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Soft Skills for Hybrid Success: Top 5 Essentials

Skills build interpersonal interactions in the hybrid workplace that support and encourage dedication, creativity, teamwork, and loyalty.

The future of work has undergone a radical transformation and is currently being characterized by flexible work arrangements as the labor market begins to recover. According to an EY report, 79% of businesses plan to implement "moderate to extensive hybrid work changes" as a result of workers' overwhelming need for flexible scheduling. Up to 90% of workers have asked for more freedom in terms of where and how they work. Flexible work is becoming increasingly important to modern job seekers as more people enter the workforce and look for new positions.
The current state of affairs is far from ideal, though.

According to a poll conducted by the well-known employment forum Monster, 86% of employees believe the pandemic has halted their professional development, and roughly 54% worry they lack the skills necessary to succeed in the new normal. An additional international study revealed that eighty percent of human resource directors believed that employees' work/life balance was negatively impacted by the hybrid work environment. What might be the cause of this?

Numerous research demonstrate that typical working hours rose in 2020 as more people shifted to remote work. One possible explanation for this could be because employees' experiences differ due to hybrid work arrangements. The equity of experience is not guaranteed because most communication solutions are multi-device and multi-platform and require expertise to use. As a result, one person's remote configuration may differ significantly from another's. This ultimately leads to a waste of time, making the event unsatisfactory for all parties. Second, once the meeting begins, it is common for one side to speak while the other remains silent, highlighting the deficiency in communication and teamwork skills. Due to a lack of tools to record meeting minutiae, this leads to a bad experience and may even cause information to slip through the cracks. Consequently, repetition from subsequent conversations on related subjects may occur, which reduces productivity.

Here are five abilities that would make for a productive hybrid work environment, though, to combat such problems.

Technology

The epidemic and lockdown accelerated the digital transition that numerous businesses were already experiencing, resulting in the widespread use of technology including project management software, messaging apps, and video conferencing. In an effort to improve the work-from-home experience, several companies now provide employees with personal work station kits and train them on how to run productive virtual meetings. Devices that facilitate instantaneous communication between coworkers, facilitate cooperation and assist employees centralize their ideas, and enable video calling apps are all necessary. To enhance interactive and productive meetings, companies are also introducing state-of-the-art video conferencing gadgets with integrated wireless content collaboration solutions.

Online Security

According to a recent survey, human mistake was the cause of 95% of cybersecurity breaches. For this reason, educating staff members on cybersecurity is not only necessary, but also essential to an organization's survival. Adopting simple, understandable, and easy-to-implement solutions is imperative right now. A well-rounded, upskilled workforce should be achieved through training programs that replicate scenarios catering to the remote workforce, courses addressing the issue of information traveling in and out of the office leaking, and instruction on the many sorts of attacks.

 

Communication

Any hybrid workplace needs technology for collaboration and communication to function well. Employee performance will increase as well as connectivity and collaboration if a workplace is established that leverages analytics and connected technologies to support individuals in using collaboration tools more effectively. The emergence of technologies like Virtual Contact Centers and Unified Communications as a Service (UcaaS) has combined phone, instant messaging, chat, video conferencing, contact center, reporting, and analytics operations into a single, cross-platform package. These kinds of technologies are essential to provide enterprises of all sizes with enterprise-grade, fully integrated, secure communications solutions that are also future-proof.

Because of a higher level of integration, a significant portion of employees who work remotely like to cooperate with their coworkers who are located in other places and regions. Companies must proactively train and upskill staff in dynamic communication, collaboration, and support solutions in order to meet the demands of today's flexible, hybrid workforce. These skills will be essential for businesses to overcome the challenges posed by a hybrid work economy.

Leadership

Although there isn't a one model that works for all hybrid workforces or teams, managers must take into account the varying preferences of their workforce in order to maintain teamwork and efficiency. While some team members may be adamant about returning to the office, the majority choose to carry on working remotely. According to one poll, 64% of respondents would rather have a steady work-from-home arrangement than a compensation increase. It is crucial that leaders reassure workers that their choices do not limit their career paths and that their contributions are acknowledged, irrespective of where they work. This also creates the conditions for productive teamwork, since capable leaders guarantee that every worker is empowered by a flawless IT experience. This gives a fast-digitizing workplace a human touch, making employees happier when they have the time and resources to do their tasks. If leaders fail to incorporate proactive improvements to the digital employee experience into their business plan, they risk higher expenses, lowered security, and increased organizational friction, all of which can result in inefficiencies.

Team building
 

Prior to the pandemic, a Harvard Business Review study discovered that some remote workers felt left out of the team because projects were changed without their consent or knowledge. Since a workforce that is hybrid will never be in one place at one time, the company can take advantage of cloud-based solutions that are accessible from anywhere. Furthermore, since a hybrid model makes use of several communication channels, crucial information may be mistranslated. As a result, it's critical to employ technologies that consolidate communication funnels onto a single platform for simple access, storage, and recordkeeping. Fostering a culture of shared creative thinking requires holding team meetings using video conferencing platforms and keeping in regular contact via messaging apps. Using a virtual whiteboard, for instance, can facilitate team collaboration during brainstorming sessions. Empathy, shared values, and team dynamics are all important components of successful hybrid teams.

 

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