The Future of Work Is Hybrid. Your Technology Should Be Too.

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May 18, 2022

Over the past few years, the digital employee experience has become just as important as the one employees get in their office cubicles. In fact, the two may actually be the same worker since more employees are taking advantage of hybrid and remote work policies. Due to an ongoing pandemic, a tight labor market, and the 11 million jobs available in the country by spring 2022, companies are largely accepting hybrid office models to entice workers back to the office. In a hybrid (or remote) environment, how can we meaningfully communicate, collaborate, and connect?

How can you know which technologies are most important to adopt and which technologies sound great but can't actually be leveraged to bring your employees closer together? More than a third of executives surveyed in Deloitte's 2021 Return to Workplaces survey said that their top concerns were preserving company culture, collaboration, and performance, and with Milner’s guidance, we can make sure any hybrid work models fit your needs. The following are some hybrid workplace technology categories that should be considered for your remote or hybrid workplace model in order to increase collaboration, engagement, and performance.

Ensure Robust Security Measures

Protecting your business and people from online threats and risks using cybersecurity, privacy, and trust practices is imperative for your workforce whether it's remote, hybrid or in-office. To make sure that your employees and your company are protected you'll need to employ a highly developed approach to security. You might be looking at the need to provide internal remote access for employees and external remote access for vendors. This might mean leaving your VPNs behind and trading them in for more secure alternative remote access methods like zero-trust network access and vendor privileged access management. Milner’s team of IT specialists can help run a network assessment of your current technology to provide a holistic snapshot of your IT, as well as ways we can help make your protection measures stronger.

New Opportunities For New Forms of Work

A hybrid or remote process for your company goes well beyond finding the right technology and training your employees on how to use it (and use it consistently), it also involves discovering what tools you can use to make this new work arrangement for you. There are many exciting opportunities to create a robust and flexible hybrid working environment through the use of innovative new technologies. Virtual training and video collaboration tools can take your workforce beyond just everyday video conferencing to increase employee productivity and person-to-person collaboration.

Using team collaboration tools like document synchronization, file sharing, and online whiteboards, ensures that employees have ample opportunities to work together and share information with others. This includes video conferencing software that has incorporated features like transcriptions, whiteboard space, chat functionality and data management, all of which support a hybrid or remote workforce.

Work From the Office, No Matter Where You Are

For remote workers, an organization needs an application that can store and share electronic files instead of paper files. Employees can share anything from documents to videos to software. Using file sharing tools, teams can quickly distribute and transfer files, as well as provide access to other members. These applications remove the file transfer process from email, relieving inboxes from the constant flood of files and notifications. Additionally, document management software allows you to restrict who within your organization can view, edit, and delete documents.

Workflow management tools are also key to maintaining organization and better productivity. Using agile programming tools for teams can be useful not just for tracking ongoing projects, but also for organizing tasks. Different communication tools provide such functions so that workflows can be coordinated more efficiently. To find out more about these communication tools, contact a Milner IT expert to help find the right technology for your business's particular needs.

Use It, or Lose It

Increasingly, organizations are adopting cloud-first strategies to support their hybrid or remote workplace strategies. Employees should have access to technology that will help them work more efficiently, but if they can't use it properly, they will not be able to get the most out of the technology, and you won't see the expected results.

It's also critical that your organization has appropriate training programs in place so that new hires can learn how to effectively utilize all of the tools that you've chosen to implement. Rethinking your approach to onboarding, including the use of a cloud-based onboarding application, can provide flexibility and security as you introduce new employees to their teams and company culture. 

Manage Your Team At Home (or Work), From Home (or Work)

Human capital management (HCM) software is a critical component for any modern organization. A variety of technologies like HR, talent management, workforce management, and analytics fall under this category, allowing management of your office teams in real time in a flexible and effortless manner. HCM systems that enable remote access to all employees are vital to ensuring that it is possible for employees, managers, and HR to access and maintain data.

A hybrid workforce means that employees will be working from your office as well. With smart workplace technology, you can create innovative, efficient and safe offices where your employees will want to work. Invest in tools that leverage IoT and analytics to enable unique use cases tailored to the people you serve. Through the use of space management tools like registration tools and occupancy sensors, facial and voice recognition systems, smart energy solutions, security cameras, capacity management tools, and environmental sensors, your office can be a healthy, secure and efficient place to do business.

Milner Can Help

There will be a continued demand for remote-friendly and hybrid workspaces, so it is important to invest in technology that will enable employees to work from anywhere they choose while ensuring your company's longevity.

Milner has multiple technologies that support any remote, in-office and hybrid workplace model. We can create a comprehensive strategy for any blended workforce and collaborative model of work. Reach out to our IT experts for more information on how we can help your hybrid and remote work arrangements succeed. Or start here by downloading our ebook featuring a helpful checklist to make sure that your business’ remote technology is as secure as possible. 
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