A new report recently uncovered that businesses are failing their hybrid workforce by providing them with outdated or complicated technology.
Nearly 40 per cent of hybrid workers are reportedly wasting valuable work time because of technical issues, and almost a fifth of SMEs are yet to make the move to the cloud at all.
The explosion of apps and digital workplace tools throughout the pandemic has led to tech stacks that aren’t efficient or integrated, leaving employees feeling overwhelmed and unproductive, and IT teams frustrated with having to implement and manage them all.
So how, in today’s digital world, where employers have different tools for virtual meetings, employee planning, admin-tasks, internal communication, onboarding, employee care and more, can small businesses ensure they use the right software that facilitates a collaborative and creative hybrid workplace – and does so successfully?
Use one integrated platform
Stick to one familiar and integrated platform to provide a consistent place for your hybrid workplace’s needs, says Matthieu Silbermann, Chief Product Office at Powell Software.
“The problem is that the pandemic caused small businesses to move towards tools and apps much faster than we would normally – born out of the necessity to support a remote and then later, a hybrid workforce.
“Crisis communication became our number one priority, and employers needed to be able to communicate with employees for any number of reasons, from a business productivity point of view, but also to share the ever-changing Covid-19 regulations.”
The process became more complicated when SMEs began onboarding new members of staff for the first time in a virtual world, where 100% remote working was the ‘new normal’. Employers needed fast and effective ways to communicate with their largely dispersed staff, with many using Microsoft Teams as a form of company intranet. What’s more is that 85% of employees now want to maintain a mixture of home and office working post-pandemic, making streamlining your hybrid working tools ever more important.
Providing an all-in-one space will allow hybrid workers and SMEs alike to collaborate seamlessly, helping employees to work better remotely and feel part of the company culture. Having an effective digital workplace platform in place will also give small businesses a competitive edge to help attract and retain the growing pool of skilled people motivated more by flexible working than finance.
The reinvention of the intranet
When considering that almost half of businesses rank employee engagement at the top of the list of priorities when it comes to their digital workplace strategy, SMEs need an option that connects employees regardless of location, and one that puts HR and company information at an employee’s fingertips.
The hybrid workforce has sparked a revamp of the ‘business intranet’, helping to drive productivity by bridging together communication and collaboration needs. All-in-one spaces designed specifically for SMEs, like Together which is accessible from Microsoft Teams, can be deployed in minutes, and work on a single, simple and intuitive interface that unites the intranet with Teams so employees can find everything they need on one convenient platform.
Leveraging the power of tools like Microsoft Teams, which is familiar to hybrid workers around the globe, will help employees to work collaboratively, bringing internal communications to life and provide immediate access to data and documents support hybrid working needs.
Tech is more than just software, it is about people
The tools and technology you invest in to support your hybrid workforce must help you manage teams, keep your employees engaged and work in the most effective way possible. Tech’s role in the hybrid workplace is very much about leadership, and ensuring you provide a place for creative collaboration regardless of whether you are working in an office, at home or elsewhere.
The growing desire for employees to want to work flexibly, above all other benefits in their job, is an opportunity for SMEs like no other especially with many big corporates such as Facebook requesting a return to the office.
Silbermann concludes: “The digital workplace and the availability of the out-of-the box intranet for SMEs to quickly and easily deploy their own inclusive digital workplaces, is the new signing on bonus for small businesses that will enable them to rewrite their own ‘future of work’ and operate on a level playing field with the big corporates.”
About the Author
Matthieu Silbermann is Chief Product Officer at Powell Software. Matthieu has over a decade in IT, having previously been product lead for Microsoft. Powell Software is based in London with 10 office locations across Europe, North America, Australia, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, is trusted by over 300 customers and 50 partners worldwide, serving brands such as Eon, 3Mobile and L’Occitane. In January 2020, the company secured $16M in Series A fundraising as part of the company’s mission to connect organisations with employees through a complete Digital Workplace, and has won awards and recognition from Gartner, Clearbox and InfoTech.