Thriving in a Hybrid Workplace
The pandemic has shown every business that all their ongoing philosophies and ideas can change within a few months. It’s very important for any business to be versatile and adjust itself based on trends, industry changes, but also global factors. A lot of things happened in the past 2 years alone, which clearly showed every business it needs to survive and eventually thrive in a hybrid world of working.
With hybrid working, you get to allow everyone to work the way they want, adjust and improve their productivity in doing so. In addition, you also have access to a much wider talent pool. Your employees also get to have a better work-life balance, which can be very hard to achieve when you have office work. Implementing these ideas wisely is always going to shine, and it will certainly bring in much better results in the long term. Which is exactly the thing to take into consideration here.
With 66% of business leaders preparing to redesign office spaces to better accommodate hybrid work environments*, it is key to ensure the measures you put in place to create a hybrid workplace are conducive to the ongoing success of your business and of the wellbeing of your employees. So how can you prepare and overcome potential challenges?
1. Embrace asynchronous communication
No matter the location of your staff, together or apart, communication is vital to the success of their work and productivity and to the organisation as a whole. The COVID era saw a rapid uptake of Zoom and MS Teams like never before to support remote working. However, with a flexible, hybrid workplace comes the need to rely more on asynchronous communication. Unlike Zoom, Teams or phone calls communication doesn’t happen in real-time or require an immediate response, which is often expected from instant messaging tools like Slack.
Building a hybrid working environment is about allowing both synchronous and asynchronous communication to be happening simultaneously across the workplace, both will play their role but co-exist for the optimum flexible working model. Often, you will continue to use the same tools you use now, but the attitude shifts into understanding that a response isn’t required to be immediate unless scheduling a real-time meeting or call.
2. Manage your resources
It is easy to lose track of your people and resources when you have oversight of them every day, in person. So, it’s certainly an added challenge to have a true understanding of your resources when working in a hybrid workplace. Understanding who is free and when, who is working on what projects and their availability is integral but easy with a proper Resource Management solution.
Resource planning and management help give you the ability to manage people, finances and resources. Dedicated software allows you to see everything in one place without the guesswork, meaning it doesn’t matter where your staff are based to understand their time, availability and whether budgets can meet certain needs such as new equipment or staff training.
3. Invest in team building
Team building is even more important in a hybrid work model, where it’s not always possible to stop by someone’s desk and build relationships. That’s why it’s critical to encourage collaboration between employees by all methods when implementing a flexible working strategy. According to Gartner's research, teams who collaborate intentionally are almost three times more likely to achieve high team innovation than teams that do not use an intentional approach. One way to do this is by using your existing software and integrations such as Donut within Slack to facilitate virtual coffee meetups, peer learning or remote team lunches. Another idea is to use break-out rooms once a virtual meeting ends to encourage conversation. Of course, scheduling team-building activities outside of work is always a good idea.
4. Implement the right tools
To make the above happen and be successful, you need to ensure the right tools are in place. Implementing a project planning strategy can have a very positive impact on your business when. It allows you to easily manage your team and set the right schedules and tasks for everyone. All of a sudden, it’s simpler for every team member to understand what they have to do, what solutions they need to use and how they can fulfil their tasks.
When a business shifts to flexible working, even if it’s just a hybrid system, you do need to be prepared. That’s why solutions like project management software and resource management are crucial. You get to monitor everything from a single space, and the best part is that you can also automate tasks as needed. Not only does that help your staff work better and faster, but it also boosts your morale.
When your employees are working from a multitude of places, having complete oversight over your business is very important. Without project management software, it can be very easy to overlook some aspects of your company. Yet once you integrate tools like Smartsheet into the mix, things become a whole lot better and easier. There are still challenges you need to face, but the experience is much more cohesive.
With more and more businesses moving to a hybrid working model, it’s imperative for them to offer the right amount of flexibility. What feels like a challenge can easily be turned into an opportunity with the right planning, tools and software in place. That’s why tools like Smartsheet are ideal because they help provide extraordinary project planning and resource management, while also giving you complete oversight over your business.
Even if you have people working remotely, project management software can easily help you manage their tasks and monitor their progress, while also offering guidance and assistance on the spot. These are essential tools in the modern business world, and they will only become even more important in the future!