3 ways workplace managers can streamline in-office work
Hybrid working forces organizations to pay closer attention to their employees. To attract them to the office, increase cross-team collaboration, and boost productivity, workplace managers can help employees make time spent on site more intentional.
Across the globe, Hybrid working has now been established as the norm. What hasn’t yet been established among many organizations is the optimal way to bring employees together within this environment.
Many employees are uncertain about the structure of their daily working lives and only 34% of companies are currently utilizing formal guidelines to help their teams manage their time and communicate with colleagues.
This means that people wonder how much they should be in the office and how they should use the office. They’re willing to go in for a reason—to connect with colleagues, for example—but inefficiencies mean that they can spend more time trying to find facilities or the right time to meet. And this friction makes in-office work feel like more hassle. It is perhaps for this reason that a lack of workday structure has also been linked to increased turnover rate.
Without clear support to connect with colleagues, employees can feel overworked, underworked, or far apart from their teams. In this article, we explore three ways organizations can make planning workdays easier so employees feel more enthusiastic to come into the office.
1. Understand employee behavior
The first step to efficiently planning in-person activities is to understand how employees use the office currently. This means undertaking studies to understand how people use the office and where they feel most productive.
Organizations can also use purpose-driven quantitative data, such as that provided by Mapiq, to precisely build out this picture by looking at factors such as numbers of connections and which areas of the office employees use most. This can then be used to encourage more of the same behaviors when planning and to open up space for increased collaboration and productivity.
Taking an in-depth look at the employee experience produces some interesting results. For example, recent Future Forum research shows that employees are most likely to come into the office for collaboration and building camaraderie. And a study by Dropbox backs this up, with employees describing their concerns about building relationships and connecting with colleagues in a natural way while working remotely.
At the same time, Dropbox’s research also shows that employees feel most productive when completing focus work while managers feel most productive when organizing teams. That employees don’t necessarily feel productive while connecting is a distinction that makes sense, but it also makes clear that a shift in perspective is needed... Organizations should be sure to focus on empowering employees at every level of their workday journey.
2. Create a workplace technology strategy
Workplace technology plays a crucial role in supporting collaboration and communication in a hybrid workplace. But organizations need to ensure they have integrated systems that support employees at each level of their workday journey and remove the inefficiences of siloed tools. Here are some key areas to focus on:
- Video conferencing tools that facilitate frictionless hybrid meetings and note-taking apps that ensure people can remain in the loop if they miss the call
- Asynchronous messaging tools that allow employees working different hours to easily stay connected with rules around minimum reply times to ensure everyone remains on the same page
- Project management software that makes it easy for colleagues to set clear deadlines, view projects, tasks, documents, and messages in one platform
- Workplace experience tools to guide the employee's journey at the office by suggesting the best resources (e.g. meeting rooms) based on their own and their team members’ schedules
3. Implement strategies to boost cross-team collaboration
Cross-team collaboration is linked to higher levels of innovation because it facilitates the spontaneous sharing of knowledge and ideas. However, it’s much more rare among employees who may not use the office at similar times. And so hybrid work can lead to a siloeing of teams and fewer organic connections.
To combat this issue and encourage a workday full of connection, organizations should focus on:
- Creating opportunities for departments to collaborate in person and being clear on which tasks are right for cross-team collaboration
- Designing the office with cross-team collaboration in mind—for example, by having departments that could collaborate often together sit in neighboring areas
- Letting employees coordinate their office days with tools like Mapiq by showing their colleagues when and where they can work on site
A more efficient workday
Hybrid working forces organizations to pay closer attention to their employees. To attract them to the office, increase cross-team collaboration, and boost productivity, they must help them make time spent on site more intentional.
This means utilizing data and technology to make it easy for employees to use the space, providing clarity on ways for teams and departments to connect, and using data to build out a clear picture of the current workplace experience.
Interested in learning more about improving your employees’ in-office experience? Get in touch.