The hybrid work model is certainly here to stay. Since the pandemic years, millions of professionals around the globe have been enjoying the flexibility of maintaining a hybrid work schedule. Not only does this work model save workers hours every week that they would otherwise spend commuting, but they also ensure that professionals can take greater control of their work/life balance as a whole.
Even though this modern work model does provide plenty of advantages for employees, it has undeniably generated some novel challenges for business owners. Supervisors and managers have had to adapt their management style to better cater to a hybrid or fully remote workforce. On top of this, the day-to-day operations or processes that are overseen by managers have also been subject to some change.
Thankfully, digital technologies have streamlined this transition from fully on-site work schedules to flexible hybrid schedules. But what technologies are being adopted exactly? That’s precisely the question we’ll be answering today.
Read on to learn more about the top tech solutions that drive hybrid work arrangements across the globe.
Smart technologies come with their fair share of capabilities, including IoT predictive maintenance. If you’re not familiar with this little tidbit of technological innovation, then let us enlighten you. IoT predictive maintenance is a genuine game-changer when it comes to a wide range of industrial applications. This capability effectively involves IIoT (or ‘industrial internet of things’) devices performing AI-powered diagnostics – allowing industrial environments to address performance issues without halting production entirely or having to call a foreman, supervisor, or specialist engineer down to the production floor. This means that jobs that were traditionally on-site now have the potential to actually be completed remotely.
But IIoT solutions provide even more capacity for automation in a myriad of other ways too. On top of IIoT technologies being able to optimise their own performance and run independent diagnostics tests, these tech solutions may also be able to provide real-time performance data all on their own. And in the case of smart printing technologies, we’re now seeing a whole new generation of industrial and office printers that are actually able to not only detect when their ink levels are low, but can even order new ink cartridges after their ink reservoirs fall below a preset threshold. Who knows what capabilities these IIoT solutions will be able to provide in the coming years?
Video Conferencing Technologies
One of the foremost concerns for business managers who oversee a hybrid or remote team, is ensuring that these team members can still participate in their wider workplace culture. Thankfully, helping your hybrid or remote workers still feel like part of the team doesn’t require too much effort, thanks in part to video conferencing technologies like Zoom and Google Meet.
With these new-age video conferencing tools, hybrid and remote workers can easily call into workplace meetings, ensuring that they don’t miss a thing on their WFH days. Video conferencing technologies like Zoom also come with whiteboard and presentation features, which allow hybrid and remote workers the opportunity to participate in virtual brainstorming sessions, or to even present their own PowerPoint slideshows or share their screen and conduct tutorials for their fellow team members.
Video conferencing technologies can also drive recreational activities like Friday afternoon team drinks or office games. In short, business owners and department heads can do a little creative thinking with regards to how they can utilise their video conferencing technologies to enhance their workplace culture alongside bolstering productivity.
Digital Learning Resources
Truth be told, the additional flexibility of the hybrid work model provides just as many benefits for business owners as it does for their employees. Not only can employees use this extra time to do household chores or just enjoy being with their loved ones, but they could even put these additional hours of the week towards self-improvement, be it professional or personal.
If you do want to encourage your hybrid and remote employees to invest in their own upskilling, then why not get the ball rolling by providing them with digital learning resources? Many businesses are utilising software like Loom and Gyazo to produce tutorial videos that they can then circulate to their employees.
And alongside video production software that’s perfectly tailored for corporate environments, there’s also quiz making software like Testportal or Typeform. Even Canva has developed their own quiz making feature, allowing business managers to put a fun and interactive spin on skills development for their hybrid, remote, and even their on-site workforce.
Project Management Software
Part of successfully managing a hybrid workforce is being able to make sure that all delegated tasks are completed in time and to the same standard that you’d expect from your on-site workers. Of course, there are some variables that have the potential to negatively impact the work produced by hybrid and remote workers, and more often than not it’s not due to any fault of their own.
For starters, text-based communications aren’t always as clear on both sides as they can be. Miscommunications occur, which can naturally impact the final work produced by the hybrid or remote workers who have received a digital task. And emails can easily just be misplaced, resulting in work not being completed at all.
The solution here is actually quite simple, thankfully: project management software. With project management software like Asana or Trello on hand, supervisors can delegate tasks and set deadlines with the utmost confidence that their hybrid and remote workers will be totally on the same page with regards to any assigned work. And if they do have questions, they can easily schedule a video call with their supervisor or even just leave comments attached directly to the task item on their project management tool.
Last but certainly not least, we need to look at the technology that makes virtually all of the other items on this list possible: cloud computing. Cloud computing covers a range of different cloud-based technologies and applications. For example, your business could be using cloud-based software on a daily basis (think Google Drive, Canva, Dropbox, and a range of other SaaS or ‘software as a service’ applications).
Or your entire company intranet could be a cloud-based system, which allows both hybrid and remote workers the ability to access business applications or company files from anywhere in the world – so long as they have the necessary login credentials and authorisation to access these digital assets.
In short, without cloud computing capabilities, hybrid or fully remote work models would effectively just be a pipedream. Business owners who want to make sure that their company is set up for growth across the digital age certainly won’t go wrong by investing in cloud computing for themselves.
Supporting a hybrid or remote workforce is likely going to become just as natural as overseeing a fully on-site team once was. Business owners can actually benefit from reframing this transition from on-site to hybrid work models not as a product of the pandemic, but as a natural staple of the digital age. After all, these work models couldn’t have been possible if not for the development of digital and IIoT technologies.