Employers Pick Software to Connect With Workers Amid Hybrid Shift
The hybrid work model is one of the most trending phrases today globally. Businesses worldwide came to a standstill with the rising COVID pandemic. As the situation prolonged beyond expectations, companies began looking for ways to survive and gradually resurge. Moreover, businesses realized the need to adapt to such unprecedented incidents by restructuring their operations to a hybrid-friendly work structure so that the work continues unaffected.
- Software tools, including employee scheduling software, have notably contributed to making hybrid working easier for all the stakeholders.
- According to Market Watch, the Global Employee Scheduling Software market size will reach USD 683.9 million by 2027, escalating at a CAGR of 12.1% from 2021 to 2027.
- Gartner indicates that organizations are adapting to a post-Covid hybrid working model that includes permanently higher adoption of digital touchpoints.
- “To support the rapid transition to a distributed workforce, many technology leaders shored up their technology infrastructures and deployed tools that virtually and securely bring people together and help them collaborate,” mentions Deloitte.
- 62% of the executives are ready to invest in tools for a complete digital transformation.
How did we get here?
#1. Hybrid Shift Is the New Normal
The hybrid work model is work-oriented. It combines working from home, from the office, and working flexibly in one’s most productive hours. Some companies follow a remote, occasional office working model where employees are only called to the office for important meetings. Others are allowing employees to cover a few hours from the office and the rest from home.
Another form of hybrid work model that companies are leveraging is working from home with flexible working hours where employees can choose their work hours; for example, employees are allowed to cover their 8 working hours anytime between morning 8 a.m. to evening 8 p.m.
Besides, some employers have permanently shifted a large part of their workforce to a work-from-home model, and only a few employees will continue to work from the office if their work demands. For this, they have identified specific job roles that cannot be justifiably or conveniently managed in a work-from-home structure, such as supervisory and technical support profiles requiring office presence.
Apart from the work structure, the hybrid shift has changed the work management psychology altogether. Employers are now focusing on work productivity and performance more than the conventional fixed work hours system.
Initially, the hybrid work model faced resistance from companies as this required a significant innovation and alteration in the way people work. Despite apprehensions and challenges, businesses now accept the hybrid work model as the best survival mode during uncertainties.
According to Accenture, 63% of high-growth companies have already adopted the hybrid work model. The study also reveals that 83% of workers prefer the hybrid work model. These remarkable statistics further strengthen the growing need for modification in the work structure to accommodate this new model and go digital.
Businesses can implement the hybrid model successfully by adopting the right software tools. These tools help enhance communication/coordination, share documents, conduct meetings, track employee performance, and more.
#2. How Are Employers Embracing the Hybrid Shift as an Opportunity to Return Back to Work?
Employers are now welcoming the hybrid model as the opportunity to return to work fully. Here is what companies are doing to ensure a better transition to the hybrid shift.
Switching to a Remote-Friendly Way of Working
- Shift to online communication
- Virtual meetings/events instead of face-to-face interactions
- Adopting technology and the right software tools to improve communication and collaboration
- Ensuring remote employees are not left out in important group meetings
Providing All the Necessary Apparatus
- Making sure that employees have all the necessary apparatus, hardware, and software available
- Some companies are providing financial support for internet and desktop/laptops
- For job roles that handle sensitive data, companies ensure implementing the necessary security measures and protocols
Changes in Office Infrastructure
- Redesigning the workspace according to the needs of departments or profiles that need to work from the office
- Providing multiple enclosed spaces, cabins, or meeting rooms where managers can conduct online meetings without disturbance
- Keeping some extra desks in the office for work from home employees to use if they need to work from the office occasionally; for example, if an employee is facing difficulties with the home internet connection, he/she can work from the office for that day
Implementing Flexible Working
- Focusing on work performance more than fixed/defined work hours
- Flexible work timings, login, and logout
- Drafting new policies to accommodate the hybrid model
- Maintaining productivity
- Ensuring employee engagement
- Planning and sending meeting alerts well in advance to make sure that relevant employees are available for the meetings
#3. The Role of Technology in Establishing a Sustainable Hybrid Shift Environment
Various software tools can support the adoption of a hybrid work model for both the employer and employee, including:
Human resource management functions are sensitive and difficult to control in remote or hybrid working. HR software or human resource management systems (HRMS) are a collection of software tools designed to automate and manage end-to-end HR processes. These tools support the hassle-free execution of the hybrid work structure.
