The future of the company: How can hybrid work be sustained and its disadvantages avoided?

Companies initially adopted a crisis management configuration, now it is a matter of establishing a good practice and installing companies in a new paradigm rich in new challenges: the future of work.

1- Future hybrid of work, we have to take it

The use of telework may be seen by some as a solution to a crisis, the relevance of which will only be valid for an unusual period of time. However, nothing is less certain. These methods of organization have opened the door to new possibilities, including hybrid work.

It is not a question of seeing it as a limitation, but of seeing it as a new freedom. And freedom is a prerequisite for innovation. The creativity of the teams is stimulated by the fact that they benefit from a good balance between professional and personal life or even the ability to choose their work organization and its environment. Similarly, we’re moving from the obligation of the way – the classic face-to-face from 9am to 6pm – to a results-based obligation, and this approach adds more relevance and meaning. In this regard, again according to the same survey, 65% of employees believe that managers should allow employees to set their own schedule. A very large majority (75%) of respondents want to be able to independently choose where they will work from.

If hybrid work seems welcome to employees, reluctance still exists. Only 53% of employees feel that their organization is ready for hybrid work. It shows that companies need to rethink the physical organization of work, but also the methods of collaboration and management.

First, it is important to equip the employee so that he or she can benefit from the best equipment and working conditions at home or on the go. Offices need to be restructured, collaborative workplaces and meeting rooms need to be set up which will be able to ensure perfect audiovisual transmission for employees who cannot physically go to work. While this should not be done on a general “feeling” of management, this method must take root in the actual use of the workspace. To do this, analysis, using technical tools, makes it possible to reflect the meeting room occupancy rate, optimal placement of rooms, their number, their capacity, etc.

Outside of the workplace, it’s the role of managers that is changing: one of their main missions now is to provide emotional support to employees wherever they are. Too much of a top-down approach pointing to new ways of working will hurt them; It is good to include employees in discussions about the concrete organization of hybrid work. Confidence must be mutual, always on the side of creativity, efficiency and well-being of all parties.

2- Equip yourself with the right tools to make the hybrid work a success

The challenge associated with this new reality is to keep every opportunity for you to ensure quality of exchange among employees. The distance and conditions of video conferencing create more fatigue among the staff, especially due to the increased concentration. For good reason, it is easier to rely on the body language or facial expressions of your conversation to convey your message, which can lead to fatigue and loss of visual acuity.

The goal now is to make sure that long-distance conversations are as normal and fluid as face-to-face exchanges. Some studies show that collaborating on video increases brain fatigue, feelings of overwhelm, and stress. But there is no reason to reject hybrid work outright. Compensation for its imperfections is rather necessary to highlight its valuable assets.

In this case, technical tools can support people at the audio and visual levels. First up: audio. To reduce cognitive effort, smart devices let users know where the sound is coming from and thus clear the boundaries of the viewer’s attention. To analyze the complexities of the human environment one needs to have the most natural possible perception of sound to avoid losing precious seconds. On a visual level, devices that work with artificial intelligence make it possible to redirect the speaker’s gaze to the next so that the latter is directed towards the camera, which enables them to better engage their listeners and therefore humanize the communication.

On the other hand, the technology of wireless devices is also particularly interesting because it allows the freedom of movement of the employee, who is no longer forced to sit down but can find creative ideas while surveying his apartment. Thus, it is pertinent to consider wireless not as a luxury but as an essential productivity lever.

Finally, a smooth transition between different devices from which employees can work – laptops, smartphones, tablets, connected objects – is also possible thanks to an essential, multipoint Bluetooth connection. It is an important technical component in the future service of the work.

Work is no longer just a place where we go, it’s an environment we create, supported by tools to serve a quality user experience. By following this approach, combining new management and sophisticated technological tools, companies will be able to sustain hybrid work.

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