Workplaces in 2023 are going to be a dynamic, changing environment, driven by people working with an unprecedented level of flexibility. Enabling this will challenge enterprises, but ultimately provide a big opportunity to improve quality of life for employees. Those businesses that can achieve that will reap the benefits of a happier and more loyal workforce. The way people want to work and where they want to do it has changed in recent years. The appetite for spending five days in the office will, in many cases, be gone for good. However, without the right technology in place, a hybrid work environment might cause as many headaches as it solves.
CIOs need to ensure that the technology experience across the enterprise is seamless. Whether the employee is working from home, on the road, or in the office, they should be able to interact with their work, and co-workers, without inhibitions. This is going to put some renewed focus on the devices that sit at the endpoint – the computers, printers, and connectivity devices. Delivering that clean and seamless end-user experience starts there.
For enterprises, the stakes are high when it comes to keeping staff happy. As noted by the World Economic Forum, the “Great Resignation” is a trend that is not over. With the unemployment rate so low, employees understand that they can move around to find the right job that suits their lifestyle and goals, and so it is paramount for the sake of morale and, ultimately, the ability to retain key staff to ensure that the hybrid mix of office and home environments is a positive experience for each individual. So, what can businesses do to build a successful hybrid working environment to keep staff happy engaged and produce better business outcomes?
Build a better office environment
As business leaders have grappled with questions on how to build the kind of workplace experiences, one of the interesting trends that have emerged is what employees appreciate most. It has been known for quite some time that an employee’s satisfaction with their work is largely independent of their salary. And so businesses have invested in perks, like providing lunches and Friday drinks/ happy hours.
And yet, according to a recent survey conducted by Morning Consult and commissioned by HP, 57 per cent of office workers said that they had missed their office printer more than a free lunch or happy hour, as a benefit of working in the office.
The reality is that people’s job satisfaction is tied to their ability to get their work done efficiently and to the highest standard. Technology continues to be the engine that facilitates and enables hybrid working, and an element that businesses need to get right if they want to keep their employees productive, satisfied, and able to effectively collaborate with their teams. To deliver a better working experience, businesses need to understand how this new hybrid worker operates, and what it is they want and need. For instance, a HP report found that younger employees (18-28) are actively going out and purchasing their own technology to support the way they want to work.
For the modern hybrid working environment to be effective, the experience across both the office and home working spaces needs to be replicable. For example, let’s take a look at the LaserJet Managed E800/E700. Security, in particular, is a concern with technology and hybrid workspaces, and the E800/E700 has HP’s leading suite of security solutions, including HP Wolf Enterprise Security 6, which allows the HP LaserJet Enterprise E800/E700 series to protect, detect, and self-recover. These new devices also include HP Sure Start, Connection Inspector, and Memory Shield active system monitoring whitelisting. So, whether the devices are in the main office, a branch office, or a home office, they can be connected to and used without risking the network.
Meanwhile, Reverse and Retry technology detects and resolves double feed issues and paper jams, allowing for quick issue resolution and maximum uptime for the printer.
Building policy around hybrid work
The key to a successful hybrid workplace is ensuring that each employee is properly connected, regardless of where they are working. Encouraging employees back into the office, for at least some of the time each week, is a worthwhile idea, as this allows direct person-to-person connections and collaboration. Almost 60 per cent of Australian workers find it easier to get work done while in the office, and one-in-two find that being in the office helps develop better business relationships.
However, remote work is now ingrained, and it is a person’s connection to the organisation via technology that will form the foundation of the modern enterprise and ensure that those that are working remotely are not left with an inferior experience. Businesses need to understand how the hybrid worker operates, what they need to be successful in their work, and they need to continually assess the innovative technology solutions that can support this new working world.
A truly effective hybrid working environment would allow an employee to take notes from a meeting in the office, work on a follow-up presentation or report from their home office in collaboration with their team over productivity tools and video conferencing, and print it out when they need it, at an equivalent quality to ensure consistency across the organisation.
The benefits of unlocking the full potential of hybrid work are significant. Research shows that full-time workers that are able to work remotely are happy in their job 22 per cent more than those that work remotely. The tools and capabilities are there to ensure a seamless experience between the office and homework. Organisations that embrace that are setting themselves up well to capitalise fully on the opportunities that 2023 will provide. Not only will we see an economy in recovery, but those organisations that can retain a happy and skilled workforce will have a significant competitive advantage over those that are still weathering the Great Resignation.
For more information about the E800/E700 series, please click here.