How SA's organisations can adopt smarter hybrid work models
Charis Nicholas, Head of High Touch End User, Video Collaboration – South and Southern Africa
A 2021 PWC survey of 32 500 workers shows that nearly three-quarters of respondents want a mix of remote and in-person working conditions. However, only 10% of South African workers wish to return to a traditional work environment full-time. Additionally, just over a third of South African workers (33%) say their ideal work environment would be a mix of face-to-face and remote working in the future.
Although some organisations in the country, like Webafrica, have closed their physical offices and are permanently working remotely, most organisations surveyed in recent World Wide Worx research have opted for a hybrid work model.
Unfortunately, while some organisations may crack the hybrid work code, some still grapple with the when, how, why and who of this new hybrid work reality, especially when building a successful hybrid strategy tailored to company culture.
So how can organisations operate effectively without getting bogged down with the mechanics of a hybrid work strategy?
IT: The technology behind hybrid work success
Organisations need to realise that employee expectations are now entirely different. For example, technology that was once a nice-to-have is now necessary for conference rooms and any other office space – a private office, hot desk or remote workspace.
As a result, IT teams now have to think holistically about how to outfit their hybrid workforce environments. The set-ups also have to play well in an ecosystem where employees routinely toggle between Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet and other web-based video meeting platforms.
Facilities: Configuring “anywhere” spaces
Since the pandemic, organisations have had to create hot desks, huddle rooms or traditional conference rooms. This space planning is a crucial yet challenging task for employees who may or may not even come into the physical office on any given day, allowing organisations to support new hybrid work schedules, enable personalisation and promote a safe working environment.
However, implementing the right technology in these spaces is the first step. Organisations must introduce tools that help employees easily schedule and find these spaces to reduce the frustration of adapting to a new environment.
Human resources: It’s all about the employee experience
According to findings from the Remchannel bi-annual 2022 Salary and Wage Survey, 35% of South African employees are unhappy to be back at the office, even if it is a hybrid model. The survey found that organisational culture and key elements such as improved communication, trust and empowering workers have become prerequisites for employees.
It’s become the responsibility of HR professionals to try and build and retain a healthy, productive workforce in all facets and complications. Although sometimes seen as a tremendous benefit, having distributed locations can also bring drawbacks from the lack of face-to-face communication, onboarding and mentoring.
Organisations need to think smart about hybrid work
Making hybrid work successful for everyone requires innovative solutions and technology. This has been a major focus for Logitech over the last two years and the organisation continues to create solutions to help navigate the new working reality. For example, in addition to streamlining internal operations, organisations can adopt video conferencing solutions that help make the virtual meeting experience more equitable for all employees and provide analytics and insights into meeting room usage while bringing simplicity with one touch.
Together with organisations listening to all stakeholders and addressing their challenges, adopting these solutions is the best possible start to making hybrid work a success in 2022.