The Hybrid Workplace
How to Implement the Collaboration Tools that are Driving the Flexible Hybrid Working Revolution
How we work is changing. Thanks to a post-Covid world, better connectivity, more powerful and accessible digital tools, and the demands of a young workforce with different expectations about how they work, are all helping make it easier than ever to offer more flexible, hybrid working. Therefore, firms need to adapt if they are to create an environment that fits in with the modern way of doing business.
Until recently, the UK had a very traditional approach to work, with fixed hours and limited opportunities for flexibility, but this is changing as other countries explore innovative ideas such as fully flexible hours and four-day weeks. This cultural shift is driven largely by younger workers who are more concerned about having a good work/life balance. There is a growing recognition of the benefits this can offer, such as better mental health and being able to devote more time to family. Trends have been moving in the direction of greater agility for some time, but the lockdowns caused by the Covid-19 pandemic greatly accelerated this. And while many businesses may have initially thought Covid-enforced home working would be a temporary solution, it’s now become clear that it is here to stay.
Indeed, nearly nine out of ten workers in the UK (89 per cent) say flexible working is more effective than financial incentives for boosting productivity, while almost one in four people in the UK have changed their role in order to work more flexibly. This is especially important to millennial workers, with one global study finding these individuals rate a positive work/life balance as more important than having opportunities for career progression when looking for a job. More than two-thirds of UK workers want flexible and remote working options to remain a permanent part of their business moving forward .What’s more, this has also caused many people to reassess their work-life balance and even relocate in order to achieve this. For example, more than half of UK workers believe there will be a “reverse brain drain” away from cities, as flexible working means people no longer have to live within daily commuting distance of the office.
A key way to tackle this is to make sure employees have access to the tools they need from approved sources. Much shadow IT involves consumer-grade cloud storage or file-sharing services that make it easier for people to work flexibly. Give employees easy-to-use alternatives that also provide enterprise- level security and monitoring by the IT department and they will have few excuses for looking elsewhere.
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