[BLOG] How to Support Employee Productivity in a Hybrid Work Environment

Jan 20th, 2022
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Around the world, professionals have grown accustomed to working from home. Major companies, such as Google and Facebook, have opted to make remote working a permanent part of their corporate structure, citing an increase in employee productivity. The hybrid model proved beneficial for many, as employee in-office attendance was expected—but only two or three days per week.

Many office workers transitioned to the WFH/hybrid model with ease. In fact, a McKinsey survey confirmed that most organizations saw a rise in team and employee productivity levels from pre-pandemic averages. These uptrends led to higher customer satisfaction when client retention was a primary concern for small and big business owners alike.

The positive sentiment was echoed by employees in a 2021 Owl Labs study that found 90% of employees reported being “as productive” or “more productive” when working remotely versus at an office.

The Effects of Hybrid Work on Productivity


The hybrid work model is here to stay. An Accenture survey of just over 9,000 employees found that 83% preferred the hybrid model (in which they can work remotely at least 25% of the time). The positive effect on their work/life balance played a significant role. Think about all the extra time spent commuting to and from work pre-pandemic. Now, remote/hybrid workers have that time for themselves.

Any change in work structure, however, can present difficulties that can reduce overall productivity. Employees may find communication difficult when working remotely, especially when faced with collaborative tasks. Staff members who are new or in training may feel left behind if they do not know how to answer work-related questions.

An unclear or ineffective management style can adversely affect the productivity of a workplace—especially where employees perform hybrid work. For businesses to avoid dips in productivity, management must thus implement the hybrid work model effectively. This means keeping open lines of communication between workers and management. And the best way to maintain clear communication and direction in a hybrid environment is through hybrid work software.

Steps to Boost Productivity in Hybrid Work Environments


Another recent survey by McKinsey revealed that out of 100 executives, 90% plan on moving towards a hybrid work model. Furthermore, companies supporting the interpersonal connections between colleagues—networking, coaching, idea sharing, and project discussion—saw significant increases in employee productivity; however, the change to hybrid work can lead to initial dips in productivity without a concrete plan.

These tiny interactions—these "microtransactions"—need a proper space to exist in the hybrid work environment if executives want to maintain that productivity. Leveraging AI-driven technology, Smarten Spaces has the features to manage this, allowing accessibility and connectivity for all of your employees. In addition to saving time and improving the employee experience, integrate existing systems and IoT devices with over 80 out-of-the-box workplace integrations.

The World’s First Hybrid Work Scheduler: Allows your employees to automatically (or manually) schedule in-office time to maximize collaboration time with colleagues and teams empowered with AI-based best schedule recommendations.

Sync with Desk Management: Automatic desk allocation once a schedule has been created while freeing up desks for team members who won’t be in the office. It also allows employees to see and reserve desks next to colleagues and team members, improving their ability to collaborate effectively. AI can automatically book desks based on learned preferences.

Smart Meeting Room Booking: Empower workers to plan hybrid meeting schedules in advance, as well as determine who will participate and whether any of them are remote. Schedules can be integrated with common office tools such as Gmail and Outlook while virtual collaboration is enabled via integrated tools like Zoom, Google Meet, and Skype.

Employee Engagement: The digital Community Feed options let you share updates and posts securely with team members, as well as conduct surveys to monitor employee health and experience and allow for employee feedback openly and transparently.

Workplace Experience App: Enables a connected digital workplace experience for customers, employees, vendors, and visitors. All workplace activities including desk booking, meeting room booking, building access, visitor management, way and people finding, communications, and services can be accessed through one app at any time from anywhere. Nearly everything an employee needs is brought together and available in a single smartphone app.

With many moving to a hybrid workforce, skepticism is understandable, even if the data proves otherwise. However, these eight steps can serve as a guide as your business makes the shift to the hybrid model.

Decide Where Employees Work Best: Some employees may prefer coming into the office, as their home-life isn't suited for remote work. Include them in the conversation before making the decisions on their behalf.

Use Collaborative Software: Investing in collaborative software, like Smarten Spaces, maintains an open line of communication between teams and management and increases employee productivity.

Embrace Feedback: Weekly check-ins with employees and clients will better indicate how your shift to a hybrid model is going. You'll learn what areas are working well and where the company can improve.

Overcome Management Bias: Some managers show unconscious bias towards on-site workers, leaving remote workers feeling isolated. With the right training, your managers and team leaders can overcome this bias and learn how to manage remote and on-site workers equitably.

Utilize Task Management Apps: Collaborative efforts among hybrid employees will run into inevitable roadblocks like time zones, which is especially true for cross-team collaboration. Task management apps make it easy for teams to collaborate and track progress regardless of location.

Define a Thriving Hybrid Environment: Before making the hybrid shift, examine the nature of your business and determine if it can work in a hybrid setting.

Use Key Performance Indicators: KPIs provide you with a data-driven outlook on employee performance, regardless of their working pace or space.

Help Your Team Avoid Burnout: Project management software helps avoid burnout by providing you with a visualization of every employee's workload. You'll easily identify who's overloaded (and who is slacking).

Measuring Productivity in Hybrid Work Environments


Managers used to rely on in-person check-ins to monitor productivity. However, the hybrid model makes monitoring productivity tricky, complex, and potentially unethical. So how do managers measure remote productivity and address hybrid scheduling conflicts in the best interest of all parties?

The answer lies with technology. With the right analytics, you can identify employee work trends and recommend the best schedules for productivity: ensuring that each work schedule fits the employee in question without adversely affecting their job performance.

Smarten Spaces can do that for you in a manner that is both comprehensive and easy to use. It includes a wide array of features designed to help you maximize flexibility across your organization. Our Powerful Analytics feature, for instance, lets you track space occupancy and match it with work schedules to fit supply and demand. Ensuring optimal space utilization helps you make informed cost decisions and budget planning when assessing your space expenses and other inventory.

Additionally, you can track and monitor:

  • Work-from-home and work-from-office ratios, both live and historical
  • Employee Usage
  • Bookings by Department
  • Booking Trends
  • Space Types
  • Department Utilization
  • Total & Live Occupancy
  • Department Forecasts & Visualization
  • Resource/Amenities Utilizations
  • Supply/Demand Analytics
  • “What if” Space-Planning Scenarios



Embrace Hybrid and Drive Productivity


Hybrid workforces are paving the future of corporate America. As employee productivity levels continue to grow among hybrid and fully-remote workforces, more businesses are looking to make the switch. To effectively adapt, you can rely on Smarten Spaces as a leading provider of hybrid workplace solutions to make your transition seamless.

With Smarten Spaces, multiple departments can collaborate with up-to-date data on a single platform that scales as needed. Integrate with virtual collaboration tools including Zoom, Teams, Webex, Google Meet, or Skype. Integrate with sensors to monitor room occupancy, environmental monitoring, and building management system controls.

Leveraging our powerful, award-winning AI technology, Smarten Spaces provides a 360-degree view, gives workers perspective within the context of the entire organization, illuminating how all operational areas affect each other and how this in turn impacts productivity.

Schedule a Smarten Spaces virtual demonstration today and discover how deploying one cutting-edge platform can handle everything so you can organize and connect your team to make the new hybrid work environment work for you.