Hybrid work is a trend. These tools are mandatory for IT professionals in order to sustainably implement the new business model. […]
For decision makers and IT executives, one of the biggest challenges right now is to support their companies in implementing new strategies in the workplace. Before the pandemic, remote work was mostly an aspect of work culture – but only necessary in exceptional cases. Meanwhile, the signals have been reversed: New business models are in progress, and many companies are relying on a combination of face-to-face and remote work—many experts believe hybrid work is the future.
The trend towards hybrid work also requires a lot of IT managers: they are primarily responsible for supporting the corporate strategy and implementing hybrid work in practice. The challenge is to find and implement the tools that work best, while at the same time ensuring that change processes across the company are easier to manage and that the workforce remains productive.
Hybrid work: 11 indispensable tools
We have compiled 11 mandatory tools and techniques for IT decision makers using a hybrid business strategy:
It’s not about hotels and sleeping quarters, it’s about making it easier for employees in the era of hybrid work to book offices, workplaces, meeting rooms, etc. On the other hand, the ‘first come, first served’ principle, on the other hand, is likely to lead, sooner or later, to conflicts out of proportion to the new or the old normal. Hotel software can also do more and more: some solutions offer point-and-click maps of the work area, while others display the current “owners” of individual offices on a large screen. Still others support reports that provide information about workplace requirements. As companies continue to create new requirements, solutions functionality is growing rapidly.
Among the leading providers of hotel software are:
If you know where the individual employees are, it is also easier to deal with the infection. High-quality contact tracing software identifies all contacts of infected people. Some solutions require employees to confirm at check-in that they have no symptoms, while others use infrared cameras to measure temperature. Some tools can prevent contamination by setting off an alarm if the minimum distance between two people is not reached.
When it comes to contact tracing for mixed work environments, you have the following options:
Productivity tools from the cloud
Cloud-based office software isn’t new, but the pandemic has made solutions indispensable and thus getting better and better. All of these teamwork tools should make it possible to work from anywhere, and therefore they are also indispensable for mixed work strategies. Companies continue to provision devices to their employees – thanks to browser-based tools, it’s easier than ever to provide and secure devices.
Common cloud-based productivity suites that can support a hybrid business strategy include:
Task management software is not only an indispensable tool for hybrid work. Agile programming teams tools help project managers keep track of different parts of a project with tickets. Enterprise software managers, in turn, use their own tools to check the software running on each computer, and sales teams have relied on CRM systems for years.
None of the solutions in this field are designed specifically for New Normal – however they are available wherever employees are in a mixed business model and help simplify work and face-to-face meetings. If you want to rely on mixed work in the future, there is a good chance that all employees will not be present at any time. If you’re hesitant to have a (better) workflow management system, it’s time to give up.
Major providers of planning software include:
In the unlikely event that you don’t use a messaging tool in your company, this should be an urgent consideration in the age of mixed work. Communication tools are ideal for enhancing team cohesion when employees are rarely in the office at the same time. Apart from that, many applications in this area have improved due to increased integration with workflow management tools. Upgrading existing systems can also increase usage.
Service providers in this field include, for example:
In addition, open source options are also available, such as:
The classic office phone is being phased out. Office telephone networks have evolved further and now provide the flexibility needed for mixed work scenarios. If you still want to keep your office phones: There are new and modern solutions in this field as well.
Telephone system providers include:
Video conferencing solutions
Video conferencing tools have always been able to do more than just imagine the other person. Ring Central, for example, has outfitted its virtual conference rooms with live transcripts and digital whiteboards. Google Meet now offers automatic translations for multilingual discussions. Zoom has expanded users’ ability to control adjacent rooms to give larger conferences more options for personal interaction. At the same time, the beloved pandemic has added richer format options to chat rooms.
An overview of the best video conferencing solutions – not just for hybrid work – is provided by our article “The Most Important Video Conferencing Systems”.
The pandemic has also turned the world of conferences, conventions and meetings upside down. This was good for innovation: there are now virtual spaces that are modeled after large conference centers. And it’s not just meant for big events—some companies also use it for mixed business scenarios, like internal meetings with an entire workforce.
New providers of virtual meeting spaces include, for example:
Training tools and training opportunities have also evolved: Modern training programs improve the learning experience, for example through videos of variable speed or interactive test sessions. Knowledge is more organized than ever and employees no longer have to wait for training sessions or even come to the office, which can accommodate mixed work scenarios.
Top providers also offer options for company-specific training. They include, for example:
An ordinary laptop is enough for many everyday tasks, even at a mixed working age. However, some tasks such as video editing or 3D rendering require more powerful processors and more memory. Workstation pools with powerful hardware that can be booked using hotel software are a good solution. Especially when the majority of the employees just need more hardware performance in the departments.
Virtual Reality Collaboration
Not every collaborative interaction has to be done via video conferencing technology. Game companies, for example, use virtual reality worlds to create comprehensive virtual workspaces that integrate the best aspects of real workspaces. There are also some fun gadgets, like a virtual fireplace. Virtual reality probably won’t turn work into pure fun either, but there’s no reason not to make the new world of hybrid work better than the old pre-pandemic office life.
Virtual Collaboration Room providers include:
* Peter Weiner writes for our sister magazine InfoWorld.com and is the author of several books.
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