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Creating a flexible, hybrid model for productivity anywhere

By Brian Trampler, senior product and strategy manager, Black Box

Brian Trampler

Today, the fundamentals of how work gets done have changed dramatically. As employees become able to return safely to the office, organisations must reimagine how people gather, work, communicate, and collaborate. The workforce has already awakened to the new reality that where they live no longer governs how and where they work. Daily commutes and 40-hour plus work weeks may not work for them anymore. All signs indicate that this pandemic-fuelled shift will continue to influence how work gets done, whether your team is on-site, at home, or a hybrid of the two. 

It’s clear that a reimagined hybrid workplace, driven by intelligent technology, is the future.  

Returning to the workplace

From the front door to the office area and beyond, the workspace must be configured for health and safety as well as new work patterns, preferences, and technologies. In the past, conference areas may have been designed for a multitude of uses, but today’s solutions require a consistent, seamless experience suited to the size and the dynamics of the meeting. On a smaller scale, huddle rooms or pods can provide a personal space for focus, or facilitate small, important one-on-one meetings for sharing ideas, mentoring, or coaching. These small footprint solutions allow more conventional meeting rooms to be used to their full potential for larger gatherings. For many organisations, such a distributed mix of collaborative spaces is an ideal solution for today and into the future.

Reconnecting for seamless collaboration 

Ultimately, the role of the room should be to enhance meaningful team engagement. Technology is the key to ensuring that the hybrid workplace supports collaboration along with agile teams and workflows. Congested WiFi connections, poor lighting, and acoustics, or user interfaces that are different when used in the office than when operated remotely, are not conducive to a productive, rewarding collaboration. Instead, take advantage of advanced technologies like AI, machine learning, and IoT devices to recognise user needs and preferences, providing each location with an identical experience. Optimise your infrastructure for the coming waves of wireless, security, networking, and smart building technologies, to provide seamless, secure operation from anywhere.

Reimagining the connected workplace of the future

Retooling and future-proofing your organisation through technology ensures you not only survive but thrive, in the next business disruption. It’s a new era of work, and hybrid workplaces bring together the best of both worlds. Companies that strive to create this kind of hybrid workplace should consider a three-step approach:

  1. In house: Approach configuration options with consistency as the driver. To flatten the learning curve, employees should have to master only one type of collaborative hardware/software solution. 
  2. In cloud: Consider the pros and cons of integrated cloud-based solutions concerning end-users, IT management, security, and cost.
  3. In control: Incorporate technology that enhances the user experience and contributes to a sense of equality and inclusion, regardless of location.

This type of transformation doesn’t take place overnight. But a well-designed strategy deploying modern, flexible office spaces and carefully selected technology is the new way that work gets done. Today and into the future, it provides your employees with an emotional connection to work culture while it helps build rapport among team members. It promotes work-life balance and employee satisfaction. And it enhances meaningful collaboration, whether your team is working in-office, at home, or in a flexible, hybrid model for productivity anywhere.