As we wrap up another year of co-existing with the pandemic and prepare to head into a new one, we see more and more organizations transitioning to hybrid work models. While evolving to meet staff needs for flexibility in this way is a smart move, the success of a hybrid workplace largely depends on how well the organization can provide the technology, support, and spaces needed for employees to fulfill their roles. For that reason, 76% of businesses across the US and Europe plan on making long-term IT changes to support new ways of working and maximize productivity (The 2021 State of IT: The Annual Report on IT Budgets and Trends).
If your organization is looking to transition to a hybrid working model in the near future, it’s time to re-evaluate your tech stack to consider important areas of investment. Here’s a list of technologies you can add to your tech stack to make sure you can best support your staff whether they’re working remotely or from a dedicated desk, shared space, or bookable area in your office.
Must-have tools for managing the hybrid office workplace
Booking software that gives teams the freedom to reserve shared meeting rooms, collaboration areas, or individual desks is exploding in popularity. These apps allow staff members to view your office’s floor plan and see which desks their team members have already reserved. That way they can choose to sit near their team if they want to collaborate more effectively. Some of these apps even generate reports to give you a snapshot of the supply and demand of your desks so you can determine exactly how much space you need moving forward when the time comes to renew your office lease.
Top desk booking tools: Condeco, DeskFlex, Smartway2, iOffice, Appspace, Teem
Visitor management software
Visitor management software can help your team grant access rights, manage office capacities, and simplify reception processes. Some software providers feature automated self-service options that allow visitors to sign up as a visitor, removing the need for a reception desk altogether to help companies save on costs.
Top visitor management tools: Envoy, Traction Guest, WhosOnLocation, Kadence.
Conference room technology
Conference rooms or “zoom rooms” are examples of support spaces in the office that employees can pop into to attend a conference call without distractions and with complete privacy. To allow for seamless and comfortable conference attendance in real-time, these rooms might come equipped with projectors, digital whiteboards, webcams, microphones, wireless infrastructure, and a sufficient number of power outlets. There are plenty of options on the market for all of these technology components.
Top conference room technology tools: Miro, ClickShare, Zoom, Viewsonic
Must-have tools for managing distributed teams
Communication and collaboration tools
Communication and collaboration tools have long been used by small to global organizations well before the pandemic, however, they are now even more essential for connecting teams when half may be in-office and half working remotely on any given day. These tools include asynchronous (non-real-time) tools like email as well as real-time tools like Slack.
Best communication and collaboration tools: Outlook, Gmail, Slack, Google Chat, Discord, RocketChat.
Project management software
Project management software is extremely popular across industries for its power in streamlining workflows, assigning tasks, and maximizing productivity by cutting out the need for time-consuming status meetings. When it comes to hybrid work models, project management software is even more essential for getting all team members on the same page when discussing project next steps, whether they’re working in the office or remotely.
Best project management software: Asana, Monday, Trello, Jira.
Document management tools
Document management tools and cloud storage have long been used by organizations, but the difference with hybrid work models is that employees now need to access these tools when working remotely. Cloud tools with strong security features can make this process quite seamless, giving employees access to all the documents they need whether they’re working from a coffee shop or the comfort of their home.
Best document management tools: OneDrive, Dropbox, Workspace (previously G Suite), Zoho.
HR departments are faced with numerous new challenges as they navigate how to support, engage, and retain distributed teams. One of their greatest obstacles is finding the right onboarding technology to integrate new hires and provide them with a seamless transition into the workforce. Other difficulties include time tracking, capacity tracking, and making sure employees consistently feel recognized and rewarded. Agile HR software or a combination of a few tools can help HR departments navigate these challenges.
Best HR tools: HiBob, Humi, BambooHR, Rise.
Best recognition and reward tools: Bucketlist, Bonusly, Guusto, Achievers, Kudos.
Now that you have an idea of the range of technology solutions available to you to help you transition to a hybrid workplace successfully, how do you know what works best? Deciding what investments to make should involve taking a data-driven approach that gathers factual numbers and assesses the needs of your organization both now and in the future. To learn more about the steps to this process, read our blog “A Scientific Approach to the Modern Office”.