Reinventing the Water Cooler: How to Create the Best Hybrid Workplace

The new 9 to 5 looks a little different. Instead of gathering around the water cooler, today’s professionals are gathering around their computer screens and joining their in-office cohort with home-brewed coffee and virtual backgrounds. The last few years have brought about innovation through unprecedented times. One of the biggest learnings for employers has been changing the face of a traditional workplace to grow with the times, embrace fluidity, and attract a broader and more diverse talent pool through a hybrid work model.

Work from anywhere is the new motto of today’s top growth companies! Learn more about how AV integration companies can help your business create the ideal hybrid work environment and check out these tips for creating the best workplace for the everyone — no matter where in the world your team calls home.

Prioritize Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion are not simply tenets employers should aspire to. Creating a more inclusive global workplace is  a must for fostering the best talent, growing your professional network, and contributing to the positive impact of a diverse business culture.

When it comes to designing the best hybrid work environment, there are a few considerations diversity, equity, and inclusion oriented companies should take into account. Foremost, the opportunity to work from home is not universally afforded. One way employers can support staff is by creating robust technology through partnership with AV integration companies to ensure a seamless, universal experience. Many companies also offer home office stipends, paid high speed internet, and in-house tech support to ensure everyone is up and running. These costs are offset by the low input design of hybrid work, which ultimately saves companies money. Of course, for those who prefer an in-office workplace, private and coworking spaces should be made available to give employees the option based on their lifestyle and needs.

Hybrid work can be a great tool for DEI as a nontraditional work model brings the global community a little closer together. Companies that may otherwise be limited by low diversity in their immediate area can now offer hybrid opportunities to a wider talent pool. Leveraging this benefit allows businesses to grow in their professional development as more voices are being heard and included through the power of a virtual network.

Leverage Technology to Empower a Hybrid Work Community

Hybrid work is the new reality for today’s professionals. In fact, 96% of U.S. employees surveyed prefer to work on a hybrid basis. Almost half (49%) said that if their preferred working setup (e.g. remote vs. at workplace) was not be available, they were somewhat or very likely to seek employment at a company that offered that arrangement. Given the demand for hybrid work, it’s no surprise that 63% of high-growth companies have adopted a hybrid work model.

If your company is one of the many businesses in transition, start your hybrid work journey off right with the right technology to support your team. AV integration companies are designed with office expertise in mind. This means your work space will be professionally equipped with secured, confidential platforms for video conferencing systems, video walls, and AV systems. AV integration companies can support the evolving needs of any workplace, including government agencies, telemedicine, businesses, or higher education institutes

Seamless integration is key for successful hybrid work. Outfit your team with user-friendly technology to support both an in-office staff and your remote cohort. Robust video conferencing, instant messaging with no lag, clear audio that doesn’t leave your team asking “can you hear me now?”, and synchronized, secured cloud storage to keep your vital data safe are the backbone of any office, remote or brick-and-mortar.

Create Structure and a Purpose-Driven Culture

One of the primary challenges of hybrid work is lack of structure. While today’s employees love the flexibility hybrid work affords, our teams run best on a productive schedule.

Top companies are managing the balance between providing flexible schedules and cultivating a purpose-driven workplace by merging their hybrid counterparts with an in-office schedule. This means establishing open office hours, especially for core departments like HR and management. Ensure your staff knows that some members will be working odd hours dependent on schedules and timezones. Although they should feel no pressure to respond to emails and messages outside of their normal working hours, establish a 24-hour response window so that your team knows communication is prioritized.

The most dynamic hybrid work models require some form of daily, weekly, or monthly meeting. These are often hosted in person with remote teammates connected with the help of AV integration companies to host a successful hybrid work event. With everyone staying on track together, it’s no surprise that hybrid work is enhancing productivity when done right.

Cultivate Virtual Teambuilding

The best part of a hybrid work environment is bring the team together! Now more than ever, it’s important to prioritize teambuilding with a mix of virtual and in-person activities. 

Think virtual mixology courses with cocktail kits shipped directly to homes and offices. Host a hybrid trivia night along with your remote cohort or enjoy a murder mystery via a hosted Zoom session. The possibilities are limitless with AV integration companies powering your technology backbone! Celebrate holidays with your staff with fun, festive backgrounds and remote options for attending company parties. 

In addition to including your remote cohort in the usual work events, it’s important to ensure coworkers have the same opportunities for virtual teambuilding as in-person. After all, there’s no break room to gather in, so employers are in the unique position of creating a virtual coffee pot to gather around. Schedule weekly one-on-one meetings between teammates and supervisors. Encourage the team to get to know everyone in their crew with virtual mixers that rotate small breakout groups for monthly socials. 

With a bit of planning, your hybrid work team can tackle any challenge as a unified front.

Learn more about building the best hybrid work environment with the AV experts at VSGI. We’re here to help your company grow. Contact our team today and get started on your hybrid work journey.