As businesses continue to transition to hybrid ways of working, embedding smart technology into both a workplace as well as company culture is essential to embracing this new way of working.
Post pandemic employees want a hybrid office, with all the flexibility that comes with it. It is imperative to source the right technology to support this new working practise.
Firstly, what is hybrid working?
Put simply, hybrid working is a mixture of office-based working and working from home or remotely which is driven by user choice and collaboration needs. Hybrid and agile working share many of the same principals, the main difference being hybrid working combines technology with workplace cultural changes to drive this way of working – both need to complement each other to truly embrace a hybrid working style.
The right hybrid workplace technologies can enhance employee experience, will encourage people to come back to the office, support with recruiting new talent, and help businesses achieve a competitive edge.
But what are the right hybrid workplace technologies, and how can they benefit both employee and employer? At the recent WORKTECH21 event that Your Workspace attended, global business leaders discussed what makes a great post-pandemic workplace in terms of smart technology, and what is important to the future of work.
The three most popular themes to come from these discussions include:
Unfortunately, the pandemic is still with us, and companies need to remain vigilant especially in light of the latest COVID variant, Omicron. Social distancing and capacity restrictions continue to exist in many companies. To ensure the business remains within the acceptable limits, they are finding they need a way to count employees as they enter and leave office space, and plan who will be working in certain areas at certain times. A big issue that businesses are currently facing, is how to manage workplace peaks, which tend to be Thursdays. Booking management software for desks, meeting rooms and lockers for example are helping businesses obtain full visibility around what space is being used when, and by whom. This helps with space planning and also allows employees to choose their space and working environment accordingly. The visibility around usage will also help employees to visit the office ‘off peak’ – the times and days of when this can be ascertained through reports generated by smart booking management systems.
Health and Hygiene
As more workers return to the office either permanently or as part of a hybrid workforce, businesses are turning their thoughts to office cleanliness. Keeping employees, clients, and visitors safe requires more stringent cleaning procedures. Besides a focus on social distancing and capacity limits, many organisations are turning to automated alerts and smart technologies to support and assist with cleaning protocols. For example, our Simplicity smart lockers can be set-up to be blocked after x number of uses, or even after a single use, for cleaning. Throughout the day, or when the office closes, facilities teams can see what lockers have been automatically blocked and cleaning teams can sanitise them ready for the next set of users. UV light technologies are also being integrated into workplace facilities which can help to disinfect communal spaces in between uses.
Collaboration and Communication
Many businesses are implementing a 2-2-1 working model. 2 days will be spent in the office, 2 days will be spent at home, and the 5th day can be spent working where the employee chooses. With these new hybrid working practises, it is important that staff members can collaborate and effectively communicate no matter where they are based. Many companies are creating their own workplace app which includes cloud storage, file-sharing and instant messaging to help with faster and more effective communication. Booking management systems can also integrate with new or existing workplace apps also to allow employees to book working spaces and facilities during or before their commute. Whereas other companies are obtaining top of the range video conferencing facilities to ensure that Zoom and Teams meetings can continue in the best way possible.
20 months on, we are all still navigating the waves of the COVID-19 pandemic and have established that yesterday’s smart is no longer smart enough. If we want to be successful in our leadership and workplace practises it is important to make changes now so that our working environments and the employee experience is future ready. All with the help of smart technologies.
Get in touch today to find out how our smart storage solution, Simplicity, can help your workplace transition to a smarter way of working.
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