By Prangya Pandab - September 16, 2022 4 Mins Read
For collaboration to be effective, every employee in the hybrid workplace must be connected and able to participate equally. Updated practices and methods and enhanced tools can be beneficial.
When COVID-19 hit, many enterprises were already implementing or planning digital transformation plans; nonetheless, the pandemic compelled those businesses to accelerate their efforts. Enterprises rushed to roll out collaboration tools as remote work became the norm rather than the exception, allowing employees to collaborate and stay productive from different locations.
Companies now need to take into account what collaboration will look like in the post-pandemic environment as hybrid work and return-to-office ramp up.
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Organizations are attempting to strike the proper balance in the hybrid workplace between providing remote workers with the flexibility they require to be productive and making sure the technology also meets the demands of in-office employees. Therefore, companies realize that they need to implement regulations regarding how employees will properly engage with one another when it comes to collaboration tools.
Businesses must ensure that employees have access to the right information at the right time, regardless of where they are situated or the devices they are using. And providers of collaboration tools are working to increase and enhance the capabilities of their solutions to fulfil these business needs.
Enhanced Collaboration Tools for the Future
For frontline or desk-less employees to feel connected, organizations must also implement technology that promotes collaboration. Desk-less employees often lack access to the corporate intranet, training sessions, or conference calls, which keep teams connected. These employees might not have the time to attend a meeting or might not be able to stop what they are doing to find desktop PCs with the latest collaboration tools. Instead, they often utilize their own, less secure mobile devices and apps to stay connected.
As a result, companies must focus on enhancing the ability of desk-less workers to engage with co-workers wherever they may be. Using desk-less apps is one method for businesses to achieve this.
Stress Around Hybrid Work and Collaboration
When it comes to hybrid work, there is tension surrounding collaboration. Organizations have discovered that when some employees work in the office and others work outside the office, the technology that works when people are entirely remote needs to be changed or modified.
Hybrid meetings are a good example. Everybody appears in the same size rectangle on the screen when using videoconferencing systems, which puts everyone on an equal footing. To ensure that everyone can participate, businesses have established best practices, such as encouraging employees to add new ideas using the chat feature. Businesses can return to pre-pandemic dynamics when an all-remote meeting is transformed into a hybrid meeting, with the exception that fewer employees are present in the meeting room and a greater proportion work remotely.
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The technology must enable the host, who may be running the meeting in the office, to see everyone who is remote as life-size as possible. A host of an in-person meeting must be able to hear everyone, see the participants and the content, as well as look at the various digital signals that the remote participants are transmitting.
The meeting experience can feel equal for everyone with the help of new features in video meeting software. Also, meeting room hardware today provides hybrid-friendly features such as sound-level adjustments for softer and louder voices, the ability to identify and frame each in-office participant automatically, and other improvements to enhance the experience for remote participants. These kinds of technological adjustments in meetings are required for hybrid work to be successful over the long term.
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Prangya Pandab is an Associate Editor with OnDot Media. She is a seasoned journalist with almost seven years of experience in the business news sector. Before joining ODM, she was a journalist with CNBC-TV18 for four years. She also had a brief stint with an infrastructure finance company working for their communications and branding vertical.
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