How Can Companies Cope with Hybrid Work – COOLPO AI Huddle PANA Conferencing Camera

October 25 20:24 2021

Coping with change is never easy, even when it comes to office trends that evolved because of COVID-19. Different industries such as education, retail, medicine, etc. needed to implement changes like hybrid learning and hybrid work to ensure the people’s well-being and enforce social distancing within the company. Office routines and trends are now different moving forward and the popularization of hybrid work among companies is high on demand with employees and employers alike.

Read below to find out more about new 2021 office trends!

The Hybrid Work Model

When the pandemic was spreading and measures were taken worldwide to curb the spread of the virus, businesses turned to work from home to keep the enterprise afloat. However, upon returning to the workplace these days, different solutions have evolved that help communities keep practicing social distancing. While having the chance to interact with colleagues during “office days”, the hybrid work model allows employees to have the option to work from anywhere: at home, nearby collaboration offices, satellite offices, etc. Wherever employees are allowed to work, it is important to keep safe from the virus physically.

On days when employees need to be at the office, specific measures have to be implemented that were not enforced before COVID-19. For employees’ safety and peace of mind, enhanced cleaning and disinfection must be enforced in the office. In other words, reopening strategies must include care for virus-spread prevention for physical care and peace of mind (mental well-being). As for contact tracing, 52 percent of work from home workers have stated that they are comfortable enough to share personal information to keep the workplace safe. In particular, health data, immediate contacts, and locations visited are pertinent to keep track in case of contact tracing.

Advantages of Hybrid Work

• Reduced Costs and Expenses

Since employees will be allowed to go to the office on a fewer number of days than the normal workweek travel expenses can be saved from commuting or driving. Moreover, the cost of travel does not only involve the monetary aspect. Hybrid work can also save employees time: rather than spend time on (long) commutes, this can be allocated instead to work. Hybrid workplaces can be smaller (and thereby relatively less expensive) because the same amount of office employees can rotate in and out of the configured shared office spaces. Moreover, since the hybrid work model is more satisfying for employees, businesses can save on costs related to high staff turnover.

• Increased Employee Gratification

According to a survey by the Stanford Institute of Economic Policy Research, 55 percent of workers in the United States prefer a mixture of home and office working. Hybrid work increases flexibility and establishes a better work-life balance. Introverts generally like the idea of working from home while extroverts thrive in more personal, face-to-face human interactions. The hybrid model allows a balance to this by allowing employees to work anywhere but requires them to come to the office on some days as well. Moreover, hybrid work allows teams to balance responsibilities at work and home by scheduling their routines according to their needs.

• Enhanced Collaboration

As a change of pace from the year-long remote work, hybrid working allows the chance to come together and break communication barriers. Having the option to communicate face to face is still more efficient than lengthy e-mails and structured meetings. The office as a workplace is still necessary for healthy collaboration and building camaraderie among co-workers and team members. However, for many, the work itself can be done elsewhere, thereby still promoting remote work and hybrid work models.

• Productivity Development

Employees who work hybrid have a choice to go to the office for a change of scenery, interact with colleagues, and become more visible to managers and CEOs (especially when these executives are also working from the office). Productivity is increased among employees who were working from home but had the option to go to the office at will. The advantage stems from the choice of being able to work from the comfort of home and have the option to go to the office where conditions are more conducive for deep work. Among employees who worked from home, 48 percent of employees surveyed felt more productive when working from home who felt an uplift in feelings of productivity when they had an option to also go to the office, while 52 percent did not share the same sentiments of productivity.

Technologies for the New Normal

To cope with the shift to a hybrid work environment, companies need to secure the basic technologies that ensure the business remains running smoothly.

• Instant Messaging

Companies must not rely on social media instant messaging functions for a productive hybrid work environment. Applications such as Microsoft Teams, Google Chat, and Discord allows teams in scattered locations to retain communications without the distraction of non-work-related messages.

• Physical Hardware

The use of personal computers in a hybrid work model poses security issues for the company. The IT team must have complete control over the technologies and cybersecurity to ensure that the company’s confidential information remains safe and that company assets remain unharmed by malware, hackers, and competitors.

• Video Conferencing

Innovative video conference solutions offer a myriad of options. For hybrid work environments where some staff are on-site and some are elsewhere, conferences with multiple speakers must have pertinent technology that caters to the company’s needs. Coolpo AI Huddle Pana offers all a company needs when it comes to video conferencing: a 360-degree camera, 4 microphones, and speaker all in one compact design. Conferences with a mix of on-site and online participants will be more optimized with the AI-capable camera that easily captures the last three speakers in the room while at the same time shows the panoramic view of the huddle room.

Company Solutions for Hybrid Work

Although the ideas of hybrid work, remote work, and work from home are not new concepts that came to life after COVID-19, some components and office innovations are as novel as the was a virus in 2020. Here are 10 tangible and intangible solutions to consider for your hybrid work model:

1. 360-degree conference cameras

2. Output and deadline implementation because of flexible work schedules

3. Managers’ regular “check-ins” with team members to ensure physical and mental well-being

4. Hand Sanitizers and other personal protective equipment in the office

5. A conducive work from home setup (at home) complete with video conferencing capabilities

6. Ensure plants or other greenery are present in the office and at home

7. Office culture is created through work practices, management styles, reward systems, and how much flexibility the business provides.

8. Digital overload in businesses and offices is real

9. Remote opportunities are more attractive to varied and talented applicants

10. Tradeoffs will be even more necessary for doing business and dealing with employees

Conclusion

The pandemic has forced our hands to move forward at an increased pace. Trends, technologies, and regulations have all evolved to accommodate the new needs of people and businesses. Coping with all this newness does not have to be daunting. Rather, it is an opportunity to improve all aspects of the company while at the same time keep up with changing times. As a change of pace from daily commutes to the office, to the home-based work for almost a year, now that the pandemic is easing in some regions, companies have a choice of doing businesses in a more flexible and desirable working model.

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