What does Productivity Anywhere mean? Adopting a hybrid work environment to keep employees happy is one thing, but strategically investing in the right tools and solutions to ensure success is a greater feat. The rapid implementation of this environment had office leaders seeking workplace innovation, once considered fringe, now a necessity to enhance effectiveness.
Recall in Part 1 of this series we covered how the professional world was changed. In Part 2 we identified a new set of challenges that were introduced and the very important business decisions that came with it. In this final part of the Office of the Future blog series, we have compiled some strategies for your hybrid workforce that can elevate your team’s performance whether they are working in the main office, a satellite location, at home, or from the road.
The “New Way Of Working” is Here to Stay
A recent Gallup survey about the state of the workplace yielded the following insights:
- An estimated 70 million workers say their job duties can be performed remotely from home
- 80% of the people surveyed say they are currently working at least part of their week at home, while only 20% say that they are back on-site fulltime
- The long-term trend for permanent remote arrangements in the workplace is projected to decrease as employers are increasingly favouring the hybrid model.
Office cubes and desks have become noticeably emptier on a daily basis, not because of fewer employees, rather from co-workers rotating between in office and remote working on regular intervals and from others that have taken their work tasks entirely remote. These underutilized desks can have a negative psychological impact on staff that are in the building and even negatively impact your bottom line.
Transforming the Traditional Office
With fewer employees working on-premise on a given day, downsizing the office itself is an economically prudent solution to managing costs. However, for organizations that have embraced the new way of working, those empty desks represent an opportunity for leaders to increase the return on value of the existing physical space.
Designing and implementing an effective Flexible Office Plan can activate empty desks and underutilized spaces while providing employees a variety of different ways to work on premise.
With the objective of providing teams with the freedom to choose how and where they work, flexible office spaces need to be designed with versatility and collaboration in mind. As an example, underutilized workspaces can be converted into whiteboarding areas, informal collaborative spaces, quiet areas, dedicated content recording setups, and Breakout areas.
The surrounding empty desks can make the typical office setup feel even less populated. In a Hot Desking environment, employees do not have a pre-assigned seat, but are instead assigned desk upon arrival. Similar to co-working spaces, Hot Desking allows employees to sit as near, or as far, from other employees to improve their work experience.
Hot Desking is a great way to support the hybrid workforce, enhance in-office productivity, enforce 6S Six Sigma principles, and ensure that everyone has a seat with everything they need to perform their job functions when they need it.
Office leaders can allocate pools of desks to certain departments or cross-functional teams to support collaboration and improve the effectiveness of the system. Check out this article for more things to consider about implementing a Hot Desking system.
Improving on the 40-year-old concept of Hot Desking, Office Hoteling rises to meet the demands of a true hybrid workforce. Through a central booking system, employees can reserve workspaces, conference rooms, creative spaces, and other collaborative teamwork areas in advance or during a workday. Office Hoteling ensures that employees arrive to the office with no risk of not finding a suitable desk to work at. Additionally, teams and individuals can reserve the spaces they need to collaborate as a group with access to materials, breakout spaces, and conference rooms. Click here for more information about flexible workspaces, particularly the advantages that Office Hoteling offers.
“Productivity Anywhere” Solutions
As organizations find their workforce equilibrium, a demand for new solutions to support a “productivity anywhere” philosophy has emerged. Business leaders are searching for new tools and innovating processes to equip their employees with the necessary resources to be just as productive at home as they are in the office. As a result, many long-lasting, paper-based activities are finding a modern equivalent, or what is better known as a “digital office solution.”
A Digital Print solution brings all the in-house print capabilities, and those of outsource vendors, together under one umbrella so that your staff is guaranteed the most cost-effective fulfilment of their printing needs. No matter where they are, employees can use the web-to-print interface to order professional printing services, and have it delivered wherever they need it. Whether it’s business cards, branded stationary, forms, professional presentations, or even a bulk mailing, a Digital Print solution provides employees with a simple to use interface through which they can choose from standardized templates or upload their own documents.
Digital Records Management
To be effective, a hybrid workforce needs access to documents while minimizing risk. Simply put, a Digital Records Management System transforms physical documents into fully searchable, digital records, stored in a secure cloud environment. No longer will important HR files, invoices, claims, and other transactional documents need to leave the office for processing by remote staff.
With the support of AI and machine learning algorithms, these digitized records are indexed and sorted for rapid access wherever your staff may be while greatly improving overall process cycle times. In addition, a properly implemented system also provides a standardized method of storing and retention of paper documents where they are secured until approved for secure destruction.
Despite reductions in volume over the years, physical mail, especially transactional mail, remains omnipresent in business operations and communications. In support of the “productivity anywhere” philosophy, Digital Mail is the process of converting incoming physical pieces of mail into an electronic format that is securely delivered to the people that need it, where they need it. Digital Mail puts mail into the hands of your staff much more efficiently than traditional mail sweeps and seeks to further optimize mail operations by eliminating unwanted mail from the system.
Flexible office plans and digital solutions provide a hybrid workforce with the tools and resources that allow them to collaborate effectively and improve their efficiency no matter where they are. These were just a few concepts that can be explored to meet the needs of your organization.
Click here to learn more about Productivity Anywhere and other Office of the Future solutions that support the productivity anywhere philosophy and provide a hybrid workforce with the right tools for the job.