Reimagining Hybrid Employee Experience & Engagement in 2022 and Beyond

Feb 24th, 2022
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In a hybrid setting where there are both employees working remotely as well as in the office, a key challenge is knowing the level of effective employee communication and collaboration. While collaboration is at the heart of a successful business, there’s often a disconnect between these two groups of workers. Hybrid employee experience should be at the forefront of every business owner’s mind. Simply put, our connected world is ever-evolving. Technology has transformed the way we communicate, collaborate, and innovate. As our lives become increasingly connected, organizations need to accommodate the myriad of ways in which people engage in the workplace. This means the new world of work requires a revised look at exactly this—the hybrid employee experience. In this article, we’ll take a look at fresh perspectives and practical tips for creating hybrid workplace harmony.

Create a Space That Realigns Remote and In-Office Employees

Enhancing the employee experience is a big ask for organizations. This is especially true as it’s generally accepted as a very important factor in driving business outcomes. Enabling digital experiences and creating a space for the hybrid employee will only become more important in 2022 and beyond. Predications are that the hybrid employee will be the rule rather than the exception. The need to build digitally-driven alternative working models has been the holy grail for a lot of companies over the past five years. However, for this to be more than just elusive buzzwords, organizations must look to blend remote working practices into their current operations. They should also keep a pulse on the impact this has on employee engagement and experience. This shift toward a more mobile and flexible workforce will have major impacts on the workplace, business processes, and employee retention. Employees are the backbone of businesses in today’s fast-paced environment. A company’s ability to attract and retain the right talent is paramount. This can be accomplished by providing valuable benefits, perks, and other types of rewards—such as granting employees flexibility in how they choose to work. The future of the workplace is hybrid. We are seeing it unfold right before our eyes... every day, across industries, around the world.

Steer Clear of Common Pitfalls Encountered in Hybrid Workspaces

Two common problems for hybrid workplaces are employee engagement and team communication. Here, Smarten Spaces’ Employee Engagement feature enables managers to engage with employees in an open and transparent manner. The Community Feed and Survey & Feedback options let you securely share updates and posts with team members. You can also conduct surveys to monitor employee health and experience and allow for open and transparent employee feedback.

Tips for Better Employee Engagement

Hybrid work arrangements can cause employees to lose connection with their colleagues, leading to isolation. Hybrid workplaces that allow cross-departmental communication help team members build a united culture regardless of their physical location. With Smarten Spaces’ Workplace Community Feed, teams can share company updates and posts, bringing remote and in-office employees together. This creates a shared experience on one digital workplace platform that has a similar feel both at home and in the office.

Gartner has identified four work modes that teams should intentionally leverage as they transition to a hybrid environment.

  • Working together, together: when teams are co-located, contributing to meetings in a shared space.
  • Working together, apart: when teams are distributed, but participating in virtual meetings.
  • Working alone, together: when teams are in shared spaces, but not working at the same time.
  • Working alone, apart: when teams are distributed, and individuals are conducting deep-focus work.

Improving Team Communication

In a hybrid setting where there are both employees working remotely as well as in the office, a key challenge is knowing the level of effective employee communication and collaboration. Collaboration is at the heart of a successful business, and there’s often a disconnect between these two groups of workers.

Employees (remote or in-site) should be able to collaborate and communicate effectively regardless of their location. If you’re looking to realign employees to a new workplace and facilitate a smooth employee experience, there are several things to consider

  • What is each team member’s ideal work mode?
  • How can you sustain a productive work environment?
  • How can you empower both remote and in-office employees to connect with their colleagues?

Identifying answers to these questions is a great first step towards bettering communication across all team members.

Reinforce Employee Safety and Health at the Office

With pandemic anxieties still percolating, 42% of workers responded they have workplace health and safety concerns. It’s not hard to see why. Office buildings are prime places for diseases like COVID-19 to spread. This is due to the fact that there are many different people coming and going daily. Most of these have to pass through common entry points like lobbies, security checkpoints, and elevators.

Significant improvements to health and safety in the workplace are of the utmost importance, yet can very often go unnoticed. Smarten Spaces’ Employee Health & Safety features can help you ensure the health and safety of your workforce with contact tracing, digital social distancing, occupancy control, and more. Improving hygiene practices is one of those changes you can make with little cost but will have a big impact on restoring employee confidence.

Rethinking Office Spaces With the Hybrid Employee in Mind

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The modern workplace is changing. Traditional layouts are going out the window and being replaced with open floor plans to foster greater collaboration. Companies are focused on creating spaces that offer flexible, adaptable layouts. Ones that afford workers the ability to choose how they want to work.

A staple of the new office environment will be communal gathering spaces where employees can connect with each other. Effectively managing your hybrid space means understanding your office as a work continually in progress.

Select an App That Works for You

Leveraging an AI-powered workplace app (like Smarten Spaces) gives you the ability to determine workplace capacity at any given time. It allows you to make informed decisions about space, occupancy, and workflows. A responsive space management app can gives you total control over the office space, remotely.

Some of the major features to look for when choosing a workplace app will allow you to allocate seats to optimize work and build work-from-home and work-from-office flexible schedules with AI-based recommendations. Some of the best apps will even enforce social distancing, track the flow of people in that time, and then automatically power down the lights and stop the air conditioning when it’s no longer in use!

A space management app is indispensable for plotting a strategy to optimize office space. Given just a few weeks of tracking office traffic, you’ll likely find you can reduce your office space drastically in a hybrid work environment.

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Reimagine the Future of Hybrid Work With Smarten Spaces

In today’s highly competitive, digital economy, workplace flexibility is essential. To give workers freedom and the ability to work wherever they’re needed, workplaces will have to be reimagined. They need to be designed in ways that bring people together and foster collaboration. Choosing options that allow your employees to feel safe, comfortable, and empowered to work well regardless of their location pays handsome dividends.

Smarten Spaces is ahead of the curve when it comes to hybrid workplace flexibility. It Canhelp you navigate the choppy currents of change. How? By leveraging our suite of configurable AI-powered solutions, we help you build a connected workplace experience. One that smartly brings together people, space, and work schedules.

Configuring a hybrid workplace takes passion, persistency, and proficiency for managing spaces. Luckily, we have all three. Schedule a demo today, and let us build a customized hybrid employee solution that speaks directly to your unique needs.