Technology

Twelve things for companies to consider in going hybrid

What are the key dichotomies and decision points that organisations face on the journey to hybrid working? A new report from AV product manufacturer Poly sets out a road map

Hybrid working is here to stay as an increasingly permanent fixture, not a short-term fad, but there’s a lot to think about and many organisations are currently struggling to make the new model a success.

A new report from audio-visual manufacturer Poly, in partnership with WORKTECH Academy, explores twelve considerations for companies to navigate hybrid working and identifies the key challenges around people, technology and spaces that employers face.

Entitled The Journey to Hybrid Working: Twelve Considerations, the whitepaper looks at the differences between in-person and virtual presence in the workplace, and the need to create meeting equality irrespective of where employees are located, utilising the right tools and technologies.

Always-on versus overwork

Key areas that Poly and WORKTECH Academy explore include balancing always-on culture against employee overwork: organisations must clearly outline expectations around digital etiquette in a world where time and place are becoming increasingly blurred.

There should be a redrawing of the rules of informal and formal collaboration for a hybrid workforce: organisations must really understand their workforce to understand behaviours and preferences. And the benefits of personalised versus standardised approaches to hybrid working should be weighed up: organisations should balance being prescriptive, and allowing employees choice and personalisation on how they work and collaborate.

Seeking sense of belonging

The report looks at how companies can provide psychological comfort as well as physical safety for people: hybrid work environments will need the right technology investment to extend employees’ sense of purpose and belonging outside the office. Companies will be required to create workplaces that are inclusive by design, not simply diverse: equality of experience will be at the heart of inclusive organisations that allows everyone to feel involved regardless of their location and individual characteristics.

The final consideration on the journey to hybrid involves taking a polycentric rather than a monocentric approach to organizing work, accepting that there are now several centres for working, not just one, and there should be a rethink of the end user support infrastructure.

Recognising inherent dichotomies

Poly is working with the research team at WORKTECH Academy on a rolling programme to create new thinking, define the main challenges and explore emerging opportunities around hybrid working. The findings in this report identify key themes that will be addressed in subsequent research and analysis.

Jeremy Myerson, Director at WORKTECH Academy, explains: ‘For organisations to seize the opportunities created by hybrid working, first they have to understand the complex contours of the model and recognise some inherent dichotomies. Our first report with Poly sets out some of the key debates around hybrid working and sets an agenda for employees to equip themselves to face a flexible future with confidence.’

‘This sets an agenda for employees to equip themselves to face a flexible future with confidence…’

John Goodwin, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs at Poly, comments: ‘Our data found that, within the organisations we surveyed, 59 per cent have already adopted a hybrid approach. The same survey found that 37 per cent of decision makers said they are prepared for hybrid working in the short-term, but they haven’t thought about their long-term plans. Key to this will be understanding how to make the most of your spaces, how best your people work, and where to best invest your money in technologies that will enable a seamless hybrid experience.’

The Journey to Hybrid Working: Twelve Considerations report highlights the latest research and workplace surveys in the field, including Poly’s own study of more than 2,500 decision makers from firms with over 100 employees. Launched to coincide with the ISE (Integrated Systems Europe) exhibition in Barcelona on 10 May 2022, the paper is available here.

Poly is a Corporate Member of WORKTECH Academy
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