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Hybrid working is becoming the future of work for many businesses, as the world settles into post-pandemic life. Many organisations had to make rapid adjustments over the past two years to ensure business continuity was maintained, challenging the ability to manage a fully remote workforce. Now, the new challenge is to successfully manage a hybrid workforce.
Setting up workflows and communication to ensure the right balance between in-office activities and remote work is critical to the success of your business. To set up your company for the best possible hybrid workflow, you need the right workforce management tools to enable productivity without compromising on security or uptime.
What is the hybrid work model?
Mobility in the workplace has evolved rapidly due to the effects of the global pandemic. Businesses that quickly enabled their employees to continue working remotely from home during government restrictions and lockdowns discovered in many situations how productive, efficient and stable their workforce remained.
The hybrid work model has rapidly evolved to allow flexible working arrangements for employees. This usually involves employees working remotely some of the time, or at a centrally located office space. How a hybrid work arrangement is enacted depends on the needs of the business and employee, as well as the availability of resources.
The challenge of managing a hybrid workforce can be met with tools that facilitate overview and workflow management, with the ultimate goal to enhance productivity and collaboration.
Productivity suite Microsoft 365
While Microsoft 365 has many benefits, it is also the perfect solution for managers of hybrid teams who want to manage both remote and on-site work environments. The subscription-based service integrates everything into one package, including familiar Office apps such as Word, Excel, and Outlook, with additional tools such as Microsoft Teams enhancing collaboration and communication.
Microsoft 365 includes built-in security features that ensure data privacy and protection of sensitive information is maintained at all times, protecting your business data and devices. Security and compliance are of paramount importance when it comes to managing hybrid workforces across different locations.
Communicating with a hybrid workforce can seem challenging when there are a number of full-time remote workers who won’t return to the office, or other employees with a work schedule that choose to work on-site some of the time and the rest working from home. It is vital to keep employees regardless of their hybrid working arrangement in the loop with current and future projects, business news, and so on. Team building is also important, particularly when some employees may rarely be working in the office at the same time.
Communication tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams are easy to use and include features such as video calls, chat, and screen sharing in real-time. These communication tools can facilitate team meetings with multiple attendees, or bring employees together for weekly catch-ups that foster a productive and connected work environment.
A successful team-based initiative in an organisation relies on clear and well-documented workflow processes, so team members are aware of their responsibilities. For managers, this means an efficient collaborative workflow management tool such as Microsoft Planner can help to monitor their employees both in and out of the office, providing an overview of the task or project and whether it is meeting key deadlines. Planner helps employees spend less time coordinating work and more time focusing on their core tasks.
Work schedule management
In a modern work environment, a manager needs to have the ability to track an employee’s availability and give remote workers the tools they need to communicate more efficiently. By connecting team members through scheduling software such as Microsoft Teams, you can reduce reliance on emails that can be missed or forgotten, and ensure projects and tasks stay on track. This streamlines employee scheduling and communication. Microsoft Teams also provides an ability to export data into other programs that are used in workflow management such as assigning tasks and setting deadlines, which will provide a complete view of your organisation’s needs when it comes to scheduling.
Manage your hybrid workforce effectively
Finding the right management tools for your business can be a challenge when there are so many options available. The IT experts at INTELLIWORX can guide you to find secure and effective solutions that work best with hybrid working environments.