We’ve struggled through disaster recovery since the pandemic started months ago. And while the global crisis isn’t over, your company likely has remote solutions in place to keep business going. Now, you can breathe a bit and look forward to planning your new workplace. Take the time to develop a strategy that will ensure long-term business continuity. Get started by reviewing our six hybrid workplace design considerations.
Scrambling to deploy remote solutions kept businesses running, but not everyone liked working in isolation every day. Remote workers may miss the office and feel left out compared to your on-site team members. Some people may want to return to the office, at least part-time. Others prefer to work from home as much as possible.
The challenge now is to build a flexible workplace that keeps everyone happy and productive. Along with employee experience, there are IT and financial considerations to address when designing a hybrid workplace too.
We’re in unprecedented territory. Go beyond a simple in-office and remote schedule or have certain team members working 100% in the office or at home. Think differently and be open to novel solutions like the hub and spoke approach.
A recent Financial Times article noted, “One model that might suit hybrid work is the hub and spoke, whereby a company has a main office and satellite ones, allowing workers to meet up closer to home.”
One thing is clear: the hybrid workplace isn’t going away. Here are six hybrid workplace design considerations to help you create an effective elastic digital workplace.
Employee Safety and Well-Being
With COVID-19 numbers breaking records every day, employee safety and well-being are top of mind. Your hybrid workplace must include cleaning and sanitizing protocols along with mask and social distancing guidelines.
Make it easy for employees to know and understand what is expected in the office. Leverage digital signage solutions to keep team members informed of your health and safety initiatives.
With these goals in mind, plan on updating your meeting spaces with devices that feature touchless control or control through personal devices. Also, make sure your tables and chairs are spaced out enough to allow for social distancing to make employees feel more at ease in shared spaces.
Flexibility and Security
IT is often another driving force in hybrid workplace design. Your hardware must be flexible enough to support different UCC platforms. With more employees working remotely, software and LAN connections need to provide enterprise-level security and privacy.
Crestron Flex UCC Support
Employee Experience and Productivity
Next, consider how the technology choices you make during your hybrid workplace design empower the employee experience. It’s likely your team will compare the experience delivered by personal devices and apps to how easy it is to use the collaboration tech they find in the office and remote workstations.
At home, technology is an essential piece of keeping remote workers connected to the rest of the team. Ensure they have access to the same collaboration tools as those in the office to promote team collaboration and productivity.
In addition, outfit your work-from-home teams with technology like noise cancelling headphones, multiple displays, and premium microphones. You can also look for work-from-home technology bundles specifically designed for each of your team members.
Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones
System compatibility, employee experience, and well-being concerns all play a role in determining which UCC platforms to choose. Another consideration in our uncertain environment is cash flow.
Your immediate reaction could be that it’s crazy to spend money right now if you can get back with what you have. Consider, though, if your current systems can support long-term productivity and business continuity in a hybrid office.
Now is the ideal time to analyze your technical debt. Over time, maintaining legacy systems with expired service contracts could cost your company more compared to upgrading now.
Still, a large cash outlay may not be possible at the moment.
Does your company lease computers and printers? You can do the same thing with your collaboration technology to spread the cost out over time.
If company revenue is in recovery mode, explore financing options like leasing and AV-as-a-Service (AVaaS). Leasing offers predictable payment instead of paying upfront to outfit your hybrid workplace.
AVaaS takes it a step further and allows you to bundle hardware, software, and support and maintenance expenses into one payment.
Technology Training and Adoption
When you do invest in upgraded technology, you’ll need to ensure teams will use it. Technology that sits unused is like a sportscar languishing in storage in a garage. It looks nice, but what benefits are you getting?
As part of your hybrid workplace plan, create a training and adoption program to boost room, device, and UC platform utilization.
If your IT support and training teams are already stretched thin with supporting at-home workers and reopening offices, AVI-SPL can help. Our services team offers a variety of live and recorded online training programs. We can also provide on-site training when it’s safe to do so.
Digital Workplace Success Metrics
Before you launch your new hybrid workplace technology, have a plan in place to gather user experience and utilization data. This data is essential for measuring your success. Consider two key dimensions when you develop your digital workplace key performance indicators (KPIs):
- IT alignment with business goals
- Employee experience
You can use AVI-SPL’s digital workplace scorecard template as a starting point. Typical KPIs include: technology cost per employee, workplace and technology utilization rates, experience gap (between personal and work devices and apps), and IT NPS.
A successful hybrid workplace design strategy focuses heavily on IT goals and positive employee experience. Delivering both promotes business agility, which supports long-term business continuity. System flexibility and security, cash flow, training programs, and identifying success metrics will also help you create an effective digital workplace.
Let’s do this together. Contact AVI-SPL to start your hybrid workplace design.