REPORT
Not Another Hybrid Work Debate
Office Technology
Chapter 3

Zoom, Loom, or get a room?

Sharpen your tech weapons to bridge the physical gap.

Tech bridges the physical gap

Now that teams are more distributed than ever, the right tech stack is crucial to helping teams seamlessly transition between physical and virtual workspaces. 83% of employees said that good technology was an important factor in their work—only behind pay equity, a supportive manager, and health benefits (Owl Labs).

The importance of good technology to support hybrid work is prevalent in all aspects of an employee's workday. According to Unisys, nearly half (49%) of employees lose between one to five hours of productivity per week dealing with tech issues; 23% lose six hours or more.

Hot Tip
HOT TIP

Improve connectivity with tech upgrades and troubleshooting training

With technology being the main way to connect distributed teams, losing time throughout the workday because of tech issues is significant and should be resolved. Upgrading your organization’s tech stack and providing training for troubleshooting tech issues are good areas to start. 

“Digital tools and technology play a crucial role in connecting distributed organizations and enabling productivity. Slack, Teams, Miro, Mural, Figma—they all end up being really important in how teams actually collaborate asynchronously and synchronously.”
Brian Elliott
Brian Elliot
Co-founder of Future Forum
frm. Google, Slack
Listen to Podcast Episode
44% Stat

44% of organizations with successful hybrid programs include both change management and technology investments in their hybrid work program.

The right tech stack incorporates both synchronous and async workflows

Synchronous

Working together

Examples of synchronous work:

  • In-person meeting
  • Video conferences (e.g., Zoom, Google Meet)
  • Virtual whiteboarding (e.g., Miro, Mural)
  • Phone call
  • Chatting in person
  • One-on-one meetings
  • Instant messaging (e.g., Slack, Google Chat)
  • Live virtual chat

Asynchronous

Working Apart

Examples of asynchronous work:

  • Pre-recorded video (e.g., Loom)
  • Data repositories for employees to access at any time
  • Messages that are not time-sensitive (e.g., emails, letters)
  • Share-file collaborations
  • Project management tools
  • Preparing for meetings (e.g., review slides, gather questions)
  • Deep, focused work (e.g., researching, writing)

Use synchronous tech for time-sensitive matters

The greatest strength of synchronous work is immediacy, or for work requiring immediate reciprocal interactions and responses. Being able to exchange information in real time and see facial expressions are essential for effective collaboration. 

58% of respondents state that seeing who else is in the meeting helped them better interact with their co-workers, according to Canon. This also creates deeper interactions and helps build better relationships in remote settings.

Hot Tip
HOT TIP

Empower remote collaboration

Organizations are increasingly using tech to be more efficient and productive. Collaboration tools like whiteboards allow remote participants to demonstrate their ideas in real time for everyone to see. Chat features while on a video conference encourage more participation by allowing for non-disruptive questions and comments.

What’s more, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming increasingly popular for documenting meeting proceedings and creating detailed meeting notes. Using AI tools for these tasks free attendees up to fully focus on the discussions at hand and allows for easy recording and distribution of information.

“The technology broadly available to us is going to evolve so much. The ability to record conversation, distill conversation, turn that into action items, and spread that out to a team—that's going to become really important in hybrid environments.”
Rob Sadow
Rob Sadow
CEO and Co-founder of Scoop, The Flex Index
Listen to Podcast Episode
83% Stat

By planning some days in the office intentionally, 83% of companies say collaboration on new projects is as good or better than before the pandemic when everyone was on-site full-time.

Use asynchronous tech for non-urgent matters

61% of employees in remote-ready jobs perform their tasks independently and then bring their work to the team for collaboration, according to Gallup. Asynchronous work frees teams from time constraints, which is ideal for global teams in different time zones and flexible work schedules. Employees can provide information and respond to non-urgent matters at times that don’t disrupt their focus. 

In 2021, SurveyMonkey established “Focus Fridays,” removing any internal recurring meetings except for external or business-critical meetings. The amount of time employees spent in meetings on Fridays decreased by 50%. Average productivity for sales representatives increased by 66%.

Hot Tip
HOT TIP

Async work freedom boosts productivity with focused, uninterrupted time

Having the freedom to respond when they’re ready helps employees better block off time on their calendar for focus work. This allows them to actually have lengths of uninterrupted time to finish tasks, leading to higher productivity and efficiency.

Leaders can set certain parameters or expectations around the use of async tech to help employees feel empowered to set focus time. 

“While having a global team is a huge asset, it also means we have to be really intentional with how we spend our time together – and take advantage of the overlapping windows of time with things that cannot get done asynchronously.”
Maria Casella
Maria Casella
VP of People & Operations at Skedda
Read Blog Post
68% Stat

68% of people say they don’t have enough uninterrupted focus time during the workday due to the volume of constant communications.

Hot Tips

Get past the predictions with tips you can implement right away.

HR

Managers must adapt to the challenges of remote and in-person collaboration. Leveraging tech tools to coordinate and align hybrid teams, build virtual relationships, and manage outcomes instead of physical presence become essential skills for managers.

IT

Reassessing and updating your current tech stack where needed will be important to ensuring the success of hybrid work. Implement tech tools that support sync and async work so employees can communicate and collaborate using the best methods for their teams.

Facilities

Paying attention to how the physical space affects the implementation of technology can ensure that the office is ready for new equipment. This can look like installing the correct number of electric outlets and establishing adequate wall space for video displays.

Chapter 4

All heroes need training: Hybrid work requires better managers.

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