Whilst so many things about the year ahead remain uncertain, one thing we can be sure of is the continued evolution of the workplace. After a year which saw our working habits change irretrievably, 2021 will be all about catching our breath and investing in the technology to not only catch up to those changes, but to establish a hybrid, blended workplace that will be fit for the long-term.
Employee expectations have changed: people have realized the benefits of a more flexible and autonomous working life, and businesses need to act fast to satisfy these needs. Hybrid working technology will take center stage in this new era of hybrid working, allowing employees the freedom they desire without sacrificing the collaboration and connection they need to do their jobs and deliver for their employers.
In our last trend to watch for in 2021 as we explore how technology can reinforce hybrid working and strengthen employee engagement in hybrid meetings.
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In the early stages of the pandemic when remote working was still a novelty, businesses were solely focused on survival and ensuring work could continue in a remote setting that was foreign to so many. Now, after several months of home working have passed and the end of the pandemic is in sight, the focus will shift from productivity to meaningful engagement.
2020 left employees feeling less engaged than ever. Accustomed to multi-tasking during remote meetings and suffering from a lack of communication, workforces finished the year distracted and fatigued. Moving forward employers must commit to creating hybrid meeting environments that keep people’s attention and enable them to focus on the discussion, regardless of how they are participating in it. This will become increasingly important as the workforce is split between home and office. It will no longer be acceptable for remote participants to feel left out of proceedings; technology must bridge the gap, providing a more immersive experience for remote participants through superior quality visual and sound offerings.
We can also expect to see more investment in the home office as the hybrid model takes off. In order to achieve a seamless transition between office and home, employees need to be as able to carry out their work at the same level from either location. Look out for significant investment into remote and ergonomic technology for the home office to boost engagement and ensure consistent performance in both settings.
Ultimately, this is all about employee engagement. In 2021, engagement will become the biggest tool in maintaining productivity. Employers should focus on finding ways to inspire their teams, because the results can be remarkable: studies have shown increasing a company’s engagement by just 10% can grow profits by $2,400 per employee annually.
As the expectations of employees have shifted to more flexible and hybrid ways of working, it’s high time for the business to act and address these needs. Investing in collaborative technology to foster connectivity and engagement is their number one priority for 2021.