Since the industrial revolution, technology has been driving changes in the workplace. Thriving businesses continue to take advantage of changing workplace technology.
This has never been truer than today. In the last few years, businesses worldwide have been forced to adapt to survive. In this new world of work, technology makes or breaks an effective and productive work environment.
Flexibility is the name of the game. Every workplace balances traditional, hybrid, and remote work. During the pandemic, technology like video conferencing supported flexible work on an unimaginable scale.
Having seen the possibilities, more workers than ever want a hybrid future. A recent Gallup survey found that 59% of employees prefer a hybrid work model. Companies that best use technology will lead the way to support this future of work.
5 ways to best use workplace technology
Having the best technology is not an end in itself. Technology impacts five important outcomes for businesses that are crucial for success.
1. Attract the best talent.
You may have heard there’s a global talent shortage. ManpowerGroup reports 3 out of 4 employers worldwide are having trouble hiring skilled workers. So smart businesses should turn to tech to attract and retain qualified employees.
Technology like AI, chatbots, and analytics can help you find the best talent when recruiting new candidates. According to SHRM, more than 40% of US employers currently use chatbots to engage with candidates during recruitment. Meanwhile, 50% of Chinese employers use AI a little bit differently. In China, it’s common to use AI to recommend training for current employees and help HR managers identify the best candidates.
To better retain employees, it’s important to make their day-to-day as easy and seamless as possible. Use chatbots to help employees access company policies (like your hybrid work plan), guide them through training, and help them find the right people to contact for a specific problem.
2. Efficient meetings
Collaboration has always been the hallmark of successful teams. This is harder than ever to implement in the hybrid era, but technology has solutions.
Take booking a meeting, for example. It used to be simple — you wrote your name and meeting time on a sheet of paper outside the room you wanted to use, sent a memo around the office, turned up, and got to work. Now it’s a tangle of onsite and remote, different time zones, various devices, and lots of notifications.
Scheduling technology that integrates with people calendars and synchronizes notifications across remote and office workers takes the pain and uncertainty out of booking a meeting or a desk, and systems like Smartway2’s smart display panels help you keep everyone informed of booked rooms.
Exertis Facilities and IT Services Manager cut the time they spend managing bookings by 80% through automated workplace scheduling. Automated collaboration and communication tools increase response times and ensure employees don’t miss meetings or important notifications, no matter their working location or hours.
3. Enhanced communication
There are always people who think the old ways are best. It’s widely held that Socrates thought writing was an ineffective means of communication, but sometimes new workplace technology does, in fact, improve communication.
Putting in the right workplace technology can enhance your team’s communication but think carefully about both hardware and software.
Conference rooms should have different technology to enable different kinds of work. Provide meeting solutions that allow for onsite employees to bring their laptops for the camera and digital interactions but use in-room microphones and speakers to avoid echo issues. Use big screens to display the current speaker or their presentation.
Or invest in conference room camera systems that create a more immersive experience. Using a 360-degree camera can help remote employees feel like they’re sitting at the table with their in-office coworkers.
Volvo Group integrated with tools like Microsoft Teams Whiteboard to help their 104,000 employees feel like they’re in the same room, collaborating on the same documents and decisions in real-time.
Employees across hybrid teams should get the same communication experiences, whether they’re remote or in-office.
4. Better management through analytics and reporting
Managers were initially hesitant about remote and hybrid working. How would they know that employees were at their desks working? Thankfully, most of us have gone beyond tracking presenteeism to rewarding performance.
Of course, analytics and reporting still have their place. Tracking assets, timetables, occupancy, and usage helps managers smooth the road for hybrid workers.
Analytics can help companies understand where they can save money by switching to cheaper options for rarely used tools, reconfiguring office spaces based on real usage, and overall better resource management.
5. Security at every step
Cybersecurity should be a serious concern for every organization. Still, well-considered technology can increase both physical and cybersecurity because, at the end of the day, the biggest vulnerability in any organization is human error.
Businesses need technology solutions with security built-in. Encryption and security by design is necessary because workers shouldn’t need to use workarounds to be safe.
And physical security in a hybrid environment is just as important. With so many people coming in and out of the office, there can be confusion about who is meant to be where and when. Visitors need to be welcomed, approved and supervised with minimal fuss.
Make sure your systems track where employees are working, knows where they are meant to be, and monitors on-site visitors through a visitor management system. Plus, automated alerts can help provide peace of mind when an unusual event occurs.
Giving employees what they want
Hybrid work is not as simple as sending employees home with their laptops a few days a week. It’s clear that workers want hybrid solutions that let them connect with colleagues and their organizations. They also genuinely want to be productive, which is good news because employers always want peak productivity.
Workplace technology truly makes hybrid working not just possible but successful.
Smartway2 for successful hybrid teams
Smartway2 built its platform from the ground up with flexible usability in mind. Cloud-based, employees can organize their working day from home or the office, on laptops, or from their phones.
Booking desks, meetings, scheduling, and communicating are simple, making flexible working stress-free. And full analytics and reporting give employers the tools they need for insightful decision-making.