The Critical Role of IT in a Hybrid Workplace
Employees have been enjoying the benefits of hybrid work for years now. And yet, many businesses are still trying to perfect the approach and facilitate hybrid working with minimal barriers or downsides. IT plays an essential role in a hybrid workplace. The concept of hybrid working couldn’t exist without technology, and so that should be the first port of call for all businesses looking to switch to a hybrid workplace.
Why tech is so crucial in the hybrid workplace
When you really think about it, tech is everything in a hybrid workplace. Aside from the most obvious communication technology, there is a huge amount of tech needed to allow workers to operate remotely without compromising productivity, security, and employee satisfaction.
The employee experience is entirely dependent on the technology we choose. Given the labor shortage and access to jobs from around the globe, businesses need to make sure the tech they choose offers the best possible experience for their employees.
Trying to secure the perfect talent for your vacancies has always been difficult, but post-COVID it has become much, much harder.
The Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s (REC) latest Labour Market Tracker revealed that, in the last week of July 2022, the number of active job adverts across the UK hit 1.85 million.
In the US, the situation is even tougher. Available job positions in July totaled 11.24 million for the month, yet there were only 5.7 million available workers, just over half the number of open positions. The situation is similar in Australia, where the number of open positions overtook the number of available workers in July 2022.
The surprisingly high number of active postings is likely reflecting that job listings are being left open for longer than in previous years. This is due to workers looking for more out of their careers. Better benefits, better quality of life, better corporate culture, and generally a better all-round working experience. Hybrid workplace IT leaders can play a key role in attracting talent by offering a much better employee experience than your competitors.
Dubbed “The Great Reshuffle”, the past year has thrown employee experience into the spotlight, after going remote opened workers’ eyes to what their work lives could look like. Workers were quitting at a truly shocking rate as businesses tried to return to what they considered normality — a normality many employees are in no rush to go back to. Workers know they deserve better, and they’re no longer willing to settle in order to make a quick buck.
The new demands on employers have driven the creation and adoption of new technologies that are designed to cater to workers’ needs.
New technologies will play an important part in the future of work
As the way we work continues to evolve, businesses need to look at emerging technologies to help improve the employee experience. Simply adopting the first video conferencing software you find isn’t enough anymore, there needs to be intentional thought put into it.
Communication and collaboration are the key concerns for businesses and employees that are moving towards hybrid work schedules. These two areas are key factors in the employee experience, and using advanced technologies can enhance everything from team building to ideation.
With every new piece of tech, your business can start to operate in a far more streamlined way. AI and automation are increasingly being used to sidestep the more monotonous day-to-day tasks, freeing up teams to work on exciting and innovative projects.
The tech you choose can mean the difference between a seamless experience that facilitates collaboration, and a difficult situation that fights you at every turn.
People management technology helps you manage a hybrid workforce
One of the main concerns for the higher-ups is the ability to effectively manage remote employees. Training, reviews, and professional development; these things look different in a hybrid world and need to be reconsidered.
Management needs to embrace technology as, put simply — it makes their jobs easier. Remote training isn’t everyone’s first port of call, but as businesses diversify their staff with remote workers from around the world, it’s going to be essential moving forward.
The right technology can enhance our ability to manage teams. The best people management software offers a quick and simple way to track progress and facilitate true collaboration regardless of a worker’s location.
One-on-one performance reviews are a cornerstone of any management team. These meetings ensure the employee is happy in their role and enable professional development. There’s no reason for these meetings to cease as employees start working remotely. With the right video conferencing tool, management can look after their workers with the same level of care and attention as they would in the office.
The role of IT in keeping offices running smoothly
Of course, the office can get a little chaotic with employees picking and choosing where they work.
First of all, security can become a concern with people coming and going as they please. It can be tough for a single receptionist to remember who works in the office and who is just there to cause trouble.
There’s a great range of tech available to help improve visitor management and office security, from QR codes and keycards to grant access to areas of the building, to automated clocking in for employees.
Workplace experience managers also need to consider how they utilize their office spaces. Real estate costs are one of the biggest costs for a business — alongside staffing costs — and an empty workspace equals wasted money.
Technology can help maximize space usage by enabling a desk-hotelling model. Employees can use a simple mobile app to find and book an available workspace when they need to come into the office. This in turn creates a set of analytics that workplace experience managers can check against to help optimize office space usage.
Hybrid workplace technology isn’t the future, it’s happening now
In this post-COVID world, technology is now essential for every aspect of business, especially for a hybrid workplace.
For more on the essential tech requirements for a hybrid working business, be sure to check out our other blog posts.
To get started on your journey to a better workplace, contact Smartway2 today and get on board with the tech revolution.