Best of Both Worlds: Keeping Your Team Equipped for Hybrid Work

By now, small and medium businesses are more than familiar with the word “pivot,” and as the working world shifts towards a hybrid model, it’s an opportunity to evolve once again. As employees start to become reacquainted with their commute, splitting their time between the workplace and home, here’s how you can ensure they have all the tools they need to perform and excel, regardless of where they are.

Two-way street

We are four decades into the personal computer era, but it took the pandemic to illustrate that not only do we have the technology to work remotely, but societal changes in how people connect make it possible to become more productive and most importantly, happier.

“We’re seeing new ideas about what productivity means,” says Debbie Rogers from Staples Professional, Sales and Strategy Training – Furniture, Technology, Print and Promo. Long gone are the days when productivity was measured by how long an employee spent in front of a screen.

Consider a laptop to be a go-between machine, and if your workplace has desks, ensure that these spaces are set up for optimum ergonomics. A monitor in each location, as well as an external keyboard and mouse, will go a long way to making employees comfortable so they can focus on the work, not the tools.

Lead by example

Finding a balance between working from home and a physical workplace is going to be different for every employee and business. But experts agree that most businesses will adopt a hybrid policy, such as having a certain percentage of their workforce returning in person or by working three days at home and two in the office.

Safety is another advantage of having the flexibility to work remotely. “If you have a sniffle don’t come in,” says Rogers. Likewise, people won’t feel forced to travel in dangerous driving conditions. Being able to provide a safe workplace makes workers feel valued — and happier!

Whatever policy you adopt, adds Rogers, lead by example. “When you see an early adopter, you are going to feel more comfortable in this new space.”

Stay flexible

Tech has levelled the playing field, says Rogers. Not just in terms of high-quality monitors and microphones, but also in the way we use them. Thanks to technology like Zoom, communication is made all the easier and information can be shared equitably within a business.

In-person or online, verbal and visual communication is still key. The technology your employees need to participate from home will vary, but Staples Preferred makes it easy to source products at discounted prices and arrange for delivery to several addresses, all while keeping transactions under one account.

Little big moves

For businesses that have an office space, the best way to develop a hybrid model is to take small steps. “Track, trace and revamp,'' says Rogers. Gather intel from your employees on how they’d like to see the space best used. Then, determine the products needed to outfit the new space.

It may seem counterintuitive, but businesses may also want to explore co-working spaces as another hybrid option. For folks who travel for business, these spaces provide everything you need to link in with teammates without having to carry a suitcase full of tech.

It’s not just businesses who recognize the importance of having a choice. In Vancouver, rental developers Comma are incorporating flexible co-working spaces into their residences so that folks with small apartments or who live with other people can find a place where they can focus while sharing amenities.

“Employers are recognizing the need to adapt and to move around as needed.” Staples Studio is happy to provide a third option. “There are seven co-working spaces in total if you are travelling and need space to drop in,” she says.

Learn more on how Staples Preferred can help your team stay equipped no matter where they work.

By Staples Canada

February 09, 2022