Hybrid workspaces are gaining ground now. Companies are looking towards bringing a portion of their workforce back to offices in what is being termed as a hybrid workspaces model.
Hybrid workplaces blend remote and on-site ways of working, allowing flexible work from home and office timings. According to the Microsoft Work Trend Index released this year, about 74% of Indian employees want more flexible remote work options while at the same time, 73% of them want more in-person time with the team.
The future of the workplace is going to be more about work being done, rather than where it’s being done.
“We believe hybrid workspaces are the future and a successful hybrid strategy will require extreme flexibility. As every organisation fundamentally re-imagines itself for the hybrid workspaces era, we are collectively learning and innovating on how we will shape the future of work in India. It’s time to embrace work as a frame of mind, not a place you go”, stated Rajiv Sodhi, Chief Operating Officer, Microsoft India.
Coming up with a hybrid workspaces plan will require IT organisations to re-evaluate their entire employee experience. Let’s take a look at how will hybrid work change the future of IT.
Transforming Office Spaces
With flexible work policies allowing employees to choose work from home or the office at any time of the week, there would be a lesser need for huge workspaces. IT companies can save on office rental costs with these smaller workplaces. The office layout will also change to incorporate a social, collaborative culture as offices would be now primarily used for connecting and interacting with the team. Companies can also focus on opening hubs and co-working spaces in second-tier cities to accommodate the flexible working needs of the wider population. Under the hybrid model, computers, internet, routers, headsets, and even chairs and desks will be provisioned at the worker’s homes. Organizations will have to establish policies about the personal equipment that can be added to the company-issued devices to ensure data integrity.
Enhancing Security Measures
The rise in remote work led to a manifold rise in cyber-attacks. IT enterprises will have to invest in improved data security to handle the huge amounts of data flow in their networks and protect their employees and equipment. Along with educating and training employees to ensure security standards when they work from home, companies will need to re-evaluate their data protection and compliance guidelines. It is crucial for companies to design a framework that protects confidential information and allows for collaboration without risks. Putting in contingency and backup plans in place in case of emergencies should also be a part of the data protection framework for the hybrid work model.
Sustaining the Shift to Cloud Computing
The pandemic accelerated digital transformation for many enterprises, effectively achieving 2 years of digital transformation in 2 months, as stated by Satya Nadella, Chairman and CEO of Microsoft. The future of work infrastructure is going to be powered by cloud solutions and this is evidenced by the increased use of cloud-based collaboration tools in the pandemic. This trend will continue with the hybrid working model with IT companies coming up with strategies to ensure seamless collaboration between at-office and remote employees. Cloud technologies will play a pivotal role in ensuring employee engagement and business continuity for IT customers. All IT teams can continue remotely deploying solutions and managing virtual client meetings with this working model.
Expanding the Pool of Talented Candidates
With flexible work locations, IT companies now have access to a huge hiring pool, allowing them to hire the most talented people around the world. From the perspective of potential employees, they also have increased options to join any enterprise irrespective of their location. These changes will mean massive transformations in HR and recruitment policies for IT. Everything from recruiting and onboarding to training and upskilling will need to be supported with a robust digital infrastructure.
Changing the Conventional Work Setup
Most of the workforce will not work traditional hours in this hybrid working model. Teams will need to set core hours when everyone is available and will need to set rules on reaching out outside work time. The management will follow less of a top-down approach and become more team-based. There would be more reliance on employee self-management. Companies could designate certain days for in-person activities and bring the team together to solidify collaboration and team culture. Performance management systems would also undergo significant changes with a focus on the quality of work and instead of hours worked, using tools and applications to manage remote performance.
It is up to every IT organization to experiment and find the hybrid model that will maximize employee satisfaction and productivity. The right collaboration software can help rapidly adapt to this new working model. Our modern cloud solutions at Celebal Technologies offer integration with Microsoft Teams and other services to ease collaboration and build the new digital workspace. By cultivating an environment where everyone can reach their potential, Celebal Technologies can help you design the future of workplace.
By Anupam Gupta, Co-founder and Head of US Operations, Celebal Technologies