In a future where workers need not be office-bound, the communication experience between employees, partners and customers has to evolve.
In 2021, as economies transitioned into their respective pandemic management strategies, business leaders embraced hybrid work and remote-working.
In the Asia Pacific region, employees in a study by Accenture were more prepared than their global counterparts in adopting hybrid work arrangements. It stated that 94% of Chinese, 89% of Singaporean and 87% of Japanese respondents cited a preference for a hybrid model for the future of work compared to fully on-site or fully remote-working alternatives (where such alternatives were even possible).
In 2022, businesses should be adopting work arrangements that empower workers to unlock their fullest potential and allow them to be productive from anywhere and everywhere. Here are
a few workplace trends that will have material impact on the ongoing evolution of the workplace.
Balancing productivity with IT visibility
The pandemic has proven that a great deal of work can be performed remotely, anywhere and anytime. As such, work will not necessarily be done within the traditional confines of fixed working hours. Instead, teams can respond at times where they are most effective, enabling business with distributed teams to do business literally around the clock.
However, a shift to a distributed workforce brings to the fore the need to balance the working experience between those working remotely and those needed in the office. The former group may lack a dedicated home office and good audio and video gear, whereas those working from the office may have limited access to quiet rooms for video meetings. To facilitate optimum productivity and collaboration for both groups, business leaders can invest in pro-grade collaboration tools and devices.
While such investments are needed to minimize communications disruption that may hamper efficiency and productivity, IT managers also need to consider how the equipment and the control software will facilitate more efficient hardware management and troubleshooting in a distributed workforce. The hardware and software need to integrate well to offer IT teams strong visibility and insights to effectively manage fleets of such devices in a distributed workforce.
Office spaces for a hybrid future
With employees now having the option of working from anywhere, organizations are also rethinking the role of the physical office, and in the case of expiring leases, to also consider more flexible and cost-effective approaches for their real estate investments.
Office-on-demand services will likely expand to help businesses scale as needed, while other property owners may start subleasing underutilized space. This presents an opportunity for organizations to consider how existing office spaces like conference rooms can be transformed to accommodate these new ways of working. Is there a way for technology to encourage equal participation for everyone and achieve meeting equality regardless of where employees are dialing in from? How can business leaders offer worthwhile experiences to encourage employees to return to office?
In a hybrid work place, the office is a collaboration hubs, serving as a place for teams to gather to physically brainstorm, host meetups, celebrate milestones, and work on joint projects. The office will also serve as a hub for socialization to foster a culture that cannot be replicated via remote-working.
Catering to different work styles
Poly’s research indicates that 92% of employees in a typical enterprise can be categorized into six different workstyles, each with unique technology requirements and workspace needs.
This means there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ framework when addressing challenges around work and meeting equity. By identifying the workstyles prevalent to their organization, business leaders can outfit employees with the right tools and technology to support individual workstyles and workspaces for optimal productivity.
Now and in the future, meetings will likely have at least one remote attendee. This trend will be a normal part of work processes that involve customers, staff and partners that are expected to work from anywhere.
Therefore, organizations that want success with hybrid work arrangements will have to place the communication experience at the forefront of all business decisions.