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Future of work
5 min read

What IT leaders need to know to prepare for a hybrid workforce

As we’re emerging from the pandemic, organizations are learning how they can best support their hybrid workforce. This is an especially important time for IT leaders and CIOs as we all learn what infrastructure companies need to support the new way of working.

The infrastructure includes ensuring that employees have access to the right tools and applications, whether working in the office or at home. In addition, they need to consider how to secure data, protect company information, and manage applications and devices. While the challenges of hybrid working are different for each organization, it is clear that IT leaders and CIOs need to take a strategic approach to ensure a successful transition.

Let’s explore what that approach looks like and how it can help organizations benefit from the best of both worlds.

Things CIOs and IT managers can do to improve hybrid working

Evaluate your existing tech stack

CIOs and IT managers need to evaluate their current tech stack and identify any gaps.

For example, you might have shifted to a desk hotelling model but don’t have a way for people to digitally reserve workstations. In that case, you should look for a fully-featured room and desk booking solution that helps people easily choose where they want to work each day.

Take note of any processes or programs that employees don’t like or regularly struggle with within a hybrid work setup. In these cases, consider how you can improve these processes, including better training on new software tools and making it easy for everyone to ask questions they might have.

Consider “time zone banding” when hiring

Check In Time

When it comes to hiring, CIOs should carefully consider geographical location. While remote work has opened up a much broader, global talent pool, it’s important to consider how different time zones can make communication more difficult.

A great solution is “time zone banding,” or hiring people who live within one-time zone of your headquarters. This helps ensure people are working at the same time (give or take an hour or so) and keeps communication easier for everyone. You don’t have to wait six hours for a response from someone on the other side of the country (or longer for someone on the other side of the world!).

Time zone banding can help CIOs implement the right communication technology and also helps HR and workplace experience managers create a more cohesive company culture.

Prioritize IT staff retention

Low Maintenance

IT Leaders and CIOs need to focus on staff retention, especially regarding tech talent. Harvey Nash Group’s Digital Leadership Report found that 67% of digital leaders struggled to keep pace with change due to a lack of tech talent.

Keeping IT staff onboard is more critical than ever, thanks to the current skills shortage and the shift to hybrid. Hybrid models only work with a robust IT infrastructure to back them up and with people skilled enough to maintain that infrastructure.

IT leaders should focus on upskilling and training existing employees as well as recruiting new tech professionals. This helps you tap into the talent you already have and helps employees develop career-advancing skills.

Creating a positive and productive work environment for your IT teams is also essential. With the switch to hybrid, IT is working harder than ever to ensure everything is running as it should. So IT leaders must promote healthy work-life balances for their employees and watch for signs of stress and burnout.

Work closely with other departments

Partners

A fragmented organization won’t succeed in the hybrid world. So, IT department leaders and CIOs need to work closely with other departmental managers to hone and focus your company’s hybrid work strategy. When IT leaders work closely with other departmental managers, they can better understand what each department needs for hybrid working to be successful.

IT support can benefit other departments by easing communication between team members, providing a space for storing and sharing important documents, and offering tech support when needed.

Different departments can support IT by designating a liaison to help keep lines of communication open, providing feedback on proposed changes or updates, and lending a hand when possible. Departments working together is the best way to create a cohesive hybrid work strategy.

Invest in tech solutions that support how your company works

Change Behavior Effortlessly

As the world of work continues to evolve, it’s become clear that hybrid working arrangements are here to stay. For many companies, this means investing in new tech solutions to help employees stay connected and productive, whether in or out of the office.

However, it’s crucial to ensure that these solutions support your company’s work rather than creating new challenges. Survey your employees to see what things would make their lives easier, and departmental management to see what types of things would make their jobs easier. It’s all about crafting your tech stack to support how your people work best. Then, craft a plan that takes all of this into account.

And keep revisiting and reworking your plan as things change. Taking a proactive and thoughtful approach can ensure that your company is well-positioned to take advantage of hybrid working’s many benefits.

Using the right tools makes all the difference

It’s more clear than ever that CIOs and IT leaders need to find new ways to support their companies to succeed in the new world of work. One of the best ways to do that is by using the best tech tools available.

Smartway2 Logo 2021

Smartway2 offers a fully-featured workplace scheduling solution to help IT managers streamline their company’s hybrid working arrangements. With single-tap room and desk booking, smart visitor management, and powerful integrations with Outlook, Microsoft Teams, and more, we’re here to help you make the shift to hybrid easy.

Plus, our space utilization analytics and unique booking rules engine will help you ensure that your company uses your spaces as efficiently as possible.

Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help your team continue to succeed in a hybrid world.

Huw Davies
Author

Huw Davies

Huw Davies, Product Director at Smartway2 part of Hubstar, has spent 25 years developing workplace technology solutions that help to enhance workplace experience. Huw is passionate about user experience and how workpalce technology can be used to boost workplace experience.
Last updated August 4, 2022
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