As recently as 2020 it would have been hard for most organisations, especially outside the tech sphere, to imagine moving to a hybrid working model.
The main reason that so many businesses were able to implement remote working policies so effectively during the pandemic, and are looking to continue with hybrid working from 2021 onwards is having access to the right technology.
We’ve had a look at some of the main areas where technology is facilitating and enhancing hybrid working, and offered some pointers on how to make it work for you.
Ensuring that all employees, remote, office-based or flexible, have access to the same opportunities for learning and development is vital to making a hybrid model work. Learning management systems, such as Moodle Workplace, provide a central hub for distributing resources, conducting assessments, managing certifications and tracking achievements.
Beyond L&D itself, the company learning platform is also ideal for remote or hybrid management of the onboarding/training process, upskilling and reskilling staff, and ensuring compliance and continuity.
Keeping in touch with staff working across various locations is an obvious challenge for hybrid workplaces. With a range of options at your disposal, it’s important to choose the right tool for the job to ensure effectiveness, avoid disruption and maintain inclusion.
The choice will depend on your individual circumstances, but it’s always good to think twice about the purpose of any communication before
For example, before scheduling an in-person meeting, consider whether a group email or Zoom call might work just as well. Or, before sending that feedback email, think about whether a face-to-face chat next time the colleague is on-site would be more appropriate.
The ability to communicate instantly with colleagues across the globe is great for fostering collaboration and teamwork. However, it’s important to minimise disruption. In the office, it’s easier to judge whether a colleague is free for a chat or deep in focus just by reading their body language. Remote workers can sometimes suffer, as they may be perceived as being “always available” – and a constant influx of messages or requests can disrupt and delay their work.
Rather than reaching for the “call” button, it’s healthier to schedule contact time via a calendar app such as Outlook or Google. Whether it’s for a formal meeting or a quick 5-minute catch-up, it’s important to offer an appropriate amount of notice, and allow colleagues to keep control of their schedules.
04 Reporting and analysis
The ever-increasing mountain of data created by businesses on a daily basis is an invaluable asset if it can be properly reviewed and analysed. Reporting and analysis is particularly important in hybrid workplaces, where staff are often working remotely, not in terms of surveillance, but to allow managers to monitor the workloads, development and wellbeing of their staff.
The advent of machine learning and AI-powered tools means that generating useful insights from large datasets is no longer the preserve of data scientists – today’s applications use rich visual dashboards and automated pattern recognition to draw out the most useful and meaningful stats from the background data, allowing non-technical users to base their decision making on solid evidence.
The new world of flexible and remote working sounds like a dream, but isn’t without its challenges. Grab your copy of our free guide to deciphering what hybrid working really means for your organisation.