Hybrid work has become increasingly popular in recent years, as companies have made it easier for employees to access cloud solutions and work from anywhere at any time. This shift has brought many benefits, such as less commute time, increased productivity, job satisfaction and cost savings, but it has also created additional challenges for companies. In this post, we will look at three of the most significant challenges and explore how companies can mitigate them.
- Overreliance on communication tools
- Lack of transparency and accountability
- Poor coordination
Overreliance on Communication Tools
Digital collaboration tools greatly facilitate hybrid workplace adoption by organizations because teams can easily share and communicate in real-time, regardless of their location. This results in less time spent on administrative tasks and more time spent on creative, value-added work. According to a study by McKinsey, “digital collaboration tools can increase productivity by 20-25%.”
Organizations also promote digital collaboration tools to mitigate isolation among hybrid and remote workers. Virtual meetings may help lessen isolation, but not necessarily improve effectiveness and efficiency in the workplace. In a survey done by the University of North Carolina, 65% of the 182 senior managers interviewed said meetings kept them from completing their own work, 71% said meetings were unproductive and inefficient, and 64% said meetings came at the expense of deep thinking.
Instead of relying on standalone collaboration tools, enterprises must consider collaboration solutions that virtually connect workers AND are effective at translating hybrid teamwork into the appropriate actions for expected results. Do your existing collaboration tools facilitate an exchange of ideas, speed up work using a common language and processes, formalize plans and milestones, track results and ensure complete traceability?
The 3DEXPERIENCE Cloud platform does just that. It provides a complete range of capabilities in a single, unified environment that connects people, data and solutions anywhere, anytime, on any device. 3DEXPERIENCE includes collaboration capabilities (chat, video conference, file sharing, communities, etc.) that digital natives have come to expect AND the solutions required to design, plan projects, track ideas, visualize and interact with complex data and information. This creates a significant advantage over standalone collaboration tools.
Lack of Transparency and Accountability
Poor transparency and accountability create significant impact on hybrid teams. When teams are not transparent about their goals, progress and challenges, it can lead to confusion and misunderstandings that make it difficult for leaders to effectively allocate resources and mitigate roadblocks. This creates a culture of blame-shifting, reducing trust and team morale. To avoid these negative effects, leaders must prioritize building a culture of transparency and accountability, where everyone is held accountable for their actions and decisions, and communicate openly with one another.
Implementing a culture of transparency and accountability is greatly enhanced by real-time communication and information sharing among team members wherever they are. By making a unified collaboration platform available in the cloud, enterprises provide a single point of visibility over all projects and ensure the latest information is always available to anyone.
The 3DEXPERIENCE platform facilitates the discovery and broadcast of knowledge and know-how across the different teams. This new transparency across the organization not only reduces work duplication but increases productivity by reusing existing methods to solve problems. This also brings the additional benefit of making employees feel connected to the organization and inspired by their colleague’s excellence.
Finally, having a single representation of a project, innovation or product empowers stakeholders to perform various processes, calculations or tasks and then share statuses and results with everyone. This boosts transparency and traceability and accelerates cross-discipline collaboration.
When people work from the same office, it is easier to come together and hash out who will do what and make sure everyone’s are on the same page. In a hybrid workplace, coordination becomes harder: Colleagues are often in different time zones and virtual discussions may take days to schedule. Poor coordination among hybrid teams results in decreased efficiency, missed deadlines and lower quality of work. Over time, poor coordination may negatively affect team morale without anyone noticing, ultimately leading to a breakdown in relationships within the team.
Organizations can mitigate poor coordination by adopting a platform that provides a range of collaboration options: Real-time and asynchronous. For example, a hybrid team working on a new project could have a real-time video call (without ever leaving the platform environment) and discuss early prototypes options. In real-time, the virtual prototypes are annotated and suggestions captured. The following day, people who did not attend the call review the options presented, see the annotations, add their comments and securely upload an updated requirement document. A platform that allows both real-time and asynchronous collaboration keeps projects moving at a faster pace, in a more coordinated way, while minimizing duplicated effort.
Another way to improve coordination is to connect everyone through structured collaboration, defining clear roles and responsibilities for each team member. With a collaboration platform in the cloud providing roles and apps for project management and governance, teams build and execute plans taking into account scope and dependencies in a real-time environment that centralizes all the project data and information. Team leaders assign tasks using an intuitive interface and monitor projects using actionable analytics. Team members have access to tailored views of their specific activities and provide fast and secured access to their deliverable for review by colleagues. Real-time updates and notifications ensure coordination among the entire team.
The shift towards hybrid and remote work has brought about many benefits, such as increased productivity and job satisfaction. However, it has also created new challenges for companies looking to improve engagement, efficiency and collaboration among their employees.
Companies should prioritize a unified collaboration platform supporting both real-time and asynchronous communications for optimal flexibility and adaptability. They should embrace cloud-based platforms that support innovation and creativity AND facilitate collaboration in context of the processes, the data, the teams and the solutions ultimately driving the resilience of the organization. The 3DEXPERIENCE Cloud platform does just that.