Many work cultures and countries had seen work from home as a welcome measure when their workforce needed it, while in many companies, it was on a 'need' basis. However, the pandemic has forced traditional and orthodox companies to break away and consider remote working/ work from home models as an important way to manage operational efficiencies.
For companies, who have just moved into work from home working models, the debate of being productive at the office versus being a solitary worker continues.
What is Hybrid Working?
As the name suggests, it is a mix of working from the office and working remotely. As known, many companies earlier offered work from home based on an employee's need.
Pandemic has forced companies to relook at how they organize their workforce, managing paradigms of productivity at work versus having larger talent pools for a diverse workforce.
While many employees were initially happy working from home, restrictions on connectivity, home office space, distractions at home, and more have seen mixed responses from employees.
It is clear that neither of the two will survive in the future. The solution is in a hybrid work environment model. Employees and managers choose to schedule to work from home or a remote site or get to the main office location. This could depend upon the work role, the importance of tasks, risks and impact, and more. Let’s explore more about hybrid work softwares below.
What are the Benefits of a Hybrid Workforce?
Companies have realized the value of a hybrid workforce. Diverse and a team of talented employees could be located at different locations across the world.
This model cannot be driven without a sense of common purpose/goals, respect for diversity (like time zones), and agility to move fast and be resilient as business changes.
It could mean a 24x7 service delivery model for the companies, saved costs on infrastructure, and more. The question of a personal connection at work, resolving work matters, and understanding each other has been overcome partially by technology like Zoom Meeting, WebEx, and more. This would also depend on the nature of services provided and the nature of work.
For the employees, greater flexibility to attend to family and personal routines has been welcome while many feel that the boundaries of work time are stretched, may time unnecessarily.
Read on for more details on our views of a hybrid workforce.
Different types of Hybrid Working Models
The typical model where you see all employees are working from a location, performing different roles. This could be important for manufacturing units and emergency services like medical health care facilities. But even then, the pandemic has forced them to rethink.
2. Remote working
Here some employees are working either at client sites as an implant (always placed at client site) or are visiting various client sites delivering a specific service. After the service delivery, they return to their home location.
3. Work from home
Many roles in a company that you can operate from a home office makeup this workforce. Companies save on seating space unless there is a rare need for the employee to get to the office.
Companies have discovered the benefit of employing workforces of all the above types, comprising a hybrid work schedule. In addition, the need to enable employees with remote work tools like video conferencing, enhanced bandwidth, and more has forced companies to relook at their policies.
Different types of Workforce Solutions and Hybrid Work Software
The challenges of a hybrid workforce aren't any lesser. The top five issues include infrastructure for employees at remote locations, different time zones, no personal connection and empathy, different work schedules, and more.
Hybrid work technology solutions range beyond providing employees with an audio-video calling; there is a drastic need for an integrated workforce solution. Companies already had hybrid work software and video conferencing tools like Zoom and WebEx earlier. With various instant chat or same-time messaging services, employees can connect personally and hold small impromptu meetings.
With different employees working from different locations, companies are struggling to comply with local laws of the land, keep a tab of their employees' attendance, and more. Such workforce solutions include integrated automatic intelligence (AI) and robotics to give leadership productivity and other dashboards. Hot Desking is the answer to a hybrid workforce as employees choose their work schedules to come to a single centralized office or remote offices to check in. Seems great, but how do you make it happen? Here is our blog on how to make hybrid workplace models work.
Hybrid Software Solutions
Recent and easy-to-use solutions like Autonomous hybrid work, a tool for hybrid work or a hybrid work software, assists in connecting with team members instantly. They are complete solutions, including when you need a quick chat to accomplish tasks. Jam is a simple software that allows you to connect without setting up meetings and passcodes.
Slack is a popular software hybrid work app that has been doing the rounds for an office connection. However, an exclusive study by Gartner reports that various other brands like Google, Microsoft, Atlassian, Yammer, Adobe, Salesforce, Zoho, Huddle, and more are various options to explore.
Another study by Forbes discusses how the Infrastructure Technology (IT) team’s role has changed to strategic decision-making for leveraging a company's competition.
PHYGITAL workplaces are the future
Deloitte has termed the hybrid workforce as ‘phygital’ – a hybrid from how employees worked from centralized physical offices to a digital world now. The typical issues of 'camera not working' (meaning I am still in my night suit), 'Oops, sorry my son is calling me (I need a bio break or need to accomplish a personal task), or more, have been addressed quickly for several organizations.
As a wrap-up, as the 'phygital' workplace breaks boundaries across time zones differences and geographies, the need for a hybrid work software solution to manage the requirements of your workforce is critical.
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