Employees throughout the world have begun to settle into the routines of remote work after COVID-19 upended people’s lives. As the dust settles, businesses are considering the best option for their employees: the hybrid workplace model.
Even as fears about multiple COVID-19 variants grow, many organizations believe the worst of the pandemic is over and are preparing for the long-awaited “return to work.” While some CEOs believe this will result in a return to the traditional office setting, it is becoming clear that many businesses will adjust to a “more flexible, forgiving work environment.”
While hybridization is important for understanding the future of employment, it incorporates a variety of trends. Here are a few emerging concerns that technology leaders should keep an eye on and manage as the transformation unfolds.
Output and productivity
On the whole, many businesses and managers discovered that productivity remained strong throughout remote workdays. According to a 2020 survey by Mercer, “The new shape of work is flexibility for all” the vast majority of employers claimed their organization productivity was the same or higher than before the outbreak (90%).
What happens, though, when some of the team members return to the office? To analyze employee productivity in the future, industry experts recommend selecting important productivity metrics to monitor on a weekly and/or monthly basis.
Resilience enabled by automation
Many IT leaders are focusing on growing intelligent automation as a result of the stay-at-home directive, which highlighted the benefits of greater automation for business continuity concerns. CIOs are considering which technology investments best position their organizations for long-term success as businesses shift to a new era of hybrid work.
CIOs increasingly understand how these technologies provide the speed, efficiency, and productivity required to function in a hybrid workplace, as well as freeing employees from mundane, repetitive, and time-consuming chores.
As hybrid work becomes the new normal, it’s critical to recognize where employees’ tasks might be more productive. Employees who work remotely are more inclined to work longer hours; automated workflows or low-code platforms can expedite processes and increase employee productivity and happiness in the long run by alleviating the weight of administrative work.
Anxiety and mental health
There has been a considerable increase in the number of employees who are dealing with mental health and anxiety issues. According to a Gallup study conducted in December 2020, “Americans’ Mental Health Ratings Sink to New Low” Americans’ perceptions of their mental health were worse than at any time in the previous two decades.
While this tendency may subside with time, employee well-being will be a key metric to keep an eye on. During this hybrid transformation, IT executives should redouble their efforts to care for their employees’ health and establish strategies to assess stress and burnout.
The transition to remote work has revealed a great deal about how people operate best. Non-traditional hours and routines can produce greater results for some people.
As businesses embrace the hybrid model, each individual should be given the opportunity to speak up about what works best for them, and teams should be flexible enough to adapt as needs change. Allowing flexibility in the workplace can ease the transition back to work, which will improve employee happiness and retention. Every employee is unique, and it is the role of the leader to ensure that they are supported in delivering their best work.
Transparency to the extreme
During remote work, the benefits of C-suite transparency were evident, and transparency will become even more important for a physically separated team. Transparency is critical when discussing company changes from the executive suite down.
Expectations should be communicated upfront in such a way that every employee and executive is held accountable during the transition. This method makes everyone feel more connected, knowledgeable, and at ease while expressing their choices.