COVID-19 has forced a large segment of the workforce to work-from-home (WFH) over the last two years. Ever since the internet and technology allowed us to communicate remotely, people have been working outside of the office albeit not as popular and widely accepted. However, the current rise of WFH arrangements has shown us that it has been very possible to work remotely and still get the job done. Perhaps this indicates the future of the workplace?
All it took was a catalyst to prove that this concept is highly desirable. In fact, according to EY 2021 Work Reimagined Employee Survey, only 22% of Malaysian employees would prefer to work from office full-time after the pandemic eases and 8 out of 10 employees would prefer to work from home entirely. With that in mind, companies may consider adapting the remote working concept by introducing hybrid work arrangements.
Hybrid workspaces is a business model that combines the perks of both remote and office work. For companies, this is an economical solution that would save thousands in budget for real estate and office maintenance. It could also result in an increased talent pool as companies would no longer be restricted to specific geographical areas. For employees, it helps to encourage a stronger work-life balance and at the same time provides a safe place for employees to return to, should they require human contact.
Apart from just the hybrid workspace model or format, there are other physical key considerations for an effective hybrid workspace.
The main element to any hybrid workspace is having functioning meeting rooms, as one of the reasons employees head back to the office would be for external meetings and collaborative work. For meetings or collaboration, visualisation is of the utmost importance. Businesses can consider having an interactive projector instead of the usual flat panel display in the meeting room to create dynamic collaborative environments that spark fresh ideas and make businesses work smarter.
For instance, selected Epson’s interactive projectors support a Whiteboard Sharing Function that allows users to share and annotate content instantly with up to 15 local or remote participants connected on the same network using a tablet, smartphone or a web browser on computer.
There is also Remote Desktop Access where users can project and annotate on information stored in different remote locations right from the meeting room, providing unparalleled flexibility and convenience.
Having an interactive projector to brainstorm, collate ideas and, make edits on one document could highly improve the productivity of each meeting as well.
While much of today’s business is carried out online, there are still certain essentials that need to be carried out in the tangible world. Important paperwork such as contracts, invoices and more may still need to be printed in hardcopy. Thus, having a printer that is able to print remotely and scan documents directly from employees’ email, smart devices or cloud storage, is essential to the future of an efficient and productive office.
This is why many of our printers and multifunction devices at Epson allow users to print wirelessly from their mobile devices, tablet, or computer. We provide a wide array of Epson Connect Solutions including support for third-party printing solutions so that employees can go from viewing to printing within the home, in the office, or even whilst on the go.
Additionally, Epson also provide a suite of software solutions such Epson Remote Services (ERS) and Epson Print Admin (EPA) designed to address business needs and to integrate seamlessly into the workflow of a business. ERS is a device administration software that helps to monitor, manage and configure device fleet within a network, while EPA is a print management solutions that help improve printing security and reduce printing costs.
Flexibility and security are key concern when it comes to remote working, and wireless printer can certainly be the weak point in a network. To mitigate risks, businesses must consider a secure remote printing device that’s not only easily accessible for employees but difficult for external intrusion as well.
With more employees working remotely, the requirements for having a fixed desk pegged to an employee would be less than economical. Flexible desking allows for maximizing resource usage in the workspace, especially when employees come in on a need-to basis.
This would also provide working space for newcomers to learn and engage with seniors, employees who choose to work from office as they enjoy mingling with co-workers or due to spontaneous unsuitable home working conditions. Also, bear in mind that this requires some coordination, as we wouldn’t want employees to come back to an office only to be left with no working space.
To be successful, business leaders have to be creative and think about what works best for employees. We need to take steps to ensure that hybrid arrangements are as effective and equitable as possible in the post-COVID future to be in a strong position to thrive.
With some of the tips mentioned earlier, you’ll be able to create harmony and synergy between all of your team and worker types, no matter where they are located. Although the timespan of the pandemic may not be certain, the hybrid workspace is definitely a possible permanent fixture for the future.