The software provides tools for recruitment management, onboarding, attendance & leave management, payroll management, employee management, compliance management, performance management, feedback management, and more.
Workforce performance management, a significant HR function, is no longer complex. Performance management software offers human resource managers tools for continuous performance monitoring and control to enable convenient adoption of the hybrid work model.
The software offers tools for 360-degree feedback, collaboration, goal setting, performance reviews, rewards & recognition, applicant tracking, employee development, and reporting & analytics.
Tracking work time and managing multiple shifts can be a significant challenge in adopting the hybrid model. Employee scheduling software helps manage various shifts. The software also sends out alerts/notifications as needed, thus ensuring enhanced work efficiency in a hybrid work structure.
Time tracking systems enable employers to monitor and control employees’ working hours through its wide range of tools. These include billable hours, employee database, time tracking, analytics & reporting, timesheet management, shift management, vacation/leave tracking, overtime calculation, and more.
Remote monitoring tools are time and work tracking software specifically designed to track and manage remote workers and workflow. These make remote working and thus the hybrid work model as simple as working from the office by providing greater visibility and transparency to the supervisors/managers.
Remote monitoring software tools include tracking and monitoring unlimited endpoints, automated device identification, bandwidth analysis, security and data backup, network topology mapping, data analytics, live connect, session latency oversight, private remote control sessions, patch management, and remediation management.
Conventional office working requires face-to-face interaction. The hybrid work model demands a system that can control the entire interaction and work management with just the relevant staff’s virtual presence.
Communication and collaboration systems offer comprehensive features to help employees and managers achieve perfect virtual interaction and work collaboration, including document management, document sharing, synchronous editing, chat platforms, emailing, group meetings, and video conferencing tools to support hybrid working.
Many companies dealing with confidential work data are apprehensive about adopting the hybrid work model for security concerns. Security systems offer various tools to ensure data and network security in hybrid working equally as in the conventional working model.
The prominent features of security software include access control, real-time monitoring, intrusion detection, threat management, vulnerability scanning, and compliance management.
Project management requires diligent monitoring and control of various intricate functions. It becomes further challenging in a hybrid model with employees working from different locations and in varying time slots. Project management software provides extensive features to cover all minute processes and requirements, ensuring easy hybrid shift for companies.
Prominent project management tools include idea management, portfolio management, project tracking, project planning, reporting and forecasting, resource management, task management, workflow management, expense tracking, timesheets, collaboration, document management, and customizable dashboard.
Another crucial business function that involves sensitive data and demands utmost accuracy is the accounting process. Accounting/financial tracking and reporting software tools enable all accounting and related functions on a unified platform, allowing accounting personnel to work anytime and from anywhere and ensure accurate work even in a hybrid work environment, with convenience.
The software offers extensive features like accounts receivable, accounts payable, billing & invoicing, budgeting & forecasting, payroll management, inventory management, cash flow management, fixed assets management, and reporting.
While training is presumed to be a face-to-face interactive process, advanced online tools have proved that employee training can be conducted equally or even more efficiently in a virtual setup with online training software. These tools offer a virtual classroom environment where trainers can effortlessly interact and share information remotely with the trainees in the hybrid work model.
Online training software provides registration management, course management, trainer/trainee portal, e-learning tools, certification management, marketing, analytics, and reporting tools.
The hybrid work model seems to be the future of work and is here to stay. Employers have accepted this fact and are embracing the hybrid shift as an opportunity to return to work and perform better than ever.
George Penn from Gartner rightly quoted, “Success in a hybrid work environment requires employers to move beyond viewing remote or hybrid environments as a temporary or short-term strategy and to treat it as an opportunity.”
Follow these practices and leverage technology to adopt and endorse the hybrid work model for a better tomorrow.
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