Cisco Webex, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom are leading the way in hybrid workplace research and new technology feature announcements. As these collaboration tools gather more data, it’s a great time for us to take a look at the trends that are emerging.
Zoom recently conducted a survey which found that 65% of respondents who have been working from home for the past year said “a hybrid work environment was their ideal work model,” with about half of that group preferring to work from home, and half preferring to work from the office. As the survey continued into more specific facets of hybrid work, the responses began to vary greatly, which shows there is a lot still unknown about how we will navigate this new era.
We’ve talked before about how the future of work will be focused on achieving success in the hybrid workplace. But where does collaboration fit into the hybrid workplace, what will it look like?
The Hybrid Workplace Will Vary by Industry
While essentially all industries had to pivot their work models this year to combat disruptions and challenges caused by COVID-19, not all industries will be perfectly conducive to hybridity – there are limits to the hybrid workplace model.
For example, healthcare has greatly expanded Telehealth and other online offerings, but there will never be a time when doctors and nurses will be able to see patients 100% virtually, thus creating a need for more “in-office” time than, say, an advertising agency or a retailer with both an online store and physical locations.
Technology can’t bridge certain gaps, and those gaps will still need to be filled with onsite workers.
The Hybrid Workplace Will Vary by Role & Personal Preference
Just as the industry type is a factor in hybrid work models, job type will also need to be addressed on a case-by-case basis. Traditionally, content writers, corporate teams, and other jobs where a majority of the work can be done on a computer and through conference calls tend to be jobs that lend themselves well to a predominantly remote work model. The same is true for certain management positions – a manager’s time can be split between the office or store, and home.
But cashiers, hospitality and restaurant workers, and health inspectors are not going to be able to work full-time remotely due to the onsite nature of their roles.
Also, some of the hybrid workplace dynamics will be determined by personal preferences. Two marketing department associates may have similar job duties and very different work models – the older associate with children may find it more beneficial to work in the office, while a single associate may enjoy working remotely to accommodate personal travel plans or other aspirations.
Technology Will Be at the Heart of Hybrid Collaboration
Since it’s possible that every single employee’s hybrid work model may look slightly different, collaboration and communication will be the biggest concerns as we try to create our ideal versions of the hybrid workplace.
To effectively steer a hybrid workforce at your company, you’ll have to leverage technology in more unique ways to cover all the new ways people will be performing their job functions, especially those that are highly collaborative.
It’s Changing All the Time
The hybrid workplace likely will continue evolving as employee preferences, work trends, and productivity evolves. In fact, many studies say that the flexibility it allows will create a sort of a la carte-style work model, where employees will have the ability to switch up their preferred routine to accommodate seasonal changes, appointments, childcare needs, and overall work-life balance clashes.
As it changes, we must be ready to examine and react to these changes in proactive and productive ways.
Take the Hy(brid) Road Early
Need help acclimating your team to a new hybrid workplace model? Meet Me In The Cloud is equipped with solutions to help you foster technology adoption and plan, set up, and execute flawless meetings and events. For more information, check out our Event Assist and collaboration technology adoption services.
Have questions? Contact us today!