Having teams split between the office, home and coworking locations can be made more seamless with the right technology. Here’s what to invest in…
As workplaces begin to reopen, it’s clear that ‘the office’ is entering a new era. IWG – the world’s largest operator of office and flexspace, with brands including Spaces and Regus – has seen significant rises in demand as businesses embrace hybrid working for the long term.
Many companies are choosing to adopt a hub-and-spoke model, making this a permanent part of working culture. This approach sees the company HQ as a centre (‘hub’) for collaborating and connecting, to which staff might travel only occasionally.
The rest of the time, staff have the freedom to work at locations (‘spokes’) closer to home – but with a distributed workforce, companies need to ensure they have the right structures in place for managing both projects and people.
Here, we look at eight tech innovations that can help you keep your teams connected in a hybrid working world.
1. Brompton bike
Whizzing back and forth between meetings can be made all the easier with a bike, but if pedal power isn’t for you, a folding electric bike such as the Hummingbird Gen 2.0 might be more to your speed. In the UK, many firms operate cycle to work schemes that subsidise employees’ investment in a good quality bike. Ask your HR Director whether your firm has one, or how you could get one set up.
Brompton folding bikes are a popular choice for cyclists in large cities, as their unique folding capability allows for Tube, tram, bus or taxi travel in a pinch.
2. Azure Virtual Desktop
This summer Microsoft rebranded its Windows Virtual Desktop as Azure Virtual Desktop, with a modified vision for use by companies that are embracing a hybrid work model. The remote desktop allows employees to log in from anywhere, with integrated Microsoft Teams video calls and file sharing on OneDrive, plus enhanced security capabilities.
3. Fossil Gen 5 LTE smart watch
The Fossil Gen 5 LTE smart watch allows users to make and receive calls through a built-in speaker even when untethered to your mobile phone. You can also reply to texts with a single tap, which is ideal for discreet communication within real-world meetings, and pay contactlessly for items such as train tickets and coffee when on your way to work.
Hypercontext (previously called Soapbox) is a platform designed to improve virtual one-to-one and team meetings. It gives employees access to group online agendas, lets them share feedback with quick surveys, and set goals, milestones and deadlines. Users can even take meeting minutes within sessions and then email them to everyone who took part.
5. ThinkReality A3 Smart Glasses
Lenovo’s ThinkReality A3 Smart Glasses allow wearers to experience a 3D virtual workspace right in front of their eyes. Great for high-performance multi-tasking wherever you are in the world, the stereoscopic 1080p display can present up to five additional semi-transparent screens above your physical laptop. They are also entirely private so no one can look over your shoulder and see what you are working on.
Asana is a useful productivity suite for teams working remotely, with built-in task management capabilities, planning and content development lists, timeline views and workload tools to help make sure projects are assigned in a balanced way. A variety of other apps such as Dropbox and Slack can also be integrated. The idea is to bring everyone’s work together in a shared space.
7. Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G
Widely considered to be one of the best 5G smartphones on the market in 2021, the top-of-the-range Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G offers hyper-fast internet connectivity and a 6.8-inch screen, making it a powerful pocket-sized super company to augment your hybrid working lifestyle. It’s also compatible with the S Pen stylus.
Zenefits is a human resource management platform for the 21st century, helping businesses streamline onboarding processes, benefits, scheduling and payroll. When someone new joins the company, their details can be intuitively added to the employee directory. Zenefits then allows users to curate benefits and perks for individuals, and for salaries to be paid quickly and easily.
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