It’s been two years since COVID-19 entered our lives. In 2022 it’s clearer than ever that our work habits have changed for good. As we grow accustomed to hybrid working, what will the future look like?
Ask just about anyone, and you’ll probably get the same answer: the hybrid model is here to stay. But just like any trend or methodology, it changes constantly. Such is the nature of evolution.
In the beginning of 2021, many of us were still expecting things to go back to normal. A lot has changed since then. At the start of 2022, most businesses and employees have realized that things are not going back to the way they were. Everything is moving forward, and naturally, organizations need to make new hybrid working arrangements.
When it comes to the way we work, the ultimate goal is to learn from what we have accomplished over the past two years – and improve. The purpose of this article is to map the future of hybrid working. We want to outline the ways in which video conferencing can help organizations and employees thrive. Let’s begin!
Mapping the Challenges
In order to predict the future of work, we need to outline the current challenges facing our industries.
One major challenge has been nicknamed “The Great Resignation”. All over the world, millions of employees are resigning from their respective positions. The pandemic has given many people the opportunity to recalibrate and reevaluate their lives. This has created a hiring problem for many organizations. Countless companies are finding it increasingly difficult to hire employees, due to issues that range from employee fatigue and a desire for change. How can technology and tech-oriented practices help overcome this challenge?
Another challenge is catering to different employee outlooks and expectations. Generation X, Y and Z – which make up the majority of the workforce – all have different skill sets, outlooks and demands. Are there hybrid working models that are flexible enough to cater to everyone’s expectations?
Last but not least, let’s discuss productivity. If there is one thing that hasn’t changed, it is customer expectations. Customers demand the best, and they want it now. No pandemic will ever change that. How can companies move forward in a way that will ensure sustainable results, and keep employees satisfied and engaged?
So, What Can We Expect?
After covering several main challenges, let’s talk about expected work trends. According to an article published by Forbes, Stanford Professor Nicholas Bloom predicts that hybrid working will continue its dominance, with many employees working three days from home and two days from the office. He also states that after two years of relative spontaneity, 2022 is the year we collectively realize that the pandemic isn’t going anywhere, and that it is time to strategize, standardize and institutionalize hybrid working models.
As a result, our entire landscape is subject to change. Bloom forecasts that roughly 40% of employees will work in a hybrid manner. This will result in more people moving out of big cities, preferring big houses in the suburbs to small apartments in urban environments. The entire real estate market may soon be revolutionized, with commercial buildings incorporating residential apartments – and more offices adopting big open space formats.
A New Reality
In 2022, the work market is ready to adopt a different mindset. Since 2020, we have been using video technology to continue executing our familiar work strategies. For the large part, this has been a great success. Today, it is time to leverage the power of remote video and audio platforms to create new realities.
A great example can be found in an article by MIT Technology Review. In the article, Dell’s top management officials discuss how the company is learning from its experiences from 2020 and 2021 to reshape the way it engages internally and externally. For example, Dell realized that training its entire global salesforce at the same time – during unified video meetings – provides a significant advantage. Instead of straightforward training, the meetings now focus on creating a collaborative atmosphere.
Next-Gen Hybrid Working Technology
In an enlightening article on the Zoom blog, Zoom’s Global CIO Harry Moseley identifies “the experience” as a parameter in which video will continue to develop in the workforce, impacting both customers and employees. Moseley expects companies to refine and design total experiences that will increase customer satisfaction – in which video will play a huge role. According to Moseley, we can expect v-commerce alongside e-commerce, v-contact centers alongside call centers, and much more.
Video is poised to impact the employee experience, as well. Companies have realized that great work can be accomplished from anywhere – and are looking to provide employees with advanced video tools that make their work experience easier and more enjoyable. These tools range from instant video translation and virtual receptionists to video voicemail. In the era of great resignation, this is of utmost importance.
Another important aspect described by Moseley is quicker corporate adaption to video. In 2022, migrating to video systems has become a fast and simple procedure. As a result, more and more organizations will elect to incorporate video networks in their on-site and remote workspaces.
Access to Metadata
According to the insightful article by MIT Technology Review, using video platforms habitually to replace certain face-to-face meetings provides another advantage: access to metadata. According to Alex Braier from Deloitte, video platforms help organizations collect and analyze vast data pertaining to their employees’ preferences and how they accomplish their respective tasks.
2022 may be the year that organizations tap into their video platforms not only for task performance – but also for assessment. This metadata, which is collected anonymously, can be used by organizations to make sure that their performance and inclusion objectives are met on a regular basis – and can paint a reliable picture pertaining to their workers’ stress levels and well-being.
Why is this so revolutionary? Because in the past, organizations used to check up on employee behavior and well-being parameters via assessment questionnaires, feedback interviews, or intuitive evaluations carried out by middle and top management. But anonymous metadata is far more accurate, and easy to collect and analyze.
It is commonly acknowledged that in order to be effective at work, we need to do more than just work. First and foremost, we need to socialize. On-the-job relationships and social exchanges are crucial to our well-being as employees. So, with the dominance of remote work and hybrid working environments, what is the future of office socializing? How can we make sure this important facet of office life doesn’t disappear?
It appears that digital technology may also help office social dynamics evolve. According to Harvard Business School Professor Prithwiraj Choudhury, organizations can move water cooler chats into the virtual environment. In Choudhury’s opinion, “Virtual Water Cooler Chats” can help retain the value of employee socializing, and even improve it. In virtual environments, workers can socialize with colleagues from all over the world, and not just from their physical office. In addition, employers can do some really great stuff – for example randomly create socializing sessions – so that employees can get to know new people as opposed to socializing with the same office friends over and over again.
Exciting Hybrid Working Solutions for 2022 and Beyond
We’ve talked challenges. We’ve talked trends and predictions. Now, it’s time to delve into the new features that will feature prominently in our 2022 video experience. Zoom’s new features are poised to make a real difference. let’s take a look at some great hybrid working tools:
- Zoom Widget: A great feature that will make everything related to video easier and more intuitive. Very functional for team members on the go, as it allows an at-a-glance view of upcoming meetings, quick messages, and more.
- Video Engagement Center: This will be a cloud-based hub that allows users to locate and engage with experts and professionals over video, in a seamless manner.
- Zoom Apps: Zoom Apps already exist, but in 2022, Zoom will be bringing them to mobile and webinar environments. We also look forward to Zoom’s immersive Apps, which will also be released in 2022.
- Huddle View: This feature’s goal is to enhance users’ sense of togetherness and inclusion, as they collaborate on different projects from different locations.
- The Jumpstart tool: This is Zoom’s new video SDK tool for app developers. The purpose of Jumpstart’s features and options is to help developers create code that loads speedy video into an already functioning app.
- Zoom Whiteboard: This digital whiteboard feature allows various participants to collaborate without starting an actual video meeting. It’s a great informal tool that facilitates remote collaboration.
- Zoom Events Backstage: With this amazing feature, event speakers and organizers can enter the event’s back office and enjoy a virtual backstage environment that includes chats and all sorts of communication. A great video-based support mechanism.
At Naotech, our goal is to harness the power of technology and video conferencing to help you seamlessly transition to 2022. Together, we can make sure your hybrid working best practices are aligned with the expectations of your customers and employees. For more information about our expert service and product portfolio, get in touch today.