Do you prefer work-in-office or work-from home? Organizations should adapt to the changing preferences and leverage technology to increase employee engagement.

The future of work is hybrid—and the past year has seen dramatic transformations across enterprises, driving the adoption of new technologies for the workplace.

While the uncertainty of the pandemic continues to cloud what the long-term future will look like, workplace technology will continue to evolve, and organizations must become more agile in order to adapt and thrive in the evolution of the hybrid-work model.

To transform the workplace into one that supports all employees from multiple locations, human resource leaders are now shifting the conversation from employee engagement to the entire employee experience, which involves developing immersive and nurturing workplace environments. How can this be achieved?

Human-centric workplaces

To evolve the workplace of tomorrow into one that nurtures human-centric culture, three key areas must form the foci: collaboration, interactivity and ergonomics.

With increasing signs that many workforces would prefer to spend an average of 3.5 days per week in the office, employers must transform the workplace experience and ensure that employees not only feel welcome in the office but are also able to collaborate and perform efficiently.

In addition to rethinking the five-day, 9–5 schedule to allow for flexibility, the physical workplace is also transforming. A recent report by a global design company posited how physical distancing will remain a primary concern, driving employee demand for wider spaces with greater distancing between desks.

Since not a lot of employees will be frequenting the space at any one time, conference rooms that used to accommodate 10 people will likely cater to just five, and will be supported by virtual collaboration tools.

Among the reasons employees feel enthusiastic about returning to the office is the struggle with remote-working. This exposes the challenges of traditional business solutions, implying that they do not offer the level of interactivity needed. According to Barco’s data on the quality of work meetings, employee frustrations and lack of satisfaction with virtual meetings in general had led to a 25% drop in meeting quality. Some 80% of employees surveyed believed that easy-to-use tech can make these meetings better, bringing about the need to implement strategic and tactical changes.

To bridge this gap, organizations must embrace emerging tech tools that support their workforce, and understand the struggles within the digital workspace. By prioritizing communication and collaboration, leaders will be poised to begin establishing a richer employee experience.

Bring Your Own Meeting catching on

With hybrid work models, most of an organization’s collaborative work will happen inside a video meeting room, likely to become the most frequently used office space in the near future.

Therefore, businesses will need meeting room technologies that increase engagement, collaboration and innovation. The key lies in choosing the right platform that provides interactivity, caters to long-term plans, and keeps users engaged and efficient.

The more suitable meeting solutions zero-in on the specific pain points of users, and allow speakers to see participants ‘life-sized’ on screen, read facial expressions and immediately locate the active speaker. A flexible, user-friendly interface will allow meeting participants to select a preferred view, making breakout sessions more convenient and easier to navigate.

The need for such a high level of meeting effectiveness across the globe has resulted in the increasing adoption of Bring-Your-Own-Meeting (BYOM)—a smarter way of working that enables employees to attend meetings on any device from anywhere, making conferencing less formal and structured.

With BYOM, employees feel as if their co-workers are just a seat away, removing the unquantified barriers brought by mediated communication.

With the right meeting room solutions, it will not matter how many miles are between colleagues: collaboration will remain uninterrupted.

Preparing for the workplace of the future

The following months will be pivotal to the future of the workplace. Employers are done testing the waters and are now permanently adopting the best hybrid office habits and practices.

The reinvention of the workplace through the adoption of future-proof technology not only optimizes business operations but also invites employees to keep engaged with the company and strengthen their passion for what they do.

In several years, it will be evident which organizations invested time and effort in nurturing employee experiences during the transition to hybrid-working. And they will be thankful they did.