Employee engagement is crucial to the health and success of any organization. In 2020 and early 2021, managers used various methods to engage their employees and encourage interaction in teams, although that did not prevent situations like ‘Zoom fatigue’ from arising. With the aim of solving the problems that may arise due to hybrid working, Dynabook has released some tips to successfully raise the level of employee engagement, regardless of the environment in which the work is carried out.
Tips: engagement and interaction
Invest in the right tools. Technology can contribute to the success of the company, but it can also have a great effect on the culture of the employees. The right technologies for collaboration and communication can make a difference in employee engagement. Unfortunately, communication can be very challenging in hybrid environments. Therefore, digital communication channels have to be well configured and be fast, efficient and comfortable. With faster and more efficient forms of communication, remote workers will be able to feel more integrated with the team as a whole and also stay engaged with work. Tools like Microsoft Teams, Slack, Zoom, and Egnyte can help boost productivity and collaboration.
The importance of commitment and interaction with the worker
Invest in the right hardware. The equipment that employees have at home must be as efficient and reliable as the equipment they have at the office. Also, mobility is vital. Therefore, they need lightweight computers, with a slimmer design and longer battery life. They must also have hardened security features, such as biometrics and two-factor authentication, to ensure that information remains protected no matter where the worker is. Of course, the accessories must also promote convenience, comfort and safety. An ergonomic keyboard and mouse, headsets for video calls, and multiport docks to turn any desk into a workstation can go a long way toward ensuring that employees have the same experience, wherever they are.
Invest in unified communications. Hybrid working requires a unified communications (UC) approach and collaboration platforms to make it possible. Having half your staff on-site and half remote dramatically increases the IT burden on UCs and magnifies the importance of software tools that can quickly identify any UC issues before they arise. Although these investments may be large up front, they are likely to save the organization money over time.
What about the four-day work week? The interest in a shorter workweek predates the pandemic. Microsoft tested a four-day workweek at its Japanese offices in 2019, with positive results including more efficient meetings, happier workers, and a 40% increase in productivity. Similarly, 86% of Iceland’s workforce have already switched to a shorter workweek, or have been granted the right to do so without pay cut, following positive results. According to a report in the Financial Times, more and more employers are studying the feasibility of a four-day work week. An extra day off helps change your work-life balance. Additionally, it can also lead to a greater sense of pride, lower stress, and better morale. The annual cost of job stress to the global economy is estimated to be around $300 billion. Keeping employees united and engaged is vital. Hybrid working may not make it any easier, but with the right communication and collaboration tools, any organization will be able to overcome and reap the benefits of this new situation.