The COVID-19 pandemic brought massive harm and damage to world economies and people’s lives. There’s no taking that away. But we can’t deny that there have been some highly beneficial realizations too. Work is changing relatively fast now that people realized how efficient flexible work arrangements can be.
As the world shifts into a new post-pandemic reality, more companies and professionals are looking to take on a hybrid work setup. Currently, 63% of high-growth companies use a hybrid work model. And most of them have no plans of reverting from that arrangement. A lot of factors come into play to successfully become a hybrid company. But one important element to all of this is discovering and using the best work-from-home software that enables flexible work arrangements.
Why Hybrid Work is the Future
A hybrid work arrangement is basically a setup where the staff of a company works flexibly on certain days and from an office on others. The mix can be different for many.
Some companies have a few days in the office and the rest from anywhere they want. Some might alternate weeks. The bottom line is that employees get to work from home (or wherever they want) on days they can and come to the office when they need to.
So why is hybrid work growing in popularity? There are a few reasons why:
It makes employees happier
Happier employees make for more successful companies. Some of the biggest Fortune 500s and the smallest enterprises are starting to realize this correlation more and more through time. Well, given that 48% of employees prefer a hybrid work environment, it only makes sense that complying will improve worker happiness. And for many, it does. When employees are more engaged, they’re in a better position to perform. They also stay in companies longer, and with lower turnover rates comes more results from your staff.
It boosts productivity
Not only do your staff become happier when they are given hybrid work arrangements. They also become more productive. There has been an ongoing debate as to which work setup makes people more productive. Some might say remote work brings more productivity and others might say office work is better for team and employee output optimization.
The true and more accurate answer is it depends. Some jobs require hyper-focus and the privacy of the home works best. But that might not be necessarily true for a work-from-home mom who feels distracted by the endless chores and deliverables. The best solution for a company filled with people of varying contexts is to let them decide what works best for them. And that’s what a hybrid work setup allows.
It saves time and resources
Experts’ estimates show that companies save up to $11,000 per part-time remote worker. Those savings can come from a decrease in rental costs to cater to a bigger team presence in the office, lower utilities, and other costs. Hybrid work also saves a worker time as it significantly reduces travel time, which could take anywhere between two to ten hours a week, depending on where they live.
6 Features Every Hybrid Working Software Should Have
So now that we know why hybrid work is beneficial to companies, the next question we need to answer is “what kind of tools do I need to make hybrid work work?” There are tons of software solutions made available to companies that could streamline hybrid work. These include:
- Communication software — Such as chat apps, video conferencing tools, and email services
- Project management and collaboration software — To keep track of daily cadence and ad hoc deliverables
- File sharing software — Which enables people in an organization to share files without being in one place
- Accounting software
- HR and culture software — Such as timekeeping tools, leave trackers, payroll software, and so much more
- And many others.
When choosing the best software for remote teams, we need to know what features we should look for. So here are some non-negotiable features that each of these software solutions must-have.
Digital solutions can perform tasks faster than humans. That’s the essence of the computer age. So every hybrid work tool must have some level of automation that speeds up a process. One good example would be a digital meeting assistant, which can take meeting transcriptions and notes through an artificial intelligence system. Using this tool frees up everyone to share ideas without having to take meeting minutes, empowering better brainstorms and discussions in remote or face-to-face settings.
2. Experience Simplicity
User experience lies at the very top of every software and solution priority. When using hybrid working tools, everyone should understand how it works. When you have team members who don’t know how to use the tools in your hybrid team arsenal, there will be bottlenecks to your operation.
Ensure that the solutions you choose for your hybrid team are easy to use. Yes, there might be a learning curve when deploying new technology, but it shouldn’t take too long if your solution of choice has a great user experience. Some factors that should be taken into consideration when judging user experience include:
- Ease of use
- The simplicity of design and function
3. Visual Experience
The next feature that a productivity tool or hybrid work software must have is a better visual experience. Clutter is never good for productivity. So the simpler and more minimalist a tool is, the better the experience will be.
Minimalist designs save a person time as they are usually very direct and clutter-free, not just more visually appealing. Naturally, taking two to three steps to finish a task is much better than having to use a tool that will take ten steps to complete.
For instance, when choosing business process management software, you’ll need a solution that will be easy for people to read and digest. So having a tool that formats SOPs in a clean manner and allows for you to add images or videos to streamline the wiki process.
4. Cloud-based Access
If you’re looking to save time every week, then it’s time to look into cloud-based solutions. That’s because any tool that can be accessed online will help eliminate the need to travel somewhere to access information or files. Take for example cloud-based storage solutions like Dropbox or Google Drive. Imagine not having to travel an hour back and forth to the office just to pick up a flash drive with ten pictures you need for work. That’s only possible with cloud technology.
In a remote team environment, every team will be different. That’s why hybrid work solutions must have some level of customizability. Whether it’s the ability to add a company logo to create a sense of ownership or switching from a kanban system to a list system in your project management tool. Every worker will also be different, so giving them the option to customize their dashboards and digital workspaces without affecting the rest of the crew is a must-have when choosing hybrid work tools.
6. Data and Analytics
The last feature that work-from-home productivity tools must always have is access to data reporting. These analytics work best in the context of accounting software, HR software, and most work-from-home tools. Data reports provide managers and stakeholders with access to information that can help them evaluate team performance and find better ways to optimize hybrid work operations. These dashboards should be able to automatically compute results and provide an archive of this data for long periods.
Hybrid Work is Here to Stay
Trends and developments point to one truth — hybrid work is not just a fad. It’s here to stay for a long time. So it might be a good idea to start implementing it in your department or company as soon as possible.