We live in a different world than we did just two years ago. After the beginning of the pandemic forced everyone indoors, many Americans traded their morning highway commute for a trip on the Information Superhighway in the form of virtual work. Small home-based businesses keep popping up on the internet, and freelance work is becoming the norm.
Some enterprises have embraced the work-from-home model more freely than others. A few industry leaders have pivoted a hybrid model, wherein employees work out of a physical office a few days a week and from their homes the rest of the time. Hybrid models can be a best of both worlds approach to our new normal, but they take a robust infrastructure of technological tools to make it work. Here are eight such technologies powering the hybrid offices of tomorrow.
Virtual office service
A virtual office subscription offers you all the benefits of a brick-and-mortar office from the comfort of your home. Virtual offices include an actual street address along with mail, fax, and phone reception so that you can run your business operations from anywhere with an Internet connection.
This technology is an excellent way to future-proof your business in uncertain times. With its connection between the physical and the virtual, you can rest easy knowing that your operations will continue whether they’re in-person, hybrid, or remote.
Sometimes employees need to do their work in an actual office, but they may not have an office to go to. Office hoteling is like an Airbnb for at-home workers. A company rents out an unoccupied desk in their office or has an office wholly dedicated to hoteling.
A worker can select the type of desk they want and the amount of time they need it for. It’s possible to choose between a standing or a sitting desk and a private or bullpen desk.
Office hoteling software is a seamless way to book reservations for these desks. A person can check in to their desk from a parking lot or a train, and workers can book entire offices or conference rooms this way.
The cloud is a virtual storage system. Working in a cloud environment is beneficial for hybrid models because you and your employees can access files regardless of access to physical servers. As long as you control access to the files, a cloud-based system will cut down on work for your IT department.
Cloud productivity software also allows coworkers to synchronize their work across geographic distances. In today’s digital world, being less reliant on the brick-and-mortar means being less dependent on servers and hardware. The cloud is your answer to this hybridization stopgap.
Paper-based filing systems will not work in a virtual or hybrid office environment. Virtual document management is an alternative application used as a filing system for virtual paperwork. Software like Google Suite can instantaneously sync files between all authorized users, making it a helpful management tool in or out of the office.
Teams can also distribute files and essential paperwork to everyone in their department or everyone in the company with this kind of software.
You may be able to run a business without an office, but you will not be able to run it without employees. When you hire an employee, they must agree to your company policies.
A new employee must agree to background checks and fill out I9 and W2 forms. Online onboarding tools enable you to collect all of the necessary paperwork without the new employee coming into the office or using faxing equipment.
Project planning is one of the essential tasks you can do in an office. When you use product planning software, everyone on your team will be able to access calendars, budget proposals, and budget approvals.
Some more advanced software will allow you to communicate with the team even when you do not have internet access. For example, you can work from an airplane when you are on your way to a vacation, family event, or conference. Planning software is your ticket to ensuring that your team is on the same page about project deadlines and restrictions.
Telephony is a simple technology that allows people to communicate remotely–we usually think of it as communication between two or more people. It started with the telephone and has made a great deal of progress since then.
Internet telephony enables people to make calls over the internet using a VOIP router, broadband, or private IP network. A traditional telephone uses analog signals via a landline. Internet telephony converts a person’s voice into digital signals before transmitting them between participants.
Having an office phone is essential in any business, and Internet telephony is a simple and inexpensive way to communicate with coworkers and clients.
If you have ever worked in an office, you know that meetings can take up a large part of a worker’s day. Today many services will allow you to attend meetings from your computer.
Services such as Zoom and Skype let you talk to everyone on your team without having to reserve a conference room in an office building. If a team member has a question they don’t want everyone to hear, they can always message the meeting leader privately.
Although people may complain about society becoming too reliant on technology, there are some ways it has made life better. When you work from home, you can spend more time doing what you love. Suppose you’re not ready to eighty-six the office building just yet. In that case, the hybrid model is an excellent way to stay ahead of the culture curve without sacrificing the benefits of in-person professional development.