‘Hybrid working will become the norm’. This was the opening line in a recent BBC article. The quote itself came from IWG chief Mark Dixon, who was speaking about how he has seen fewer firms renting out their office spaces over the past year due to the pandemic.
Early reports of the hybrid workplace began in January with workplaces trying to figure out how best to approach the workplace after the pandemic with many people finding a new normality working from home, but where doe this leave employers?
What is hybrid working?
Hybrid working is splitting time between working remotely and working in the office, allowing employees the choice as to where they would like to work.
We have been working from home for a year now, with only some industries remaining open as usual, businesses have had to rapidly. However, with signs of returning to a level of ‘normality’ again, not everyone will be wanting to return to working from the office and instead are seeing the benefits of remaining remote or switching to hybrid working.
How does this affect the future workplace?
There are benefits to both office and remote working. What’s most important is ensuring employees are happy and productive and the business is engaging with its workforce and has the essential business processes in place.
For example, frontline workers are often the ones who are capturing customer feedback and would have a better understanding on how their services are operating than those who are back in the office. By not having a physical office to chat to colleagues or having a digital workplace to submit business updates, essential information could get missed.
During the webinar, we discussed how frontline and remote workers are not always being engaged with the same way as those who work in an office environment. Working from home means quite often you may just have one point of contact during the day, so you aren’t seeing or talking to people in other areas of the business.
The benefits of working in the office is allowing colleagues to talk, socialise, but also inform others in person what they are working on and share any updates. For instance, onboarding new members of staff can be tricky in the current remote environment with employees not meeting everyone on the team like they would in the office. But on the other end, remote working has allowed colleagues to find new flexibility in working, reducing travel and business expenses.
How should employers support their employees?
Both have benefits which is why employers have seen the value in hybrid working to make the most of both options. But if this were to happen in your workplace, organisations are going to need to continue to invest in engaging and supporting their workforce.
Intranets are continuingly to rise in popularity and companies are discovering the value of investing in having a central place to store business processes, centralised business updates and a regular source of engagement to employees, wherever they are working.
Our Engage intranet software has helped many clients in their intranet journey to connect large workforces and workers on the move. Simply introducing features such as a microblog or a contact search has dramatically changed how a workplace communicates and has improved business processes as a result.
With hybrid working in the pipeline for the future of the workplace, employers will be looking at digital workplace technology such as intranets to work alongside their organisation, helping and improving existing processes so not matter where an employee works, they will continue to be supported and engaged.
To discuss your future workplace and how an intranet could help, get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or watch our webinar to discover the benefits of introducing an intranet to engage your remote workforce.