Article: Top 5 soft skills employees need to be successful in hybrid workplaces


Top 5 soft skills employees need to be successful in hybrid workplaces

In the hybrid workplace, skills create interpersonal relationships that foster and encourage team building, innovation, loyalty and commitment
Top 5 soft skills employees need to be successful in hybrid workplaces

As the job market recovers, the future of work has also gone through a sea change and is now being defined by flexible work arrangements. As per a report by EY, 79% of companies intend to make “moderate to extensive hybrid work changes” due to an overwhelming demand for flexible work from employees. As many as 90% of the employees have demanded greater flexibility in where and how they work. As larger number of people join the workforce and search for new jobs, flexible work has become one of the top priorities for the modern job seeker.

However, the current situation is far from perfect.

A survey from Monster, a popular job forum, found that 86% of workers feel their professional growth has stalled as a result of the pandemic and about 54% of workers fear they don't have the skills needed to succeed in the new normal. Another global study found that 80% of people leaders found the hybrid working environment to be exhausting for employees resulting in a poor work/life balance. What could be the reason for this? 

Multiple studies show that when the world moved to remote work in 2020, average working hours increased. A reason for this could be chalked down to hybrid work setups creating disparate employee experiences. One person’s remote setup can vary vastly from someone else's and because most communication systems are multi-device and multi-platform, which require expertise to operate, the equity of experience is not guaranteed. This consequently results in a waste of time thus creating a frustrating experience for everyone involved. Secondly, once the meeting starts, it is often that one side is delivering content while the other is silent, which brings forth the lack of interaction and collaborative tools. This results in creating a poor experience and might even result in information falling through the cracks due to the lack of tools that capture the minutia of a meeting. Subsequently, next interactions on similar topics could result in repetition which drags down productivity. 

However, to counter such issues, here are five skills that would make for a successful hybrid working environment.


The pandemic and the lockdown sped up the digital transformation that was already happening in many companies making technologies such as video conferencing, messaging apps, and project management software to be commonplace. A lot of organisations are now providing employees with personal work desk kits to ensure a better work-from-home experience and are training them to make their remote meetings efficient. Devices such as video calling apps, tools that allow collaboration and help employees to bring their ideas to one place, and devices that allow employees to connect with colleagues instantly are also required. Firms are also introducing cutting-edge video conferencing devices that have embedded wireless content collaboration systems in place to make meetings interactive and productive.

Online Security

A recent report found that 95% of cybersecurity breaches were due to human error. Therefore, training employees on cybersecurity is not just important, it is vital for an organisation’s survival. The need of the hour is the adoption of user-friendly solutions that can be easily implemented and understood. Training programmes that simulate scenarios catering to the distributed workforce, courses that address the threat of information flowing in and out of the office leaking, and the various types of attacks should provide for a well-rounded, upskilled workforce.


The technology for communication and collaboration is key to making any hybrid workplace effective. Creating a workplace that uses analytics and connected technology to help people use collaboration tools more productively will not only help employees improve but also enable connectivity and collaboration. The advent of technologies such as Unified Communications as a Service (UcaaS) and Virtual Contact Centres have integrated the functionalities of phone, IM, chat, video conferencing, contact centre functions, reporting and analytics in one package that is operational on all systems. Technologies such as this are key in enabling companies of all sizes to benefit from secure, future-proofed, enterprise-grade, fully integrated communications solutions.

From a human perspective, a large percentage of employees working remotely want to collaborate with their colleagues in different locations and geographies due to a greater degree of integration. To align with the needs of today’s flexible, hybrid workforce, companies must proactively train and upskill employees in dynamic communication, collaboration, and support solutions, which will play a critical role for businesses to meet the challenges of a hybrid work economy.


While there’s no one-size-fits-all model for a hybrid workforce or team, leaders must balance differing employee preferences to ensure continued productivity and collaboration. Some team members may be demanding to get back to the office, but many others want to continue to work from home. One study even found that 64% would prefer a permanent work-from-home situation over a pay raise. Therefore, it is key that leaders reassure people, regardless of where they are working their choice is not career-limiting and their contributions are valued. This also sets the stage for effective team collaboration as effective leaders set the stage in ensuring all employees are empowered through a seamless IT experience. This humanises a rapidly digitised workplace, resulting in employees to be more fulfilled who are provided with the bandwidth to fulfil their duties. Leaders that do not proactively enhance the digital employee experience as part of the business strategy stand to face increased costs, reduced security, and heightened organizational friction that will lead to inefficiency.

Team building

Before the pandemic, a Harvard Business Review study found that some employees working remotely felt like they were excluded from the team as changes were made to projects without their knowledge or input. As a hybrid workforce will never be in the same location at the same time, the organisation can leverage cloud-based tools that can be accessed from any location.  Also, as multiple channels for communication are used in a hybrid model, important information can be lost in translation. Therefore, it is key that tools that centralize communication funnels in a single platform for easy documentation, storage, and access are used. Conducting team meetings over video conferencing platforms and maintaining regular communication through messaging apps are important for fostering an environment of shared creative thinking. For example, a virtual whiteboard can help teams collaborate during brainstorming sessions. Having a shared culture, team dynamics and qualities like empathy go a long way in creating effective hybrid teams.

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Topics: Skilling, Skills Assessments, #SkillUp

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