Preparing Your Organization for the Shift to Hybrid Work
The world of work is changing. In the past, organizations have traditionally followed one of two work models: in-office where everyone is in the office every day, or remote, where employees work in off-site locations that are located wherever they are.
However, recent global events have forced organizations to rethink how and where they work. With recent advances in technology, many organizations are considering a hybrid work model in which employees are given the choice to work in the office, remotely, or a mixture of both.
The Benefits of Hybrid Work
There are a number of benefits that a hybrid work model can offer organizations, including:
- Improved flexibility: A hybrid work model offers employees more flexibility as they can work from anywhere, whether that’s in the office, at home, or at the airport before a business trip, or even sitting poolside!
- Better work-life balance: Giving employees the ability to choose when (or if) they want to come into the office gives them more time to coordinate their personal lives, reducing their stress and giving them more time to take care of themselves and their families.
- Improved access to talent: A hybrid work model enables employers to recruit the best talent by giving them access to a wider pool of candidates who live outside their state or country.
However, if a hybrid work model isn’t properly implemented and managed, it can create challenges across the organization. These include:
- Lack of equity between in-office and remote employees: In-person connection is arguably more powerful than digital connection, and remote employees may feel excluded during virtual meetings if they aren’t given the same opportunities to participate as their in-office counterparts.
- Team-building challenges: In the past, organizations have created team cohesion by hosting team-building events such as happy hours or sports outings. However, it may be difficult to build that cohesiveness when work-from-anywhere employees aren’t able to attend in person.
- Increased reliance on technology: As your teams become more dispersed, they will increasingly rely on technology to communicate, and if employees aren’t properly trained on how to use those solutions, it can create significant barriers to effective communication.
Hybrid work on the global stage
As organizations rethink their operations and employee preferences, it’s clear that hybrid work is here to stay. According to recent surveys from leading analysts, employers are recognizing the value of hybrid work:
- In a recent McKinsey report, most C-suite executives have reported improvements in their organization’s productivity, customer satisfaction, employee engagement, and diversity and inclusion when compared to pre-pandemic levels
- McKinsey also confirmed that nine out of ten organizations will be combining remote and on-site working in the future
- In the 2020 Gartner ReimagineHR Client Survey, 90% of HR leaders reported they completely trust employees to work from home, and 75% believe employees are as productive working from home as in the office
It appears that employees are also on board with the shift toward hybrid work:
- In a recent survey conducted by SurveyMonkey and Zoom, about two-thirds (65%) of respondents who have been working from home over the past year said that a hybrid work environment was their ideal work model
- According to the 2020 Gartner ReimagineHR Client Survey, 25% of the global knowledge workforce will choose to work from home as their primary workplace, and 45% of the workforce will be working from home two to three days per week by 2022
- SurveyMonkey reports that 61% of remote workers would prefer to attend large group meetings virtually, while 69% of remote workers were more likely to prefer meeting new clients or customers in person
While the research confirms that the majority of organizations and employees are in favor of a hybrid working model, 68% of surveyed organizations don’t have a plan in place to transition to hybrid work. Read on for some hybrid work best practices to guide you and your organization in preparing for a new model of work.
Best practices for hybrid work
Organizations and their employees must work together closely to create an effective hybrid work environment. Here are some of the best practices for organizations looking to implement a hybrid work model:
- Maintain constant connection with your teams: Working with dispersed teams requires constant communication and collaboration, so be sure to leverage effective solutions such as a workplace messaging application or business phone solution to ensure you can connect effortlessly with your coworkers. Hosting virtual team-building events also helps to cement relationships between team members, even if they have never met in person!
- Create a robust resource library: Provide robust resources to help your dispersed teams navigate their roles, maintain the security of their devices and accounts, and train them to use your workplace technologies and solutions. Creating a library of recorded training materials and sessions will allow employees to have access to the information and materials they need to be successful.
- Ensure consistency across your workplace solutions: Using a disparate collection of apps and programs makes it difficult for your hybrid workforce to know which solution to use in different situations, creates friction in the user experience, and can be difficult and expensive to manage. By implementing a unified communications solution, your employees can enjoy a frictionless experience where their phone, chat, webinar, and video meeting communications can all be found on the same platform.
- Create an infrastructure for organization-wide communication: The ability to reach your hybrid workforce and stakeholders all at once is important in emergency situations, or for communicating company news. Leveraging an effective video communications solution that can scale to support large events and meetings makes it easy to host all-hands, town halls, and issue organization-wide communications in a more personalized and direct way.
- Provide solutions that give all employees the same capabilities: With some of your employees in the office and others working remotely, you should provide them with the solutions they need to create an enterprise-grade communications experience, regardless of where they are. By providing solutions that allow your teams to collaborate digitally, create a distraction-free environment, and have the same capabilities as in-office workers, you can help ensure that your teams are productive and successful, no matter where they choose to work from.
Creating an effective hybrid workforce with Zoom
To successfully support a hybrid workforce, your organization needs to provide solutions that create equity between in-office and remote employees. Zoom’s platform hosts all the solutions your organization needs to ensure that remote workers have the same capabilities and opportunities as in-office workers, including chat, phone, meetings, conference rooms, webinars, and more.
Here’s what you can expect from the Zoom platform:
A seamless communications ecosystem
Zoom brings your business communications onto one platform, creating an ecosystem where your employees can seamlessly move between communications methods such as phone, video, and chat; send files; share content; and schedule meetings without having to use different applications or platforms.
Dynamic conference rooms
Zoom’s conference room solution, Zoom Rooms, allows organizations to create dynamic meeting spaces that fit their specific needs, from small huddle spaces to large, ‘all-hands’ style conference rooms. Zoom Rooms also has cutting-edge features like wireless screen sharing, touch-free controls, real-time annotations with whiteboarding, and much more.
Equity between in-office and work-from-anywhere employees
With the ability to collaborate in real-time with screen sharing and live annotation, turn any location into an office using virtual backgrounds, and seamlessly move between different methods of communication, Zoom helps to create equity between in-office and remote workers. Employees have access to the same capabilities and features, regardless of where they are.
Native integrations with other workplace solutions
Zoom’s platform readily integrates with many of the leading workplace solutions such as Slack, Office 365, G Suite, Salesforce, and more, enabling your employees to streamline their workflows and minimize jumping back and forth between applications over the course of their workday.
Learn more about how your organization can Build Forward with a transition to hybrid work and provide increased flexibility, streamlined workflows, and seamless communication.