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Hybrid Work: How to Enhance Employee Productivity

When you hire qualified talent for a key role and trust them to perform, you'll likely achieve the best outcome. Skilled and experienced people will deliver results, regardless of the challenges.

That's a key lesson learned from the pandemic experience as most knowledge workers were asked to work from their homes. However, some resist returning to an open-plan office. It's unacceptable.

Meanwhile, forward-thinking leaders decided a "return to normal" is undesirable, and in hindsight, everyone should aspire to be more accomodating than before. Therefore, location flexibility is okay.

Hybrid Workforce Market Development

How will people adapt to these changes? They'll apply the modern IT tools at their disposal. They'll learn new skills and thrive.

Nearly 80 percent of employees are now successfully using online collaboration tools for work in 2021 -- that's up from just over half of workers in 2019, according to the latest market study by Gartner. This growth is an increase of 44 percent since the pandemic began.

"Collaboration tools found renewed importance during COVID-19 for their role in ensuring the productivity of suddenly remote teams," said Christopher Trueman, principal research analyst at Gartner.

As many organizations shift to a long-term hybrid workforce model, cloud-based, personal and team productivity technologies, along with collaboration tools, will form the core of a series of new work hubs that meet the requirements of various remote and hybrid workers.

According to the Gartner assessment, storage or sharing and real-time mobile messaging tools also saw increased use during the pandemic, used by 74 percent and 80 percent of 2021 respondents. Once again, that's a better than "normal" outcome.

Specifically, the use of meeting solutions surged during the pandemic. While workers globally reported that they spent, on average, 63 percent of their meeting time in-person in 2019, that number dropped to 33 percent by 2021 as more meetings took place over audio and video-enabled meeting solutions.

The shift away from in-person meetings is expected to continue. Gartner predicts that by 2024, in-person meetings will drop from 60 percent of enterprise meetings to 25 percent, driven by remote work and changing workforce demographics.

"As IT leaders prepare for a mix of meeting modalities, it will be critical that they ensure equitable collaboration, tool and resource access for all meeting participants, regardless of location," said Trueman.

Outlook for Hybrid Workforce Productivity Growth

Gartner believes cloud-based meeting solutions and content service platforms can support this through offerings or integrations with technologies including virtual whiteboards, rich chat features, and recording and transcription capabilities.

Today's savvy business leaders crave a comprehensive IT solution that enables distributed organizations to adopt working from anywhere. The nature of work has changed significantly, and progressive leaders have permanently embraced the new way of a distributed workforce and flexible work options.

Armed with a multi-modal platform, IT organizations can easily manage a superior online employee experience across many device types and numerous locations. That said, modern solutions include automation to streamline workflows and analytics to measure platform performance.

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