Now that most businesses and employees have some type of return to office policy in place, many businesses are finding those initial policies to be lacking. Business needs and technology are also changing. How are you evolving your original back to office strategies to nurture communication, collaboration, and culture? In this article, we go beyond the original return to office strategy and explore what’s next on the business horizon.
Return to Office Strategies
Most businesses have implemented a return to office strategy and adopted some form of hybrid workplace to accommodate the changing needs of our workforce. Many employees love working from home, while others find it more productive to be in the office. Businesses of every size agree that there are important elements to both. One of the most important elements to a successful return to office strategy is the utilization of technology to minimize disruption and maximize productivity. Since this is new territory to us all, a technology advisor may be able to assist with important technology decisions, based on your business’ evolving environment.
Culture & Technology
One of the biggest challenges we’ve seen to this entire virtual, hybrid, back to office strategy is the swift changes in culture and technology. After all, there are different technology and culture strategies for staff that need to be in the office than for those that work remotely. Ensuring that those team members have the resources they need is also an important consideration. How can technology enhance, or even limit, the culture between those two groups? Is there a bigger disparity between employees and leadership? What is the impact of ‘lost connections’ on the business culture? How do you support ‘open door’ policies when teams may not interact in-person for weeks or months at a time? How do you nurture employee engagement without making them feel like they’re under surveillance?
Brent Doherty, founder of Conscious Networks, suggests a multi-pronged approach. “The pandemic has been an accelerator for innovating, so most businesses are evolving their culture, technology, and staffing strategies simultaneously. Each of these strategies may need to be updated independently or concurrently. There’s a much bigger landscape than simply providing workers with technology. That’s why it’s more important than ever to utilize a technology partner to help you evaluate all of the variables.”
Consider the Impact
There are technology solutions for every business challenge, so it’s important to consider the impact of technology on your business’ culture. Businesses may want to consider:
- Does AI or machine automation limit employee interaction – what are the trade-offs?
- Does a rapid deployment of technology outweigh the importance of effective training?
- Will new technologies break existing processes or cause integration issues with other software or your infrastructure?
- Do rapid rollouts impact adoption rates?
- How do ‘always-on’ cultures affect employee health and morale?
When it comes to technology, many businesses broke the mold for rapid deployment of technology, since 2020. However, there has been a downside to increased access and adoption of technology, namely technology overload. We’ll explore this topic further in our next article.
Now more than ever, a valued technology advisor can serve as a very strategic business partner. Your existing team may be overwhelmed with exploring new technology options, rolling out updates, maintaining dynamic security challenges with virtual and mobile users, and ensuring that everything is integrated properly. The technology experts at Conscious Networks can be an invaluable resource. Learn more about the services we provide, or reach out to schedule a technology consultation today.