support consultants, offers premium IT services in the Dallas-Fort worth Metropolitan Area. Our IT services range from basic IT support to advanced security support for small- and medium-sized businesses. Contact TeamLogic IT Plano, one of the best IT Consulting Company in the Dallas-Fort worth Metropolitan Area.