"Over the past year, no area has undergone more rapid transformation than the way we work." ― Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft.
The hybrid work model was not merely a buzzword that came and went with the pandemic―it's here to stay!
Hybrid Workplaces: Flexible & adaptable
The hybrid workforce model is "one that allows employees to flow through various sites or schedules and even vary the nature of their work," as defined by George Penn, Vice President of Research and Advisory at Gartner. This means that the hybrid working model is a work style that enables employees to blend working from different locations: home, on the go, or the office.
It is important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all strategy for hybrid workplaces. Each organization will define what hybrid working means in their business context. Hybrid workplaces are based on flexibility and adaptability. They promote better work-life balance for employees. For most organizations, a more flexible working model will bring many benefits―because, essentially, adaptability is critical for business success.
Mircosoft's The Work Trend Index, published in March 2021, talks about hybrid work as the next great disruption and describes hybrid work as a blended model where some employees will return to their offices and others will continue to work from home.
The study of over 30,000 people from 31 countries, including an analysis of productivity and labor signals across Microsoft 365 and LinkedIn, highlighted the following trends:
- 70% of workers want flexible remote work options to continue
- Over 65% crave more in-person time with their teams
- 66% of business decision-makers are considering redesigning physical spaces to better accommodate hybrid work environments.
Flexible, hybrid work will define the post-pandemic workplace.
And the future of work is also going to be hybrid. A 2020 survey by CoreNet Global and Cushman & Wakefield predicts that in a post-COVID world, remote-first models will be just as prevalent, and hybrid models are likely to more than double. In May 2020, Twitter announced that its employees could work from home "forever" if they wished. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg too commented that up to 50% of their workforce could work remotely in the next five to 10 years.
How DRS Imaging Services helps you navigate the new hybrid work environment
Organizations face a new challenge of enabling their employees to remain productive and efficient in a changing hybrid work environment. New tools and technologies that will facilitate both in-person and remote work are the need of the hour.
58.4% of IT departments plan to spend more on remote management technologies as they navigate the hybrid environment.
Is your business prepared for process changes for a hybrid work model?
If your company operates a hybrid work environment, you will require a setup that enables collaborative work from multiple locations. A cloud-based Document Management System (DMS) can store, organize, and control versions of documents shared collaboratively by remote employees. A DMS will optimize workflows and provide a single centralized repository for all your business data and documents.
The first step towards a DMS is to digitize all business records. At DRS, we can convert any document to a digital file, including paper files, drawings, microfilms, photographs or mixed digital media. We offer document conversion services at any of our off-site locations or on-site at your location.
Digitize and automate your mailroom
When employees work remotely, how do you give them instant access to incoming paper that arrives in your corporate mailroom? Invoices, checks, contract documents, job applications, and a myriad other essential documents may be left languishing on your mailroom floor―unless you completely digitize and automate all your mailroom activities. Outsource your mailroom activities to DRS for an advanced mailroom automation system that sorts, scans, extracts, and tracks all your incoming and outgoing mail digitally, making it instantly available for processing by remote employees.
Read more on how our digital mailroom solution enables remote workers.
Reduce costs and cut out manual processes with Mercury
Our easy-to-implement Enterprise Content Management software, Mercury, keeps all employees connected remotely. Using Mercury can lower data storage costs, reduce compliance risks, automate critical tasks, administer access control, and keep sensitive data secure.
Hybrid work: The silver lining
We may want to look at hybrid work models as one of the positive changes that resulted from the otherwise-enormously tragic COVID-19 pandemic.
Let's look at some of the benefits we will reap as hybrid work models become more prevalent:
Lower operating costs and greater efficiency
With fewer employees working on-site, companies will need lesser office space and save real estate costs. Companies may also save on real estate if they opt to move to locations beyond expensive metropolitan areas, likely when employees do not need to commute to work every day.
Companies can optimize office space with hot-desking, allocating desks and rooms on an as-needed basis based on flexible work schedules.
More flexibility for candidates and companies
When companies adopt hybrid working, potential job seekers can look for work at any location, and companies can also look for talent beyond local geographies. Casting a wider net for job candidates gives access to candidates of greater diversity and technological background.
Better employee experience and work-life balance
A hybrid workplace increases employee satisfaction, leading to better performance. A Gartner report showed that work-life balance is higher among hybrid workers. Not commuting to work and having more control over their time contributed to a better work-life balance.
Productivity and collaboration
Having a distributed workforce comes with the responsibility of ensuring transparency. Enterprise software allows teams to record all data relating to schedules and bookings in one location. This allows better collaboration among colleagues resulting in better planning of schedules and an increase in productivity.
Are you prepared for the continued challenges of a hybrid work environment?
Increased cybersecurity risks
Remote work can pose more significant cyber security challenges. For IT teams, hybrid employees accessing data and documents from different devices and networks increases the likelihood of security threats. Employees using personal computers also present a weak security point. Organizations must ensure all remote employees understand and follow the company's cyber security requirements.
Remote employees also pose new challenges for leaders who have so far managed in-office workers. In a hybrid work scenario, managers must be extra careful and clear about communicating their expectations to employees – both in-office and remote. Managers will have to go out of their way to create an inclusive culture to avoid misunderstandings. Team members who are not physically present at in-office meetings may either not have updated information or feel left out from ongoing office events.
Remote workers can feel lonely and disconnected from the company, which may hamper their performance. Integrating remote employees into the company culture and ensuring they have a sense of belonging is challenging but essential to productivity and efficiency.
The IT Challenge
53.4% of IT professionals report having challenges in managing remote employees, according to a JumpCloud survey of 401 U.S. SME IT decision-makers. Meeting security, business continuity, and employee demands weighs on IT workers as they manage technology across environments.
Work with DRS as your digitization partner
Support your remote workforce by working with DRS to digitize all your legacy documents, move to a paperless operation and move to an enterprise-class content management system so that your remote workers can search, share and update files in real-time.
Contact us today for a free assessment of tools and technologies that support a hybrid work environment and propel your organization confidently into the future.