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Hybrid remote working:
from last resort to new normal

By HCL Tech Sri Lanka

In the last year, through one of the most challenging economic periods of our time we’ve discovered a dynamic and flexible new way of working. Before COVID-19, only a fraction of the workforce had the choice of working remotely. Since then, what we once considered a last resort has slowly become the new normal. Amidst all the uncertainty of the future, we’re paying more attention to our routines, and learning that productivity isn’t the same for every task. Businesses around the world have committed to try to make the best of both worlds, between co-location where all employees work in the same location and distributed workplaces where all employees work remotely: hybrid workforces are the perfect compromise.

To understand the difference between these models of work, we need to make a distinction: “working from home” is not the same as “remote work”. Working from home considers any workstation we set up at home, but remote work takes a broader perspective of our workflow and enables us to reimagine the way we work. The early adopter’s strategy with the hybrid remote model is simple: designate certain days for in-office meetings and collaborative tasks, and remote days for tasks that require more individual attention. The hybrid system is geared to improve productivity while inevitably reducing real estate costs.

To successfully transition and develop a thriving hybrid remote working culture, there are some important considerations to make:

  • Empathy is key, and a well-adjusted hybrid working culture is inclusive and accommodating to employees working remotely from vastly different home environments.

  • The organization can facilitate an equal level of connectivity amongst team member with clear reimbursement policies, allowances, and stipends.

  • Conducting team meetings over video call when all members cannot be present can prevent the creation of “in-groups” and encourage collaboration.

  • Concepts such as “flex-desking” where employees can book desks each morning when they come to office are more adaptive and intuitive for hybrid cultures.

  • Office layouts should be designed to enable one-on-one conversations and room booking tools can optimize the use of meeting spaces

The state of technology today has unlocked the future of collaboration. Connecting teams is easier than ever before thanks to robust virtual conferencing platforms. Optimizing workflows and monitoring projects is simpler with advanced project management software. Managing employee data, automating payroll, and filling out HR forms is seamless. Cloud workspaces enable employees to access these robust digital tools from anywhere, making it easy to transition seamlessly between working remotely and working on-site.

The most challenging parts of this transition come with supervision and security. Open and transparent processes help keep employees motivated, and timekeeping systems can help them maintain a balance between home and work. With matters of cyber security, hybrid cultures must take special precautions and invest in security training, multi-factor authentication systems, endpoint protection and VPN services to keep their networks secure.

Hybrid remote workforces are as effective as their implementation, and any organization that initiates this transition must take special care to keep their culture intact. Reimagining the future of work takes decades of experience, and HCL Sri Lanka’s Digital Workplace Services promise seamless transitions with unique infrastructure services developed over years of international experience. Hybrid remote workplaces are shifting the status quo, and HCL Digital Workplace Services are leading the charge with productivity management and assessment services, cloud workspaces, remote collaboration tools, behaviour change management tools and much more. The path to a collaborative culture starts with a collaborative process and with HCL Sri Lanka you can take your first step towards the future.