Over the past several months, workplaces and their staff have learned new ways of working together. In many situations, they’ve had to adapt quickly to remote work, finding creative ways to continue the connections they need to remain productive and effective. And by and large, they’ve been surprised to find that a hybrid environment can work.
In fact, according to a digital workplace report from Unisys, two-thirds of business leaders indicate that a hybrid model will be in place for their organizations even after the pandemic subsides.
The proverbial genie is out of the bottle. But, while many recognize there’s really no going back to “the way things were,” there are still adjustments that must be made to succeed in a hybrid work world.
Weston Morris, head of digital workplace strategy at Unisys, offers some recommendations for employers as they build the “workplace of the future.”
Understand what employees need to be successful—and what’s important to them. Morris notes that “the ability to become more flexible and look after health is a definite trend in the modern workforce.” He points to a survey by CBRE that indicates that 69% of millennials responding to the survey would give up other benefits for more flexible work options.
What this means, says Morris, is employers need to “rethink how you’ll manage productivity and connectivity in the future workplace, which will almost certainly be more mobile and more remote.” Employers need to be asking their employees—and listening—to find out what matters to them. He offers some key questions:
- How will you keep your employees engaged?
- How will they collaborate?
- What’s the best use of technology that will also promote a healthy work/life balance?
- Do they have the right tools for the job?
These are critical questions that can help employers ensure they’re establishing an environment that will keep employees engaged and productive—and attract new employees.
Technology Matters, Too
Technology has been a lifesaver for organizations and employees during the pandemic. Without it, it’s unlikely many organizations would have been able to stay viable.
Morris stresses that in moving forward, companies need to “embed digital technology into remote working. “Having capabilities in the cloud will ensure that employees can always access their work and deliver to the customer, and having digital channels hosted on cloud-based platforms ensures that revenue streams remain unhindered,” Morris says. In addition, he suggests that “integrating autonomy like AI and machine learning algorithms, will keep productivity high and ensure employees are at their most effective.”
Remote work, in some form, is here to stay. The question then becomes how organizations will leverage a hybrid work model to attract and retain top talent to move their organizations forward successfully.