Best of Both Worlds: Keeping Your Team Equipped for Hybrid Work

Monday February 14th, 2022

Author: Staples Professional Inc.

Organizations are recognizing that hybrid work models (when it’s safe to do so) can be a boon for business. But as employees start to become reacquainted with their commutes, splitting their time between the workplace and home, it will be critical for employers to support them in the transition. Here is how you can ensure they have all the tools they need to perform and excel, regardless of where they are.

Two-way street

We are four decades into the personal computer era, but it took the pandemic to illustrate that not only do we have the technology to work remotely, but societal changes in how people connect make it possible to become more productive and most importantly, happier.

“We’re seeing new ideas about what productivity means,” says Debbie Rogers from Staples Professional, Sales and Strategy Training – Furniture, Technology, Print and Promo. In the past, she says, organizations used performance goals as the metric for measuring productivity. And sometimes that data was collected by counting the hours one sat in front of a screen. Now, says Rogers, “As leaders, we know employees can work effectively at home.”

Consider a laptop to be a go-between machine, but ensure workstations everywhere are set up for optimum ergonomics. A monitor in each location, as well as an external keyboard and mouse, will go a long way to making employees comfortable so they can focus on the work, not the tools.

Lead by example

Finding a balance between working from home and in the office is going to be different for every employee and every organization. But experts agree that most businesses will adopt a hybrid policy, such as having a certain percentage of their workforce returning to the physical workspaces or by working three days at home and two in the office.

Safety is another advantage of having the flexibility to work remotely. “If you have a sniffle don’t come in,” says Rogers. Likewise, people won’t feel forced to travel in dangerous driving conditions because they don’t want to miss a meeting. Being able to provide a safe workplace makes workers feel valued — and happier.

Whatever policy you adopt, adds Rogers, the leaders of the organization must lead by example. “When you see an early adopter, you are going to feel more comfortable in this new space.”

Stay flexible

“Tech has levelled the playing field,” says Rogers. Not just in high-quality monitors and microphones, but also in the way we use them. “For example, in the old days, presentations were often held in overcrowded conference rooms with attendees straining to see decks and graphs.” Now, thanks to technology like Zoom, everybody can see all of the information equitably.

In-person or online, verbal and visual communication is still key. Managers must ensure that participants have the tools to read aural and visual cues. Again, the technology your teams need to participate from home will vary, but with a Staples Professional account, administrators can arrange Group Orders so their coworkers can shop online and request products they would like to have added to the cart.

Little big moves

The best way to develop a hybrid work from home/work from office model is to take small steps. “Track, trace and revamp,” says Rogers. An example she gives is that while there’s a demand for privacy phone booths, it’s important to not go overboard.
“You can allocate a certain percentage of your space to them, but gather intel before making major changes,” she says.

It may seem counterintuitive, but employers may also want to explore co-working spaces as another hybrid option. For folks who travel for business, these spaces provide everything you need to link in with teammates without having to carry a suitcase full of tech.

It’s not just employers who recognize the importance of having a choice. In Vancouver, rental developers Comma are incorporating flexible co-working spaces into their residences so that folks with small apartments or who live with other people can find a place where they can focus while sharing amenities.

“Employers are recognizing the need to adapt and to move around as needed.” Staples Studio is happy to provide a third option. “There are seven co-working spaces in total if you are travelling and need space to drop in,” she says.

Learn more about how Staples Professional can help your team stay equipped no matter where they work.

You may also be interested in...