With the adoption of digital technologies in every facet of an enterprise, along with individuals increasingly embracing the remote work model, CIOs should start designing their technical initiatives around a hybrid workplace.
Organizations were compelled to operate remotely in 2020, with no end in sight. As the effects of the pandemic slowly start to recede in certain regions of the world, enterprises are beginning to open their offices. However, as employees have become more accustomed to working remotely, businesses need to reconsider how they will utilize their office spaces.
Organizations should rethink their workspaces in order to transform them into much more than just a place where people come to work. These places should now serve as a collaboration hub, a cultural hub, and a center for innovation. The CIO plays a significant role in this.
Since enterprises will have to embrace the hybrid workplace in the post-pandemic world, CIOs should take necessary steps to redefine the new work culture. They should collaborate with their counterparts to understand employee behaviors, needs and motivations. Then, in this new hybrid workspace, they can implement solutions and services to meet these needs.
Below are the three strategies that CIOs can adopt to design and implement a successful hybrid workplace:
The preferences of employees for working from office or remotely are continuously changing, therefore CIOs should keep this in mind. In fact, as per a 2021 research done by Microsoft of 30,000 employees in 31 countries shows that 70 percent of people want the best of both worlds. This fluctuation in the opinions of employees can make it difficult for enterprises to plan for, invest in, and deploy new and improved technology. Hence, CIOs should support their enterprise to recognize and work with understandable human emotions while also providing data-driven insights to help them remain flexible.
Craft for a digital world
As the pandemic drove CIOs to implement remote working models at a rapid pace, they should keep in mind that the majority of the workforce will be working remotely at some point in the week for the next few years.
In fact, a recent article published by Harvard Business Review states that physical spaces, based on the hybrid design will become “primarily a culture space, providing workers with a social anchor, facilitating connections, enabling learning, and fostering unscripted, innovative collaboration.” Therefore, CIOs should design hybrid workplaces that support working groups as well as individuals connecting from different locations along with evolving IT changes. They should also communicate with their HR department to address concerns or issues among employees around the tech in the workplace.
Create initiatives around moments
Today’s technological solutions operating on a robust IT infrastructure allow co-workers to collaborate like never before. Though onboarding has become much more seamless when compared to the pre-pandemic times, the issue of fostering culture and loyalty when almost every interaction is digital and pre-scheduled becomes difficult. To resolve this issue, CIOs should view their offices as more than just a place for every day. They should collaborate with their counterparts to use the physical spaces for moments such as team meetings, regular in-person conversations and much more. Employees will benefit from such initiatives not only in terms of increasing their confidence in their abilities, but also in terms of reducing digital fatigue.
Shaping the future
Given the disruptions as a result of the pandemic, decisions about when or whether to embrace hybrid workplaces are dominating executive conversations these days. CIOs should actively take part in these discussions in order to shape these decisions and, by extension, the future of their companies.