One thing that pandemic has taught everyone is that work can happen from anywhere anytime as a part of the hybrid workplace strategy. During pre-pandemic, the situation was different. Physical office space meant collaboration amongst team members and people enjoyed face-to-face communication. It instilled commitment, support and camaraderie which was a must for team members who were working on difficult projects. In contrast to this, people also had to put up with long work hours and long commutes, eventually leading to burnouts and exhaustion.
Post-pandemic, the situation is pretty complex with a hybrid workforce – while few employees enjoy hybrid workplace, the others enjoy coming to work. Brands are taking strategic initiatives to fuel digital adoption and adapt to ever-evolving technologies. We are in an era where the concept of a hybrid workplace is “the future of work” and very much “the new normal”. Good long years into the pandemic, the workforce has now clarity on the limitations and benefits of a remote work setup.
Hybrid work models allow companies to reap the benefits of both remote and on-site work. Experts believe a hybrid workplace can increase productivity and engagement, lower office space costs and help attract and retain talent. Therefore, while the tech landscape is evolving faster than ever, it’s imperative for companies to plan with people in mind. Gartner research shows that 75% of hybrid workers expect to work flexibly. And four out of ten employees are at risk of leaving if you insist, they return to an in-person office environment.
There are three important strategies that need to be addressed tout de suite to embrace hybrid working effectively. Let’s deep dive into these strategies one by one to understand how they impact hybrid workplace –
- Workforce strategy
Workforce management is a critical topic of discussion because employees are the most important assets in any organization. To keep your workforce focused on giving their best, companies need to make them feel engaged and included. This is where a workforce strategy comes into picture. Strategic workforce planning starts with identifying how many employees are needed for a job to how effectively they can deliver.
The more the employees are able to freely collaborate and engage with peers and mentors, the more they enjoy working. Post pandemic, with virtual realms, companies must provide employees a wholesome experience.
- Digital Transformation
To have a world-class workforce experience, companies need to remove dependency on legacy systems. Digital transformation is the way to go since these systems are slow, difficult to integrate as well as not agile enough for future requirements.
As per the recent study The Global Digital Transformation market is expected to grow from $469.8 Billion in 2020 to $1,009.8 Billion by 2025, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 16.5%.
Today, business leaders and entrepreneurs are shifting to digital systems. The technology available today allows for unification and cohesiveness across all levels of business. Especially during pandemic companies have realized how important agility and adoption of digital systems is to help solve for tomorrow’s problems.
- Institutionalize Innovation
Pandemic, few experts argue, has slowed business growth for many brands. The ones that thrived mostly are cloud-native companies that pivoted their business models amidst the constant disruptions. History suggests that organizations that can flex, adapt to unexpected changes and invest in institutionalizing innovation in the workplace through crisis outperform competition during the recovery.
“There are three dimensions to innovation culture: the intention to be innovative, the infrastructure to support innovation, operational level behaviors necessary to influence a market and value orientation, and the environment to implement innovation.” Dobni (2008)
Innovation is the key to success for any company. It brings in more creativity and agility on board. Innovation helps to penetrate the market faster and provides a path to new and emerging markets. To institutionalize innovation, you need to have the right environment to support and cultivate the culture. One of the ways to support innovation is to not restrict it at the ideation stage and let it evolve and find its way. All ideas come with a risk – either the idea will fail or succeed. If it fails, you will learn a lot more than if it were to succeed.
Contemporary and hybrid workplace demands the matters of workforce strategy, digital transformation, and continuous innovation be addressed straight away without waiting on them. That in turn ensures hybrid work set-up is effective and in favor of the workforce.
To sum up,
- Re-thinking workforce strategy is surely not an easy task, however, now is the time to start enabling the “anywhere workforce”.
- Digital transformation is the need of the hour across all industries to recoil from the setbacks faced during the pandemic.
- Innovation cannot be looked at as a linear process. Innovation is a conscious investment of time and energy to fail and find ways to succeed.