As we start planning for a careful but guaranteed return-to-the office, we will be wise to learn from our experiences in 2020. Remote work is great for many reasons, but it impacts culture, connection, and creativity for teams over time. Additionally, organizations have to rethink what business continuity means and build additional resiliency into their workplace model. According to most industry experts, a hybrid workplace approach will be the path forward for many organizations - a model where employees use a combination of working remotely and from the office, adopting practices, tools, and processes that support flexibility.
To offer more insight into what makes an effective hybrid workplace strategy, we worked with Frost and Sullivan, a leading research firm specializing in growth strategy and digital innovation. Their visual whitepaper, "Embracing The Hybrid Workplace" is an excellent primer for organizations looking for actionable insights to create a productive and resilient hybrid workplace. Read it here!
Hybrid Work - Not a one size fits all solution
The benefit of hybrid work – a combination of remote work and in-office collaboration, will be experienced differently by different organizations. Organizations well suited for hybrid work such as professional services, software companies, and creative service companies have been taking advantage of a hybrid model for years, having employees in core functions work entirely remotely without much disruption. The challenge now will be to ensure a seamless strategy to ensure that employees who want to work from the office and take advantage of in-office collaboration with those remote are all well-equipped to do so.
Researchers at Frost and Sullivan believe that hybrid work also benefits organizations in industries that primarily depend on employees to be physically available, such as healthcare, manufacturing, education, travel, and retail sectors. Employees can be provided with ways to conduct a part of their jobs, like filing and administration, from home. Back-office personnel can almost always work from home, and many might be happier and more productive, given a chance to do so long term. Employees certainly care about having the option to work in a hybrid format. According to research by IWG, 80% of workers say they would choose a job that offers flexible working.
Culture and Technology
The right hybrid workplace strategy heavily takes culture into account. Frost and Sullivan analysts suggest that companies need to rethink management practices and performance expectations as a central component of their workplace strategy. If the culture does not reflect the hybrid strategy - for example, if employees have flexibility, but the culture does not support it, the approach is likely to fail.
Another critical aspect of hybrid work is the technology used to support and enhance the hybrid workplace experience. Companies that embrace a hybrid workplace must also embrace digital transformation. Digital transformation, top of mind for organizations for years, has taken on a new meaning since last year. According to Frost and Sullivan, any digital transformation initiative must include cloud-native and mobile-first solutions, with collaboration tools serving as a linchpin of any such undertaking.
Tools that support a hybrid environment while minimizing additional investments are best at providing organizations with the versatility they need. A rich internal and external collaboration stack is essential for a borderless, hybrid workplace. It comes down to:
- Prioritzing Ease of Use
- Ensuring Use Case Flexibility
- Designing for Scale
BlueJeans offers organizations the flexibility to experiment and identify what the ideal hybrid workplace looks like for them. BlueJeans allows for unparallel interoperability by enabling existing conference room systems to connect with Microsoft Teams meetings with Cloud Video Interop (CVI) - BlueJeans Gateway. BlueJeans Meetings and BlueJeans Events support integrations with numerous applications that organizations are already using. BlueJeans provides a consistent, high-quality experience for all participants in a meeting, with HD video and Dolby audio across desktop, mobile, browsers, and conference rooms. Additionally, BlueJeans Command Center provides administrators the ability to deploy, scale, and troubleshoot with minimum hassle.
To learn more about hybrid workplace best practices that you can implement today, read the whitepaper!