Measuring The Effectiveness Of A Tech-Enabled Hybrid Workplace

Measuring The Effectiveness Of A Tech-Enabled Hybrid Workplace

The hybrid work model is here to stay, and organisations are contemplating long-term solutions.

If it is a rainy season, we prepare for it in multiple ways, right from our clothing, what to carry when we go out, and when to dry the clothes. But if it rains out of season, we are taken by surprise and manage it somehow. The pandemic was unexpected, and with it, managing the workplace was done somehow. Some organisations managed it well while a few others managed it somehow. According to McKinsey & Company research done with 100 business executives across industries and locations, at the beginning of 2022, nine out of ten organisations will combine remote and onsite work. Cisco has recently published a finding that 98% of all meetings will have at least one remote participant. The hybrid model is here to stay, and organisations are planning to establish long-term solutions.


Hybrid Work Effectiveness Is All About Enhancing People Experience


Many descriptions of hybrid models have made it clear that the term doesn’t just mean enabling online meetings using technology. It means much more than that. It’s about getting the best out of both remote and in-person working, providing the flexibility to accommodate different work styles and preferences.


In short, hybrid work is about simple, empathetic and flexible work arrangements. This would enable employees to collaboratively choose their common working hours and flexible working hours in order to reach common objectives. The concept of “normal working hours” is slowly phasing out.


Rapid Technology Changes in the Workplace


Technology enablement could take the form of:


Cloud infrastructure


Cybersecurity-related technologies


Communication and collaboration tools


Increased automation


Simplified workflows and many more


This would create more exposure for employees to the following:


Video interactions


Collaborative workspaces


Virtual assistants


Digital signages


Endpoint monitoring


Voice-activated systems


Unified intelligence coupled with automating workflows and many more


These could help in increasing:


Individual productivity


Employee engagement


Team productivity


Diversity and inclusion


Customer feedback effectiveness and many more


All these changes are happening at a rapid pace, and they are here to stay. This may be different for each organisation depending on its size, the nature of its business, and the organisation’s maturity level. One common aspect across all organisations is that their employees are going to experience these changes.


What is the best way to check the effectiveness of the changes?


The simplest way is to ask the people themselves. I initiated a random survey with the following two questions amongst my network and received 500+ responses:


1. Do you like to respond to optional surveys?


2. If the survey is about enhancing your experience in the new hybrid workplace, would you respond to it even if it is optional?


For the first question, less than 80% of employees mentioned that they would not respond to a survey if it were optional. For the second question, 94% of employees confirmed that they would respond to the survey about enhancing employee experience in a hybrid workplace even if it were optional.


If organisations can float a meaningful survey to check the enhancement of user experience due to technology enablement in the hybrid workplace, the probability of making it effective increases with the feedback implemented. Surveys repeated at regular intervals with good communication and implemented feedback would make this a transformational effort where employees are actively engaged.


Here are three questions to check on:


• Simplicity: Were you able to get started immediately with minimal or no support?


• Empathy: Is this arrangement suitable for your work preference?


• Flexibility: Is this arrangement enabling flexibility?


Simple, Empathetic and Flexible Tech Tools Enable Easy Adoption


A group of government employees from the Greater Chennai Corporation who were responsible for pruning the plants in the main roads in a busy area had been asked to take a photograph of the scope of work in its present form when they started the day and repeat the same whenever they took a break. When they ended the day’s work, they once again took a photograph of the work completed and sent it to their reporting manager, who was working from home on WhatsApp. They had built a habit of closing their work with a selfie.


Since they had a WhatsApp group formed, anyone who completed their work early would go and support the others who still had work to complete. Together, all of them had their work accomplished collaboratively. This might not have been established overnight. There are lessons to learn from this team on how to put tech to use in a hybrid workplace with the majority of the field and the manager working remotely.


Swarna Sudha Selvaraj is the Head of Talent Development for TCS Europe, UK & Ireland. She is a vibrant HR leader with over 18 years of work experience gained from association with TCS and Murugappa Group of Companies.


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