Though the hybrid workforce has slowly been adopted by businesses for decades, the COVID-19 pandemic gave many companies a hard shove into what is also referred to as the “anywhere workforce.” Despite the hasty change in operations, advances in SaaS and video conferencing technology made it possible for employees to easily collaborate throughout the pandemic while working off-site.
When employees adjusted to the change in work location, it turned out more than half of global workers preferred the new hybrid model of work. With employees and employers alike seeing the benefits of a partially remote workforce, it is apparent that the hybrid form of work is here to stay.
So what is the hybrid workforce, how can it be achieved, and why is it the way of the future? In this guide, we breakdown what you need to know about the future of work if you want to leverage the hybrid workforce for your own business objectives.
What is hybrid work?
Hybrid work is a business operations model that leverages a mix of remote work and in-person work. Though there is no defined ratio you can attach to hybrid work, one of the most common models of office work to remote work is 70% to 30%.
The goal of hybrid work is to achieve higher productivity; this is accomplished by letting employees work in a remote environment where they are more comfortable, while still providing access to an office location when in-person collaboration is required. The future of work from home is hybrid work because of the many benefits of the hybrid system.
What tools are needed for a hybrid workforce?
For employees to participate seamlessly in the hybrid workforce, the following are needed:
● A central location that facilitates a safe and productive working environment, containing items such as office furniture, computer equipment, and internet technology, and meets all OSHA standards.
● Flexible and mobile computer equipment, such as laptops with built-in webcams, wireless mice, and mobile phones.
● Hybrid work technology, like video conferencing software that allows workers to collaborate when they are not physically together.
What policies are needed for a hybrid workforce?
To eliminate confusion about what is expected from employees participating in the hybrid workforce, create a policy that defines the following:
● How many days a week is each employee expected to be in the office, and do managers reserve the right to modify this schedule as needed for their teams?
● What are the reasons employees are expected to spend a portion of their working days in the office?
● What tools and software are employees expected to use when doing remote work?
● For confidentiality and security reasons, what precautions and protocols do employees need to follow when conducting work outside of the office (e.g., should client calls be conducted from a private location vs. a public one)?
● If a technology issue occurs when an employee is working remotely, what steps should they take to mitigate the issue?
What is hybrid work technology?
Hybrid work technology is hardware and software that allows workers to seamlessly conduct work tasks no matter their location. Hybrid employees need computer hardware like laptops with built-in webcams, wireless mice, and mobile phones, all of which need to easily travel and be used between locations. They also need software like access to VPNs (virtual private networks) and video conferencing technology that will let them collaborate and conduct client meetings, whether they are in the office or off-site.
One key note about hybrid work technology: cyber security is of the utmost importance no matter where employees conduct business, but it is especially important that companies take cyber security seriously when they are dealing with a hybrid workforce. Make sure cyber security measures like penetration testing and zero trust access are being used with your hybrid work technology.
What are the benefits of the hybrid workforce?
Employees, management and company stakeholders have discovered many benefits as a result of hybrid work. These include:
Cost savings. Both employers and employees save money with the hybrid workforce. Companies save money because they don’t need to lease as much office space, and employees save money on commuting costs.
Increased productivity. A recent Gartner survey found that 73% of workers said their productivity increased due to their ability to work remotely. Flexible work hours and the elimination of a commute were the biggest contributors to this increase in productivity.
ESG and Sustainability Requirements. Because remote work helps companies lower their overall carbon footprint, the hybrid workforce model helps companies meet ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) and sustainability requirements dictated by investors and government mandates.
Access to different kinds of talent. Organizations that implement a hybrid workforce can hire employees located anywhere in the world, which diversifies and enriches their talent pool.
Less absenteeism. Sick workers who may have felt fine enough to work but opted to stay home to protect their colleagues from catching their germs can now be productive by working from home.
Lower turnover. The hybrid work model gives employees a better work-life balance, which results in happier employees who become more loyal to their employers.
Why is the hybrid workforce the future of work?
A recent study from Gitlab found that 82% of workers believe that remote work is the future of work from home due to its benefits for employees and employers combined. Given that many companies are still locked into long-term office leases and are figuring out remote work policies that fit their company’s needs, the hybrid workforce model is currently the best solution to meet employees’ and companies’ objectives. It allows employees to enjoy the perks of remote work while ensuring there is a physical location for business initiatives dependent on in-person connection and collaboration.
How BlueJeans Video Conferencing is used with the Hybrid Workforce
BlueJeans video conferencing technology is designed to help employees securely connect, no matter their location. Our key video conferencing features include:
Group Collaboration. The BlueJeans video conferencing platform is great for team, project, and group collaboration. Our cloud-based platform offers quick connection through multiple video clients like Skype for Business, iOS and Android apps, or web browsers. Its simple interface requires little training to use, and features like screen sharing and real-time video sharing facilitate seamless and easy collaboration.
Smart Meetings. The Smart Meetings features included with our video conferencing platform take productivity to the next level. Capture and share meeting highlights with the automated transcription tool and real-time screen capture, then tag important discussion points to facilitate conversation. Smart Meetings lets you quickly delegate tasks and access meeting summaries and recaps that can be consumed in minutes. You can also integrate Smart Meetings with Slack and automatically share Smart Meetings highlight reels with any private Slack channel.
Large Meeting Security. BlueJeans secure meetings platform provides the capacity for up to 25 participants in a video conference. This lets businesses streamline their collaboration efforts through a single, enterprise video conferencing platform. With the large meetings add-on feature, BlueJeans supports up to 100 endpoints, ensuring a superior, multi-party conferencing experience.
Our video conferencing platform is equipped with enterprise grade security functions to ensure user and information protection. Using firewalls, NAT traversals, and encryptions, BlueJeans users don't need to worry about jeopardizing their data over an unsecured connection.
Scalability. BlueJeans is easy to adopt and scale. Because it doesn’t require new equipment or software, businesses can use BlueJeans the day they sign up. Meetings are accessible via smartphones, tablets, desktops, and room systems. Licenses and virtual ports can easily be added to meet scalability requirements. When employees are added, IT staff can use Command Center, BlueJeans live service intelligence dashboard, to manage and optimize usage. Our system also integrates with calendars like Microsoft Outlook and Google.
If you are interested in learning more about BlueJeans video conferencing platform for your hybrid workforce, please try our free trial.