In recent years, hybrid work has gained traction among businesses throughout Vancouver and the rest of British Columbia. It offers employees the flexibility to work both from the office and remotely, giving them more control over their work-life balance. However, hybrid work also presents plenty of challenges that employees and employers must overcome to ensure productivity, including the following:
1. Navigating the IT learning curve
Shifting to a hybrid work setup often involves introducing new tools, such as project management and video conferencing applications, to employees. Employees may be unfamiliar with these tools and how to use them effectively, which can lead to frustration and decreased productivity.
To tackle this issue, provide comprehensive training materials and programs. Training materials should cover all aspects of the new IT tools, from using them to troubleshooting common issues. Training should be tailored to the specific needs of employees and delivered in an engaging and easy-to-understand manner.
Moreover, it’s good to have a technical support team that is always available to help employees troubleshoot problems with the new IT tools.
2. Communicating and collaborating across boundaries
In a traditional office setting, collaboration often occurs spontaneously. Team huddle up to discuss projects and brainstorm ideas. However, under a hybrid work setup, teams are working in various locations, making communication and collaboration challenging.
To overcome this challenge, you need to invest in tools that support digital workspaces, including:
- Video conferencing: Video conferencing is a great way to bring teams together virtually and create a sense of presence. When your team can see each other's faces, it's easier to build rapport and collaborate effectively.
- Cloud storage: Cloud-based document sharing makes it easy for employees to access and work on the same files, regardless of their location. This is essential for ensuring that everyone is on the same page and that work is not duplicated.
- Project management tools: Project management tools, such as Asana, Trello, Microsoft Planner and Project, and Basecamp, help teams track progress, assign tasks, and communicate deadlines.
3. Managing app overload
Remote and on-site employees need access to a wide range of apps to stay productive. This can result in a cluttered digital workspace, which can decrease productivity and increase stress.
Here are some tips for managing app overload in a hybrid work environment:
- Audit your current apps. Take stock of all the apps that your employees are using and identify any redundancies. You may be able to consolidate some tools or apps, which will free up space and make it easier for employees to find what they need.
- Choose the right apps for the job. Not all apps are created equal. Make sure that you're selecting the right apps for the job, and that you're not using too many tools for the same task.
- Streamline your processes. If you have a lot of different processes in place, it can be difficult to keep track of them all. Streamlining your processes can help to reduce the number of apps that you need to use.
4. Taming data sprawl
In a hybrid work environment, data can quickly become scattered and disorganized, leading to problems such as loss, duplication, and inaccuracy of data. Because of data sprawl, employees may also struggle to find the data they need, and you may experience difficulties in securing and protecting sensitive business information. This may put your business at risk of failing to meet compliance requirements.
To tame data sprawl, use a centralized data repository and data tagging and search tools. You should also implement a data governance strategy that covers the following:
- Data classification – involves classifying data into different categories, such as sensitive, confidential, or public
- Data inventory – involves creating a list of all of the data that the business owns
- Data retention policy – specifies how long different types of data should be kept
- Data access control – specifies who has access to different types of data
- Data backup and recovery plan – ensures that data can be restored in the event of a disaster
5. Ensuring security
With employees working from various devices and locations, protecting sensitive company data can become challenging. To effectively protect company data and systems, use a mobile device management (MDM) solution.
With MDM, your company can easily enforce the following:
- Device security policies – includes requiring devices to be password protected, encrypted, and up to date with the latest security patches
- Application management – involves allowing or blocking certain apps from being installed on devices and restricting access to sensitive applications.
- Content management – entails preventing employees from accessing or sharing sensitive data and managing the use of personal devices for work purposes
MDM solutions can also be used to monitor devices so that businesses can quickly detect and respond to cyberthreats and account compromises.
By taking steps to address the challenges of hybrid work, you can create a more flexible and productive work environment for your employees.
Need help with implementing and managing the technologies that support hybrid work? You can turn to the IT experts at Quicktech. For over 20 years, we have been supporting small- and medium-sized businesses with all their IT needs. We’re also ready to serve you. Book a FREE consultation with us today.