Leadership and technology – the hybrid workplace recipe for success

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What’s top of the table when it comes to the challenges faced by today’s hard-pressed workplace leaders?

As hybrid working continues to take hold, and the return-to-work debate continues, you’re likely to be struggling with these 4 immensely important issues: 

Talent attrition - this key challenge has long-term ramifications. Global consulting firm  Korn Ferry predicts that tech advancement across all sectors could be slowed by a shortfall of 4.26 million workers by 2030. 

Productivity – with presenteeism historically being synonymous with productivity, a key challenge for leaders is how they move to an outcomes-based model of productivity in a world where they can’t physically see their staff.  

Space utilization – driven by new ways of working, how leaders utilize space is destined to change. Thought needs to be given to creating collaborative spaces and providing access to technology for asynchronous working. 

Employee wellbeing – this is crucial for long-term success. As leading research firm Gartner have noted, creating a happier, faster and smarter workforce is a key driver of optimum performance. 

There are many ways to deal with these issues, of course, and a holistic approach is wise. But from a practical point of view, technology – which has evolved as rapidly as hybrid working – can provide some excellent support.

Use technology to make hybrid working a success

Any hybrid working strategy can be hampered by software that is not fit for purpose, is slow and cumbersome to use. It frustrates staff who just want to get on with their jobs – and who want every minute they spend in the office to count.

These are the tools that make a difference to your organization and your employees: 

Desk booking  – with a reduced number of staff working 5 days a week in the office it’s a no-brainer that offices need to downsize and that an allocated desk is no longer a given.  

Having an efficient mobile desk booking solution is key to ensuring that finite desk estates are fully utilized. With space at a premium post-Covid, software vendors are introducing features such as reverse hoteling which enable leaders greater control and flexibility in how they use their space.  

Meeting room booking – the purpose of meeting rooms is changing slightly as more attendees are going to be virtual. While some form of meeting room booking software will be necessary – the need to integrate with other aspects of the meeting experience such as video conferencing is imperative. 

Seamless integration with Teams and Zoom enabled meeting rooms is a great time-saver and ensures that meetings go off without a hitch and have the maximum impact – attendees spend less time on admin and more time on strategy and ideation. 

Floorplan-based booking – the new breed of mobile booking solutions are designed with two objectives in mind – ease of use and employee safety.  

Using an easy to use floorplan to book desks is far faster and the floorplan can be pre-programmed to take account of any allowances for social distancing. Staff can see at a glance where there are blocked out desks – very reassuring. 

Find a colleague – the more progressive software providers are realizing that it is not enough to just allocate desks in a commoditized fashion. There is a human dimension to collaboration which needs addressing.  

The new breed of solution is using a more holistic approach combining floorplan-based desk booking with find a colleague features so teams can get together with ease and also make the correct communication decisions for those who are WFH. 

Visitor management – ensuring an efficient and safe flow of visitors of staff is imperative as the return to work slowly begins to build momentum.  

Integration between the meeting room and desk booking solutions with the visitor management solution ensures that the necessary health questionnaires are processed automatically, QR-based access codes are issued by email and data is recorded for contact tracing purposes.  

A touchless experience – once staff and visitors are on site they need to minimise touching surfaces as much as possible. Technology such as RFID cards and QR code access ensures a touchless access experience. 

Digital signage integrated with sensor technology, enables staff to view availability and check in/out of desks and communal working areas with no touch required. 

Driven by data – key to the hybrid experience is utilization data. A one size fits all approach will not give leaders the data they need to reconfigure their space. Triangulating data from many sources gives leaders all the historical data they need to drive forward with future office planning. 

Conclusion

Workplace leaders have no roadmap to success when it comes to hybrid working. It’s too new for that, and each organization’s drivers are different.

What’s more, the situation is likely to continue to evolve fast for a long time to come, so any strategies need to be tried, tested and perhaps abandoned for better ideas.

In this uncertain world, leaders need strong foundations they can rely on, which enable them to build an environment that not only enables productivity, but also makes the office a good place to be.

Technology provides those strong foundations; workplace management software underpins and enables every initiative and provides the data that makes good decisions easier to achieve.

In a changing world where progress can seem hard to gain, it’s good to have something you know you can rely on.