Research from WM Reply has revealed three key pillars that organisations need to consider when maintaining an effective hybrid working model
Our workplace has changed. With remote and hybrid working now introduced to the masses – where we work and how we work will never be the same again. Whilst businesses were quick to react to the pandemic of 2020, providing more flexibility and hybrid working options, the path forward is not so clear for everyone. Organisations need to take that step to define the hybrid model that works for them. WM Reply engaged Ipsos MORI to conduct qualitative research with senior IT professionals to shine a light on our new world of hybrid working and to understand the challenges and opportunities within the business world.
So, what did we learn and how can we develop a robust hybrid working strategy that enables growth and support for our people and our organisation? In this article, we explore the three key pillars that surfaced from the research.
We know from the ‘What’s next for how we work’ research conducted by BCG, that 70 per cent of those who have been working remotely felt they were able to be as or more productive working from home as they were in the workplace. People will therefore need a reason to return to the office. There are many proven benefits of office-based working including stronger connection & synergy between co-workers, boosted collaboration during decision-making processes, decreased employee exhaustion & burnout and improved time management. However, it is vital that leaders communicate the ‘worth it’ equation to their teams. It is important that the reasons as to why employees should return to the office are effectively communication to get buy-in from the workforce.
This can be taken an extra step further by ensuring that people are involved in the planning of the hybrid workplace model. Ultimately, there are benefits in allowing employees to choose how and when they work. It therefore makes sense that their feedback is considered when the organisation builds out the hybrid working model that works best for them.
What’s your ‘worth it’ message?
We have seen many new tools and platforms introduced to enable remote working within business, but are we using the right ones, do we know how to use the right tool for the right task, and are we getting the most out of our investments? According to the Ipsos research, companies might seek to bring the functions that they use under a single work and communication platform, to reduce operational complexity and give staff an integrated solution.
This technology plays a critical role in hybrid working. Employees need to be able to work seamlessly between workplace and home, and there needs to be ease of connectivity between people in the office and those working remotely. Utilising platforms to improve communication between office-based and remote employees will alleviate some of the pain points of the hybrid working model such as impaired collaboration, weakened relationships and disrupted work processes.
It is clear that the ‘office’, as we knew it before the pandemic, no longer provides what we need to meet our modern workplace hybrid working requirements. We will need to reimagine how we use office spaces, providing inviting collaboration zones and introducing technology and ways of working that support our hybrid meetings. The solution is to integrate physical spaces and technology with three key concepts in mind: equity, engagement, and ease. Maybe even the location of the office needs to be reconsidered, providing regional hubs to support a wider talent pool.
The employee experience changed drastically during COVID – and their workday and workplace will continue to change. There are new and evolving platforms, such as Microsoft Viva, to support communications, wellbeing, knowledge management, engagement and learning. However, each financial services organisation needs to understand what these platforms offer and how they can support a hybrid operating model. There is more to do than just implement these new platforms as they need a defined purpose and part to play in a person’s day.
There is an opportunity for organisations to change how they work and embrace hybrid working for the benefit of their people, customers and organisation as a whole. Outside of our workplaces, there remains global uncertainty with socio-economic issues. What people need now, more than ever, is certainty in how and where they work.
This article was written as part of a content campaign with Reply.
How hybrid working is impacting operational efficiency — Hybrid working, while important in today’s business world, has brought new complexities to consider.
Going from start-up to market leader with people-first business transformation — Laurent Deramaix, CEO at Business Elements and partner at Reply, spoke to Information Age about the value of people-first business transformation.