In a Deloitte 2021 Return to Workplaces survey, 68 percent of executives reported that they intended for their corporate workforce to operate in a hybrid model. While that’s great news for employees who prefer the flexibility, this complicates things for the IT leaders planning their company’s return-to-office strategy.
A hybrid strategy can be complicated to execute as it must enable employee connectivity from any location all while ensuring everyone feels they can participate and collaborate on equal footing—as if they were all in the same room. This makes audio and video solutions that provide seamless communication between employees across diverse locations essential to all three phrases of your return-to-office strategy: planning, deployment and adoption.
PLANNING IS THE FOUNDATION OF SUCCESS
When it comes to return to office, you need to consider two types of workspaces: shared and personal. Shared spaces are rooms of all sizes, from your largest conference room to your smallest focus and huddle spaces. Personal spaces can be a desk in the office or at home, a seat in a coffee shop or at the airport, or any other place where employees may need to work.
As you analyze your shared spaces, consider if any of them need to be reconfigured to meet the needs of a hybrid working model, such as ensuring remote participants can join meetings with a presence equal to those physically in the room.
To plan the best communication devices for personal spaces, consider both the characteristics of the workspace itself and the employee’s workstyle. Individual preference and comfort are also important factors for equipment like headsets and video devices.
GETTING DEPLOYMENT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME
Deployment starts with regular communication about what’s happening and when it’s happening to help set stakeholder and end-user expectations. Next comes the rollout.
However, before beginning the rollout, you must organize it. Figure out how the deployment should go, who will be installing the new devices and how to deliver the new solutions to remote workers, supporting them in their ongoing use. Before the first device is installed, ensure you’ll be able to manage your entire portfolio once the deployment is completed.
In addition to rolling out devices to employees, figure out how you’ll provide them with the instructions and information they need to use their personal devices and meeting room equipment.
INCREASING EMPLOYEE ADOPTION
You know what they say…first impressions matter! A company needs to make it easy for everyone to adopt the new devices to ensure employee productivity, validate the company’s investment and improve business results. Adoption is an ongoing process, but it hinges greatly on the first time an employee tries to use the device.
If they are unsuccessful or think their new equipment is hard to use, they will avoid using it. Often this means they’ll find a workaround that reduces their productivity and makes them less effective. So, ensuring first-usage success is an important part of your adoption program.
But adoption doesn’t end there. It’s a continuous process of helping users maximize their benefit from their personal devices or meeting room tech.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF EXPERT ADVICE
There’s a lot to take into account as you strategize your return to office. Most of the office planning you’ve done in the past no longer applies, so it may feel like starting from scratch in some areas.
To help simplify the process, we’ve drawn upon our in-house experts to create a free toolkit to answer common questions, and provide tips, best practices and checklists across the planning, deployment and adoption phases. Before you finalize your strategy, check out Poly’s Return to Office Toolkit.