The pandemic held up a mirror and forced people to see the unpredictability of life. It acted as a litmus test for business continuity and resiliency and threw a curveball at even well-prepared companies. From board meetings to court hearings, everything became virtual. What became a challenge at offices was for the Human Resources Team to ensure minimal disruptions to work, productivity, and business goals.
Navigating the shift to remote work, amalgamating technology into every aspect while ensuring that employees stay connected and relevant in an ever-changing environment became the new normal. It became evident that people wanted their jobs to fit into their lifestyle, unlike earlier, when they molded their lives according to their job. Hybrid work was the solution.
Technology: The force behind hybrid work productivity
Last year's events hastened the arrival of the future of work, which includes a scattered yet connected workforce, the emergence of futuristic skill sets, and a rise in automation. New technology trends influencing this hybrid work culture will depend on next-generation technologies like AI/ML, Cloud Infrastructure, SaaS, and IoT. This upgrade in technology will empower employers and employees to collaborate more efficiently, flexibly, and with resilience over the long term. Traditional businesses need to adapt and opt for reliable technology which enables them to participate in this revolution.
With this technological backbone, a hybrid model of work has emerged as the perfect way for organizations to strike a balance between face-to-face work and the flexibility of working from home. It boosts the employees' productivity and ensures that there is a better work-life balance and positive mental well-being. The shift to hybrid offices is already visible in many parts of the world. There is a considerable demand for new-age office communication and collaboration tools that support team building in the virtual world. Real-Time engagement platforms will redefine and lay the foundation for hybrid work by enabling meaningful conversations and networking through internal video/audio collaboration.
As companies continue to adopt a more flexible, hybrid style of working, meeting colleagues is no longer confined to the physical walls of the boardroom. They are now required to become more at ease with the highly interactive video conferencing tools and virtual whiteboards.
Remote work productivity can be easily enabled via RTE. With live interactive features like real-time messaging, voice chat, video chat, screen sharing, document sharing, and more, RTE provides the building blocks to create seamless team productivity apps that enhance efficiency and creative collaboration. RTE platforms also offer social features like virtual gifting, face filters, and sound effects that encourage fun and team building. Similarly, technologies with integrated cloud whiteboards give multiple remote users the ability to collaborate in the same space in real-time. Colleagues can provide real-time feedback and can even edit content directly, irrespective of their location.
Whether it's a one-on-one brainstorming session or a live conference stream to a million people, advanced algorithms provide adaptive resolution. Immediate initial video rendering and seamless channel switching offer a reliable stream without delay, against even the most challenging network conditions.
There will be an emergence of mixed reality environments that companies will adopt to boost remote collaboration in the coming days. Mixed Reality will facilitate a merger between the real and virtual world. It is no longer unrealistic to imagine teams attending VR-based conferences with their colleagues while on vacation in Mexico.
The future is now
Companies need to rewind, re-think and re-assess their working choices now. Today, a lot of conversations are only calendar-driven and end up as work talk. Employees miss the coffee breaks, office picnics, and casual chit chat. Therefore, it is crucial to foster and drive a sharing space that allows other people to see the discussion and simultaneously participate and feel more connected. The new generation of workplace tools goes beyond communications infrastructure's utility and aims to provide human interactivity. Companies such as Pragli and Loop are replicating In-Real-Life (IRL) experiences in a virtual space. In a physical office set-up, we would tap someone or look at a colleague's body gestures and movements and determine their moods. Recreating some of those real-life behaviors is vital in how we think about the future of the workplace in 2022.