Many employers are implementing a hybrid work model to balance remote and in-office work. Although the hybrid work model was conceived out of necessity, it has become a fundamental component of the corporate culture.
Recent surveys state that 74% of U.S. companies are using or plan to implement a permanent hybrid work model. Although there are many benefits to this type of working environment, your organization will need access to the right AV technology to ensure a healthy workplace.
What is a Hybrid Working Environment?
A hybrid working environment combines in-office and remote work. In most of these arrangements, employees work from home and on-site on specific days of the week for an improved work-life balance. In some cases, employees only work from the office on an as-needed basis. A recent report from McKinsey states that about 20% to 25% of the workforce could work from home between three and five days per week.
The Benefits and Drawbacks of Hybrid Working
Implementing a hybrid working arrangement can be impactful for business success when executed properly. Many employees prefer a hybrid working environment because it allows them flexibility and freedom. This increased flexibility leads to a balanced workload and greater work-life satisfaction. Recent research states that 87% of respondents found that remote and hybrid work improved their work-life balance. Meanwhile, employers benefit from lower operational costs, with 56% of workplace leaders saving on costs from reducing the size of their physical office.
However, hybrid working environments come with a few pitfalls. To begin with, it can be challenging to maintain a strong company culture and consistent collaboration with employees. In addition, hybrid workers are more prone to burnout than on-site employees, while in-office workers may need help managing long commutes. Additionally, hybrid working environments are only suitable for some industries, and some organizations benefit most from fully remote or in-office employees.
The Best AV Tools and Tips for Better Hybrid Working
A 2021 report from Accenture found that employees that used a hybrid work model during the pandemic experienced improved mental health, strengthened work relationships, and more positive feelings about their organization.
Audiovisual integration professionals can work with your organization to create a healthy, productive hybrid working environment where your employees can thrive. Consider the following solutions for an improved hybrid workplace.
1. Provide Comprehensive Employee Training
A poor onboarding process can negatively impact employee retention when employees start a new job remotely. An employee’s first couple weeks are essential in creating a healthy working environment. Studies show that 20% of employee turnover is most likely to happen within the first 45 days of employment, but the right tools can improve your employee training processes.
Begin improving your onboarding process with high-quality video conferencing technology, which can make it easier for managers to offer guidance and explain essential functions. In addition, round-the-clock access to training videos will ensure that workers can reference critical materials when they require assistance. Ensure all employees access advanced video and sound equipment for a smooth onboarding process.
2. Create a Comfortable In-Office Environment
When you’re creating a hybrid working environment, it’s crucial that employees feel as comfortable in the office as they do at home. A comfortable in-person environment ensures that employees feel empowered while also boosting productivity. Effective AV design will allow your organization to achieve these goals.
For instance, lighting has a profound effect on employee mood and productivity. Including warm LED lighting ensures that employees do not experience eye strain or headaches while working. Consider installing video walls to engage employees and display critical announcements or interactive images for an eye-catching work environment. It is also helpful to work with AV integration specialists to create an open office space to avoid the harsh, impersonal feel of bland cubicles.
3. Facilitate Communication and Collaboration
A dispersed workforce can cause some of your employees to feel excluded. Although it may not be possible for each team to be physically present in the same room, remote collaboration options, such as video conferencing technology, can account for any communication challenges.
High-quality video conferencing equipment, such as high-definition cameras, fully-integrated speakers, and microphones, will allow employees to communicate just as they would in person. Audiovisual integrators may suggest the addition of high-powered computers to ensure reliable audio and video processing.
4. Create a Strong Workplace Culture
Creating a unified company culture can be challenging when many of your workers are remote, but it is possible. One of the primary ways to cultivate a healthy workplace culture is by adding an updated employee break room.
Allow AV integration specialists to update your break rooms by adding digital signage and interactive maps in your employee break room. You can utilize digital signage to display birthday announcements, HR updates, and recognition pieces to boost employee morale. Interactive maps are ideal for new employees, guests, and remote workers to ensure they can easily navigate the building.
5. Conduct Regular Check-Ins
When employees are working remotely, it’s essential to conduct regular check-ins. While 1:1 chats are helpful, many employees find it beneficial to speak with one another in a quiet, private environment with the assistance of collaborative AV tools to aid conversation.
Huddle rooms are the ideal solution to unify a dispersed workforce. The primary benefit of huddle rooms is that in-office employees can utilize them to work privately or host small meetings, even if some participants are joining from a remote location. Huddle rooms offer flexibility, often needing more in an open office space, and eliminate the need for large conference rooms.
Create a Healthy Hybrid Working Environment with Applied Global
At Applied Global Technologies (AGT), we offer various AV solutions designed to improve workplace productivity. Our team has the tools and expertise to help your business make the most of its shared office space.
To learn more about our AV solutions, contact us today. We’ll be happy to discuss your specific needs and recommend the right solution for your business and budget.