It’s the question on every official’s mind: Is pressing for a return the right thing to do? Will productivity drop if people continue to work from home?
In fact, 80% of Australian managers Survey by CIO.com In November 2021, he said the switch to working from home has created a more positive view of remote work policies within their company, and they are now looking at how they plan for office space, technical staffing, and overall staffing levels going forward.
The problem for business leaders is the common concern that if everyone is working at home in isolation, the corporate culture— I don’t know what What makes the company better than competitors – may diminish over time, especially when new people are introduced into the business.
Clearly, coffee conversations and lunch discussions have subsided as more people are working from home. How to restart the culture of five-minute conversation? How can employees train new joining workers if they cannot provide guidance on a swivel chair?
From a workforce perspective, though, the benefits of remote work are numerous: more flexibility around younger children’s schedules, more regular family time, more sleep, no commute time, reduced daily costs, not to mention the ability to control personal risks. Regarding the virus that is still spreading in the community.
It will take trial
2021 will be a year of experimentation, and this will undoubtedly continue until 2022, said Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google. No company on earth has all the answers yet about striking the perfect balance of hybrid work.
For example, Google understands that the office will not be what it used to be – most people will be working remotely for some time – which means that when they come in, it won’t necessarily be sitting at their usual desk to do the work; it will be more about collaborating with their team and extended stakeholders.
So Google and our customers are experimenting with new types of workspaces, made possible by leveraging the large ecosystem of technology partners Google works with.
Here are some of the major improvements we’ve made to make hybrid work more human.
#1 Make remote participants equal in meetings
The biggest complaint from remote meeting participants is the feeling of inequality with the people in the room – indeed a serious problem in a workplace looking to get the best out of all team members.
Google has investigated how to make meetings equal for everyone, whether called in the room or in the room, and has developed a concept of “immersive meetings” where remote participants appear on displays around the table.
For people in the room, a central multi-lens camera tracks each participant’s faces personally so that they appear at the far end as separate squares on the screen. The result is that in the room, everyone has a seat at the table, and everyone is shown at a distance as a separate video tile.
Google’s new Companion Mode (in preview) also allows people in the meeting room to attend with the same level of accuracy as someone presenting remotely. This makes the experience consistent, regardless of where the participant is. Take a look at the video below to see how it works.
#2 Make the most of the time when the team is together
If teams get together for a quick design, the last thing they need is a cramped conference room with one whiteboard and six red flags, all dry.
Dedicated enemy spaces allow teams to reserve space to meet all the equipment they need to get the work done quickly.
Large displays, presentation space, and mini tablets where two team members can collaborate together, and multiple digital whiteboards allow teams to get work done quickly.
#3 Make the most of space with team flexi pods
Sitting down with team members remains important on days when teams meet. However, density limits will remain important in the office as the pandemic continues and even into the annual flu season, so it is important that the office can navigate around the teams’ needs.
Consider how you can better support employees when they choose to come into the office — that could mean reconsidering office banks designed for all-day employees and instead reconfiguring them into small bookable neighborhoods designed for focused collaboration.
It may also help to add more dividers to office desk areas and the space between pods to allow smaller groups of people to meet safely. If these are not permanent breaks, the office can be easily reconfigured according to the team’s changing needs.
#4 Putting cooperation first
If you’re transitioning to a mixed business model, why leave your office technology as is and expect the same results? It is imperative that the software platforms you provide for your team are built from the ground up for online collaboration, not as an afterthought.
Built on the basis of live document collaboration, Google Workspace works well on any device through a web browser. Video chat is built right into the apps themselves, so team members can talk to each other directly on the live document where they’re doing the work, instead of having to “share the screen.”
And since documents live in the cloud by default, team members quickly get used to not emailing documents to each other, but instead working on them collaboratively in real time.
#5 Make hybrid work more humane
Many employers have found that their teams have seamlessly transitioned to remote work surprisingly, thanks to the fortunate confluence of collaboration technologies that are maturing and the broadband available across Australia.
However, employees have also told them through surveys that working from home is a luxury challenge – it’s easy to feel that wall-to-wall video meetings can be less fun than the social aspect of the workplace.
This is where it can be beneficial to hold social events for employees including remote team members that are little more than drinks at 5pm on a Friday.
It might be a bartender hosting a drinks-making class where everyone prepares cocktails with their team members, or an online Wiki-style contest to put together a cookbook with recipes for the staff.
Perhaps team members could book a 10 minute 1:1 video session with a chef to learn how to prepare a healthy home-cooked lunch.