The modern workplace is an increasingly complex environment, and for many is now split between the office and remote work. For businesses to succeed in this new world, they must address some of the common challenges associated with a hybrid workforce and adapt to provide a digital workplace fit for the future.
There is already colossal momentum building behind this restructuring. The Microsoft Work Trend Index indicates that 66% of global businesses are redesigning the workplace to accommodate the new hybrid working world.
While politicians are encouraging workers back to their office desks, the reality of attracting and retaining skilled employees relies on the ability of businesses to reflect the ongoing shift in workplace culture. Consequently, businesses must find ways to ensure the hybrid workplace is aligned with business goals, empowering all employees to communicate and collaborate effectively to maximise productivity. The tools and technologies to enable this are already readily available; employers just need to capitalise on them.
The evolution of the workplace
Over the last two years, the work has shifted from in many instances complete working from home to a new state of complex, often flexible, hybrid working — where employees choose where they work.
As more remote jobs appear on the market, geographic limitations are becoming a thing of the past, as businesses have access to a wider pool of talent. However, a borderless workforce brings new challenges to collaboration and communication as businesses learn how to replicate in-person creativity and innovation in a remote setting.
It is worth emphasising how dramatic these changes are. Sixty per cent of recruiters believe organisations will lose employees if they do not transition to a hybrid, fully remote, or remote-first culture. Meanwhile, HR experts say that businesses that don't offer flexible-work options miss up to 70% of job-seekers.
Therefore, as a matter of some urgency, businesses need to look at how they will utilise the hybrid workplace and use that momentum to create change to foster better collaboration and improve their teams' performance.
A focus on data
When teams collaborate, new ideas and fresh perspectives are thrown into the conversation. This boosts morale, and the creativity unleashed also drives results for the business. However, the hybrid workplace can become a barrier to this, with employees siloed for long periods of the working day, especially if the tools currently used for communication are falling short.
No matter the type of workplace, they all offer data and insights that can help employers improve the collaboration between employees. Employers can track anything from the meeting rooms used (whether virtual or in-person), the rates of technology adoption, and the impact of network performance on collaboration (for example, does unstable Wi-Fi produce a detrimental effect on video quality or lead to buffering and delays in screen sharing).
These insights can be actioned to create an environment where collaboration is frictionless and not encumbered by external factors that can cripple the modern workplace. By analysing this data, employers can reveal valuable intelligence about the employee experience and the success of IT investments. Companies can then determine whether they want to maintain technology solutions or investigate and deploy alternatives to further support hybrid work and better align with wider business objectives.
Partnering to help collaboration
Accessing the necessary data to inform real change is just another challenge on IT leaders’ plates. Many are already at maximum capacity but the ability to understand and measure workplace data is crucial to business success. Rather than going it alone, organisations can look to a digital transformation partner who can deliver insights and strategies to optimize the employee experience.
“The world has now adjusted to digital working practices, but leaders are not uniformly equipped with the data needed to drive effective collaboration strategies,” comments Toby Alcock, CTO at Logicalis. “By working with a transformation partner, companies can use data to inform and strengthen their hybrid working strategy to ensure that collaboration is at the heart of the employee experience.”
Modern workplaces are often full of legacy complexities. Without a detailed understanding of how employees collaborate, businesses risk decreasing productivity and morale within teams. However, if they work to unlock the true value of data, they will be able to release internal resources and help scale solutions to create a truly modern workspace. Working with a trusted digital transformation partner will help to remove stress from internal IT teams through guaranteed performance, secure operations, and actionable insights to continuously improve functionality. As a result, no matter where, when, or how an employee chooses to work, they will be able to collaborate, innovate and drive the business forwards.