With the work from anywhere and hybrid models continuing to become a norm, CIOs should take initiatives that will ensure its seamless implementation.
2020 witnessed the rise of millions of new “workplace” – dining room tables, room couches, and more as employees found themselves performing their jobs in unfamiliar settings. As time passed, most organizations leveraging the power of technology and resilience not only were able to adopt the new way of working but potentially thrive in it. In fact, as per PwC’s “Remote Work US Survey 2021“, 83% of employers say the shift to remote work has been successful for their company. Moreover, 97% of employees want to work in a remote setting at least part of the time for the rest of their careers, as per Buffer’s “The 2021 State of Remote Work” report. This is leading to many organizations incorporating these stats into their long-term plans.
However, as many organizations are planning to return-to-office and working on hybrid work plans, they do not have a clear roadmap to develop a clear remote model. Meaning, CIOs and HR leaders will continue to identify best strategies as they navigate through a potentially significant shift in how they operate. Here are the best practices that they should keep in mind to ensure a seamless transition for all employees in a remote working environment.
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Planning for the work-from-anywhere model
As organizations plan to reopen their offices, the executive leadership teams have invested considerable time reconfiguring physical workspaces to meet social distancing mandates. Additionally, they have invested a significant amount of time on best accommodating the employees that will work within them. But, there are still a lot of questions and unknowns they have to deal with on how their employees can work physically and remotely without hampering their work.
CIOs and HR leaders should emphasize developing successful routines that they have developed during the work-from-home era. They should gather the insights of the remote work and create strategies on how to incorporate them into a hybrid format. CIOs and the positions with most employee interactions should push for providing more flexibility for their employees as they prepare their organizations for a hybrid work future.
Navigating the intersection of people and technology
Collaboration tools and platforms have played a crucial role in helping organizations retain and extend the productivity of the employees in remote work environments. Many organizations are significantly taking steps to invest in technologies that will digitally enable employee interaction and collaboration. However, deploying collaboration and conferencing tools is not enough.
Organizations should know how they change their employees’ behavior to use these technologies effectively. They should ensure that employees receive a seamless and secure experience in both online and in office environments. For CIOs, it means that it should take the form of operational and capital expenditure, building a flexible employee experience via interactions with service providers, infrastructure vendors, etc. They should push for advancement in certain features while minimizing others depending on the needs of their employees and hybrid work preference.
Preparing for risks
As the global workforce goes through a massive shift, it is critical for employers to ensure their digital safety. While organizations previously always had contingency and mitigation plans in place for business continuity challenges, the onset of COVID turned out to be a realized external risk that they had planned but didn’t expect. With employees and devices continuing to connect remotely and as well opt for hybrid work models, a host of new and existing security risks are introduced. For CIOs and HR leaders, this risk has taken the form of new challenges to tackle that COVID and remote work has brought. They should work together to create messaging and educational assets that teach employees on how they can deal with these challenges.