The hybrid workplace! Is it the new future?

The organizational skills of the employees help them adapt to changing times. Technological upheavals, demographic changes, changing work cultures and travel are factors of change. Most organizations seamlessly and relentlessly embraced these changes. But the isolation caused by the pandemic was a change unexpected for an entire globe, including the hybrid workplace.

Businesses, leaders and the workforce have made a phenomenal transition to a remote work model. Without adding to the anxiety associated with workflow management teams, they collaborated virtually and adapted the new truth and change in record time.

The number of people wanting to work remotely or in a hybrid workplace has increased in the wake of the pandemic. A hybrid model is not a makeshift adaptation. As companies grapple with change, they have recognized that they need to make the necessary changes to integrate a hybrid workplace and be future-ready.

response to the change

Organizations around the world are adapting to the changing workplace model by leveraging technology and AI-driven solutions. Technological advances and individual skills are important, however, but can only complement an employee’s ability and willingness to endure the obstacles to change.

The mandate for any change that affects a large portion of the workforce is leadership support and empathy. A skilled workforce will only deliver if they can adapt and retrain as needed.

According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), 42% of the core skills required for a job will change. It also means that companies need to invest in reskilling their employees to be successful in the future.

Enabling a future-ready workforce

Organizations that recognize the importance of adapting to change will be successful in the future. Post-pandemic, multiple studies conducted by independent consultants and labor statistics reports pointed to a single focus as the solution to most problems — a hybrid workplace model that represents an influx of change that is accepted by a majority of the workforce.

The corporate world is adapting its hiring strategies to accommodate a future-ready workforce that is not limited to people, location, work type and technology. Let’s look at some steps to help build a future-ready workforce

  • Establish an efficient hybrid workplace model that enriches the employee experience
  • Be open to using technology and automation to allow the human workforce to take on elevated roles that include skills such as interacting with customers.
  • Hire contract workers and freelancers for jobs that can be delegated to temporary workers.
  • Use analytics to determine positions that require direct workers, the jobs that are cumbersome and need to be automated, and the types that require a temp worker who can freelance.

Let’s discuss the above steps in detail to understand what is required in a real-time situation:

Creation of a hybrid workplace

As employees count on working in a hybrid workplace model as it brings with it the ability to work remotely a few days a week, companies must prepare for a seamless transition to match the employee experience with the traditional model.

For a smooth experience and fewer hiccups, organizations should follow certain steps:

1. Talk to the workforce

The hybrid model can establish itself as a voluntary model or as a split-week model. Which aspects are to be considered here is determined by the requirements of the workflow management and the opinion of the workforce.

When a team’s goals are met through personal reporting by all members on specific days, the split-week model is an ideal option for the hybrid model. But if all or part of the workforce can choose which days they want to work remotely and which days they come into a regular office, then a voluntary hybrid model is a good option.

2. Improving employee experience

In a traditional personal model, managers can see more of their teams. You can assess them for signs of cognitive behavior and talk to them if necessary. But in a remote or hybrid model, managers have limited visibility. Virtual meetings bridge the gap, but not the whole. This is the main reason for managers to expand their communication channels.

They need to keep asking their employees for their opinions and assessing how they are feeling; when working in isolation.

use technology

AI-driven solutions, machine learning with third-party API integration, and semantics that anticipate end-user needs are great tools when used efficiently to automate the repetitive process and increase the accuracy of the result.

temporary workers

If a job can be done from anywhere and there are highly skilled freelancers or contract workers looking for temporary assignments, consider hiring them. A hybrid workforce includes both temporary and permanent employees. Freelancers work efficiently and do not contribute to company pension costs, which are significant costs for a company.

Make data-driven decisions

To understand which roles can be automated, the level of automation needed to add value to the customer experience, the number of employees required for direct roles, and the percentage of jobs to be filled, a company needs to analyze its data investigate.

Analytics focuses on the skills and abilities needed to support new workplace models. A deeper understanding of the semantics stimulates an integrated hybrid workforce as a strategic management decision that helps develop and nurture the right culture. The judicious use of labor for a particular job and the skills required are determined through analysis.

Conclusion

In summary, the transition to a hybrid workplace model is the new normal. It may not be possible to make all decisions related to setting up a hybrid model in advance. It will be a bit of trial and error before your business can find the optimal balance.

As mentioned, it is good practice to ask staff; what support they need to feel socially included while still maintaining their work-life balance and focusing on their productivity.

Done right, a hybrid workplace model can help a company access talent and reduce costs while prioritizing employees.

Hybrid workplace article and permission to publish here provided by Mariana Wilona. Originally written for Supply Chain Game Changer and published on September 9th, 2022.

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