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Using technology and structure to support blended working

Using technology and structure to support blended working
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Using technology and structure to support blended working
Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications for Capital Space by Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications for Capital Space
Owner/Director - Sharp Minds Communications Ltd

2020 was the year that truly defined remote working and, as the world begins to open up again, 2021 is likely to continue developing the hybrid working model. New statistics about blended working show that it’s likely to become much more common – and possibly the norm. Amongst this new working model, technological changes are going to need to be made to ensure that teams can continue to work cohesively, regardless of their environment.

What is the hybrid working model?

Hybrid work gives employees more flexibility to work in locations and to timetables that suit them. This could mean working with teammates on-site or working alone from a remote location, varying throughout the week to create a balance of teamwork, less travel and more productivity.

On 24 May 2021, EY confirmed that it will be moving to a hybrid working model in the UK, with the expectation that its teams will spend at least two days a week working remotely and spend the remainder of their time working together in person. This emerging culture of flexible working, which had been growing in popularity prior to the pandemic, signals a new era for how businesses manage their staff. As we continue to discover the importance of a working model that provides more of a work-life balance during the ease out of lockdown, so does the need to adapt to this new routine and the technology required.

Accommodating different co-worker schedules

According to the State of Remote Work report by Owl Labs, 92% of people expect to work from home at least once a week, with 80% expecting to work from home at least three times a week. It’s clear that this working model is something that workers are eager to pursue, but there are a few key factors that need to be considered before it can be properly implemented.

An important first adjustment that has to be made in the hybrid working model is taking other team members’ schedules into account. Is there a big client meeting approaching, or a project that needs in-person collaboration from the team? Or perhaps the usual team meeting will need to be moved, so that everyone can be in the same place at once?

If you are considering the hybrid working model for your business, ensure that you’re having open communication with your team and what they are comfortable with, as well as considering what they might see as fair. For example, if your weekly meeting occurs on a Monday, but one member of staff doesn’t want to come into the office that day, you may need to make a decision that is benefitting the whole team and be flexible for when certain members are unavailable.

What technology will employees need to work successfully from home?

So, you’ve decided that your business is going to embrace the hybrid business model. Your team is on board and you’ve workshopped how you’re going to continue bringing clients the same quality of effective outputs. Now it’s time to think about the technology needed to make the transition as smooth as possible:

  • Equipment for virtual meetings: If your team is likely going to be in different places at different times for the foreseeable future, it might be time to put more robust technology in place for meetings, like plasma screens and speakers to make remote members more coherent
  • Accessible, transportable technology: With staff coming and going with their equipment often, installing permanent monitors in the office may be a good idea to avoid hauling heavy screens to and from the office multiple times a week. Invest in equipment that is light and easy to transport, such as laptops or mini PCs
  • Fast internet: We all know by now that a poor internet connection is inconvenient and, frankly, embarrassing if you’re in an important virtual client meeting. All of our centres have high speed internet, and our internet bandwidth is fully inclusive of firewalls and routers, to make online meetings accessible, speedy and clear.

As more teams come around to embracing the hybrid working model, communication and technological changes are going to need to be made to ensure that teams can continue to work smoothly and accommodate clients from different environments.

To find out how Capital Space could benefit your growing business,
call 0800 107 4667 or email info@capitalspace.co.uk