A few days after the Techify office became a hybrid workplace, we noticed something strange — there were docking station and adaptor “robberies.” Desks were being cannibalized of computer equipment. We quickly learned that you have to make sure that each of your workstations are outfitted and ready to go.
But there are so many things to know if you want to have a strong transition back to working at the office with a hybrid approach. Firstly, don’t let your staff spend the first hour of the day looking for adapters, docking stations, a mouse and keyboard, and having connectivity problems.
Secondly, look at your boardroom(s) – are they ready to have effective meetings with people both in the office and remote? Many small businesses don’t have the right equipment to make sure they have a strong audio and video experience.
Also look at the software and tools you are using. If it’s the same as before COVID, that’s not going to work. The last year and a half has changed technology drastically as we have changed how we work.
Here are five ways to make hybrid workplaces work.
The Ultimate Hotel Desk
Many businesses are moving away from staff having permanent desks and toward Hotel Desks that anyone can use. So, what do we mean by the “ultimate” Hotel Desk? It means that staff come in and do the least possible work to connect. You want to ensure that anybody coming into the office can simply use one cable to connect to their laptop, which also allows them to have a wireless keyboard, headset, docking station with internet connectors, and a monitor. And the webcam, microphone and speakers should be built into the monitor.
A Great Boardroom
A great hybrid meeting requires top-notch audio and video, as well as a way to transmit your voice and video or screen to people on the other end. We recommend Logitech Meetup, which is great for rooms of a few hundred square feet. You can mount this with your visual display, and once set up, it allows you to see everyone at the table facing that camera. The microphone is built in, and if it’s preconfigured, you can just walk into the boardroom, hit the start button, and get to work.
A (Paid For) Scheduling System
As people increasingly work in this hybrid environment, online scheduling systems will become even more essential. Here are a few options (you’re likely already paying for):
- Microsoft Shifts: This is built right into Teams. It allows employees to “book in” so that the office doesn’t get overcrowded.
- Microsoft Bookings: You can use this to book resources or time in the office, or you can just use it to simplify the scheduling process.
With staff working remotely as well as in the office, we need to realize that cybersecurity risks are higher. To combat this, you should constantly audit, review and align to best practices, and build out a cybersecurity roadmap. Multi-factor authentication is non-negotiable now. But you should also look at access management and compliance, and advanced security monitoring and response. And never “set it and forget it.” Always review and realign.
Reliable Productivity Tools
Having a set of reliable productivity tools in place allows employees to be successful, regardless of where they are working.
- It all starts with great communication. The Microsoft Teams Phone system makes it easy to send and receive messages by email, phone, etc.
- With Microsoft Approvals, you can assign people to review, comment, approve or reject a document from a single place. This could save at least half an hour a week of work time.
- And Microsoft Forms offers a quick and easy way to collect information, and automate responses. Automation is also a huge time saver.
Want to have your staff love your new approach to hybrid work? Contact us to learn more about how we can help support you during this transitional period.