The future of work has evolved as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. With uncertainty over in-person activities and what looks to be another “roaring ‘20s” economically, people demand more from companies that employ them.
Businesses all over the world now find themselves at the mercy of two post-covid work challenges: a hybrid work model and a nationwide talent shortage.
Over the past two years, many people found they enjoyed the freedom to choose to work in-office or remote. In fact, a survey last year found that almost 47% of US adults would quit if there wasn’t a flexible work option. This forced companies to try catering to the demand for a hybrid work model while still maintaining operational efficiency.
But that has become even more challenging as the talent shortage in West Michigan, and the U.S. in general, refuses to show signs of getting better any time soon.
We’re experiencing the highest shortage of in-demand skills in 15 years, with 69% of employers reporting difficulty filling positions. That number is only set to increase by 2030.
So what can you do? How do you embrace a modern workplace that supports hybrid work and keeps your employees feeling happier, more valued, and likely to stay?
You can leverage technology to help your organization cultivate a positive and connected culture, and do more with fewer resources. Here are six solutions companies all over the country should consider when shifting to a new “modern workplace.”
Audit Your Technology Infrastructure
Before you adopt any new technology, it’s important to understand what specific challenges they solve for your business, and how they are enabling better work.
Maybe you have outdated technology draining your time, money, and resources. Maybe the technology you are leveraging limits your employee’s ability to work remotely.
Making sure you have the right foundational technology infrastructure to match your workforce strategy will help you get the most out of your IT services, result in better operational ROI, and build a strong foundation for success.
Going digital bridges the gap between in-office work and remote work by taking advantage of cloud-based solutions. Solutions that are available from anywhere and on any device.
Cloud-based services not only allow for new ways to connect and collaborate, but they also simplify and reduce the effort required to maintain your technology foundation.
Another huge benefit is increased security. The cloud keeps your data secure and backed up off-site in case anything goes wrong, so you can focus on what really matters.
Embrace Real-time Collaboration
When it comes to any team-based environment, communication is key.
Having a messaging platform like Microsoft Teams combines your email client with your regular productivity applications so you can respond to messages, schedule and join meetings, and work on the same files — all in real-time.
It even gives you direct access to everyone’s work calendars, which makes scheduling and organizing meetings quick and easy.
Improve Your Hardware AND Your Software Security
Last year we experienced a huge increase in cybercrime where almost two-thirds of companies worldwide experienced some form of cyber attack.
So how can you protect your employees, clients, and business better when they’re all over the place? Leverage cloud solutions to simplify security and enable more advanced security features.
According to most technology experts, cloud-based services can be secured more easily, and cost less to implement. While keeping your data on-premises CAN be secured as well as the cloud, the simplicity of enabling best practice (and advanced) security measures in the cloud is quicker, easier, and more cost-effective.
Plus, with the cloud, you get all the other benefits of hybrid work built-in!
Automate Time-consuming Processes
Many of the biggest hurdles to operational efficiency are time-consuming, manual tasks.
Things as simple as getting paid-leave approval, invoicing, and other general business processes involve multiple employees can take hours.
Thankfully, there’s a simple solution. Thanks to tools like Power Automate, you can create workflows between various apps and services, bringing people together in a timely manner.
This lets you automate mundane tasks so they are completed in minutes, even when your employees are working in disparate locations.
Get Actionable Insights
Beyond directly improving collaboration and productivity, technology gives you the tools you need to make better business decisions.
Instead of scrolling through an endless list of spreadsheets to find the reports and data insights you’re looking for, you can visualize your data in real-time, so you gain better customer insights and drive better results.
How Organizations are Adapting to the Modern Workplace
While technology isn’t the answer for everything, there is a strong case for how a technology solution can help enable a truly modern workplace and hybrid work.
According to a study by Goldsmiths, the University of London, organizations augmented by automation technologies were 33% better at making a workplace more human-friendly and improved employee productivity by 31%.
That’s why companies should feel embracing technology isn’t just about following the trend, it’s about improving business efficiency and helping your employees to do their best work.
But it's not just ANY technology, it needs to be the right technology for you. As with anything, having an effective strategy to address this new need is important.
What’s your strategy for hybrid work?
Here’s How Our Clients Benefit from Modern Workplace Solutions
Novo Building Products
For Novo Building Products, efficiency is key to their success. As a leading manufacturer of mouldings, stair parts, and doors, Novo’s marketing department realized updating its technology infrastructure would help them better meet demand.
Our Modern Workplace team helped Novo develop a strategy for consolidating all marketing content and collaboration into Microsoft Sharepoint on Office 365. We evaluated their content, developed a framework, trained the marketing team on the platform, and helped them get started in their consolidation.
As a result, Novo’s marketing team is now able to use a simple, centralized marketing repository that allows them to access their data from anywhere and on any device.
They are also able to collaborate more efficiently without the need for hundreds of back-and-forth emails, outdated documents, and wasted time.
Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids
Gilda’s Club needed help with their invoice approvals during the pandemic. With their team spread out around the city, it became extremely time-consuming.
Our Modern Workplace team helped map their manual process, build an automated workflow within Microsoft 365 Power Automate, and simplify their system.
Wendy Wigger, president of Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids, said embracing technology helped the organization focus on its mission of emotional health support for anyone facing cancer or grief.
“With the support of InsITe, we have been able to leverage technology to assist us in automating the necessary and sometimes more mundane tasks. This has allowed us to focus our limited time and talent on more important tasks – delivering on our mission.”
With a workforce that is primarily on the road, Harbor Hospice needed a way to ensure every patient received the care they needed. That’s when they turned to technology.
With the deployment of the Microsoft 365 Teams and Sharepoint platform, onsite nurses are now able to communicate in real-time, collaborate remotely, and streamline scheduling so they can improve response times and provide better care for their patients.
Henry Ford College
Verifying the experience and fit of a student before enrolling them in a clinical course or education internship was a lengthy process until Henry Ford College learned there was a better solution.
Our Modern Workplace team helped make this a reality. The customer automation solution included forms, emails, and a database for tracking background screenings.
The Future of Work
The reality of the world we live in demands the ability to work from anywhere, any time, and on any device.
But for many companies, if one key person is out of the office, productivity slows down. In an automated, hybrid work environment, you can reduce reliance on the physical presence of a single person.
Modern technology solutions can improve communication and collaboration, regardless of location or device, and limit the time you spend on repeatable, administrative processes.
As the future of work evolves to focus more on supporting a hybrid workforce and enabling them to be more productive, it will be the organizations that build an effective strategy now, and leverage key technologies wisely, that are more likely to succeed.