Now that employers and employees alike have realized the benefits of remote working, our new normal may look slightly different than the pre-pandemic standard of Monday through Friday at the office. The flexibility that working remotely affords employees will be difficult to completely pull back from to remain competitive with retention and recruitment. Plus, less real estate and resources to provide every employee with their own space can reap some serious savings. At the same time, employees relish the social aspect at the office and employers are interested in maintaining a company culture, which is difficult when your employees are never face to face. This all points in the direction of the hybrid work model to offer everyone the best of both worlds. It’s all the buzz these days, but to be prepared to launch this model effectively means reassessing the technology that you may be utilizing for collaboration.
Accessibility and Ease of Use
Being able to quickly and easily launch a meeting anywhere, at any time, is key to maintaining the connection and natural flow of communication between co-workers in a hybrid work model. Whether jumping into a quick Zoom at your desk to share survey results that just came in, or joining a scheduled budget meeting, participants need to be able to feel that joining a Zoom or Teams meeting is just as fluid as walking into a conference room. Scheduling software that allows room booking will also be vital so that users can quickly find an available meeting space when needed. All conference rooms will need to be outfitted for videoconferencing so that employees using that room can easily reach out to someone who may be working from home.
High Quality Audio
There’s nothing more frustrating than being unable to clearly hear a colleague in a meeting. Muffled or choppy audio can make it difficult to understand what a person is saying, which most certainly interferes with the flow of collaboration and the level of productivity. High quality speakers, headsets and mics as well as enough bandwidth to support streaming audio and video should be tops on the list of upgrades when it comes to ensuring employees both on campus and off can communicate efficiently and effectively.
High Quality Video
Being able to detect facial expressions and body language are important in interpreting an individual’s message and tone. Poor video quality does not bode well for the presenter in that it can be distracting and detract from their overall ability to provide information or share ideas. Conference rooms as well as workstations should have displays that provide a quality image along with cameras that allow those participating on the other end to have a clear view of the attendee.
Taking all of the above into account is highly important to the success of a hybrid work model, but just as important, if not more so, is ensuring that stakeholders are brought into the fold when planning. Different departments may have very different needs and one missed detail may mean trouble or unexpected expenses down the line. Making sure everyone has a chance to provide input beforehand will safeguard against problems and lead to an effective implementation that will carry your organization into the future.