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Ensuring Business Continuity In A Hybrid Work Environment
The past couple of years have posed severe challenges to businesses all over the world. About 88% of organizations around the globe offered remote work options to employees during the pandemic. However, in 2021, it is all about hybrid work.
The sudden surge and need for remote working placed a lot of strain on business continuity. Businesses had to quickly reform their policies, embrace and accelerate digital transformation, set up the necessary IT infrastructure, train their staff, and do a lot more within a short period. These efforts did take a considerable amount of investment and organizational restructuring. But right now, the tables have turned.
As the world reels back from the clutches of the COVID—19 pandemic, employees are starting to get back to their office desks. And now, there is an imperative need for hybrid workspaces that flow seamlessly from remote to in-office environments. This has made businesses rethink the way their workflows should be designed.
What Is a Hybrid Work Environment?
There are many variations to how a hybrid work can be implemented. In essence, it is a flexible work arrangement where the employees choose to work on-site and remotely, even from their homes. But the level of flexibility and the rights to full-time remote or full-time on-site could depend on how the company chooses to adopt the hybrid working model.
The hybrid working model combines the best of both worlds and allows for both cost and resource optimizations. Companies can save on rental and electricity expenses and improve work-life balance for their employees.
Hybrid workplaces are much better equipped to help with the business continuity and resilience of a company. It helps with the three critical components of business continuity:
- Remote working/Working from home. A growing number of best talent prefers to work with companies that allow for flexible working options. In the current environment where the competition for talent is steep, it is worth keeping in mind—hybrid work may make your company much more attractive to qualified candidates and expand your access to the talent pool.
- Agile work culture. Agility—the ability to work flexibly and produce value continuously—is built into the core company culture when it adopts hybrid work models, allowing it to face challenges proactively and to overtake the competition.
- Better scalability. Hybrid workplaces make extensive use of cloud solutions that take care of all scalability concerns a company may have without bleeding cash for constant hardware and staffing updates.
How To Ensure Business Continuity With Hybrid Work Environment
Starting from IT hardware to network connectivity, productivity, and project management, businesses need to think about the long-term impact of implementing hybrid work models.
This includes plans for enabling employees to work safely, be it a regular workday or a disastrous weather condition. You also need to consider and restrict the work that can be strictly done only on-premises and tasks that can be successfully carried out in a hybrid model. Here are some basic factors that should be considered for the successful implementation of hybrid work.
Cloud computing ensures that your hybrid workers can switch from one device to another on the go. This means they can access a folder from their office one day, and then hop right back into it from home, whether they are using the same laptop or not. You can choose cloud computing plans based on your specific needs and scale up and down as needed. Some popular cloud-based services include Google Drive, Dropbox, iDrive, and Microsoft OneDrive.
A safer, more scalable and efficient solution for hybrid work is a virtual office. At the core of it is still cloud infrastructure which is overlaid with an “office” environment. This means your employees will be signing into their virtual office before accessing any internal tools, whether they are working remotely or at their office desks. A virtual office provides an added layer of protection again cyberthreats and unsafe networks while allowing for a seamless transition between remote and in-office work.
Remote Collaboration Tools
Remote collaboration tools are essential to ensure that every member of the team is on the same page and heard and the versions of documents are controlled. Tools for hybrid teams help in the effortless allocation of tasks, project planning, and scheduling, as well as collecting feedback in real-time. For project management, Jira, Asana, Basecamp, Zoho, Monday.com and others keep everyone informed and accountable. Tools like Figma, Adobe XD, Office 365, Google Docs, etc. allow for real-time remote collaboration and can be accessed from anywhere.
With the advent of remote teams, the culture of working across devices is on the rise. Give it a thought. Your employees check their emails in the morning on smartphones. Post that, they switch to laptops and other hardware. Thus, it is necessary to provide them with a seamless hardware experience to check in anytime and keep themselves updated with the assigned tasks. Many firms choose to issue laptops to their staff instead of desktops—it is more convenient and allows employees to bring their work laptops home to continue their work. If you stick with desktops, think about what devices your employees use when working remotely, and ensure they are up to snuff technologically and secure. A virtual office is a must in the latter scenario.
To ensure business continuity in a hybrid work environment, onboarding tools and training platforms must be moved beyond the conference rooms. Modern learning management software includes the optimum use of new features to make way for an enlightening experience. These include the right usage of interactive quizzes and variable-speed videos. The biggest advantage of virtual training is its asynchronous pace—employees can complete required training at their own pace by the set due date—and endless scalability.
New Telephony Solutions
Office phone networks with hardwired phones are the instruments of the past. Although companies are switching to cell phones, office phone networks are still widely used. Advanced phone networks that keep you connected on the move while offering all the features of the conventional setup are getting popular. Think of Google Voice and Microsoft Teams. These tools can forward calls as needed and integrate well with the public switched telephone network (PSTN).
Undoubtedly, hybrid work culture is here to stay. It is essential to upgrade your business operations with the latest tools and technology to ensure that the business continuity is not compromised at any point in time. Do you need a hand setting up a hybrid work environment for your organization? Schedule your FREE 30-minute consultation to get started.