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The key to success in hybrid working environments is delivering the right user experience

The key to success in hybrid working environments is delivering the right user experience

Credit: 172790749 © Simona Pilolla | Dreamstime.com

Hybrid work has become a story of true flexibility. The question about whether the end of COVID-19 restrictions would mean the end of remote working has now been comprehensively answered: the value of hybrid work is clearer than ever, but only when the user experience is at the centre of it.

Fully remote workers will only represent nine per cent of the workforce by the end of the year, according to Gartner. However, the percentage of hybrid workers will increase to 39 per cent, up from 37 per cent.

This means that people are coming into the office, and do want the face-to-face experience. But they won’t be there all the time. For these hybrid work environments to be effective, it is essential that the focus is on providing the highest standards of user experience from anywhere, rather than a designated, physical work space.

There’s a lot to gain from doing it right, too. Research cited by Poly, a HP company, found that hybrid work can increase productivity by as much as 72 per cent. However, according to other research by HP, half of small businesses struggle to manage technology in a hybrid workspace.

So the question is, what does hybrid work “done right” and the user experience really mean?

The printer is still the heartbeat of the organisation

One of the reasons that fully remote jobs are again on the decline is that there is value to being in the office. Many employees enjoy the camaraderie and social experience. Many find that their best ideas come from off-the-cuff water cooler conversations that are difficult to replicate when working remotely.

And, while video conferencing is a fine communication tool, many are again finding value in in-person meetings and presentations. These experiences are best supported best by printed materials, where the tactility of the material provides a more engaging experience than a presentation on a PowerPoint can.

This is making a renewed look at the printer in the office central to the technology strategy, as those hybrid workers come in, print off key materials, and subsequently use them in meetings. According to HP research, 91 per cent of small businesses continue to rely on printed materials, so getting this critical piece of technology in the office right is mandatory for the user experience in the space.

Facilitating this experience has been the goal of HP with the development of the HP Color LaserJet 4200/4300. “Flexible work arrangements are here to stay with companies of all sizes using it as a way to attract and retain top talent. However, distributed workforce productivity is top of mind for businesses,” Xavier Garcia, Global Head & General Manager, Office Print Hardware at HP, said in a release.

“The Color LaserJet 4000 series was designed for small businesses to maximize productivity with easy, reliable, and professional printing.”

Key features in the printer series include the ability to print high-quality colour documents at 25 per cent faster speed than previously, as well as HP Wolf Security embedded into the device – a critical feature given the increasingly connected, online, and networked nature of IT.

With a small footprint, these printers are also designed for any space and environment, making it useful for startups & small businesses that might be operating from a home office, right through to branch (or edge) locations, and enterprises with large office space and a printing hub.

The benefit to the channel

Taking advantage of the new hybrid approach to work has been a challenging transition for businesses – particularly at the smaller end of town. It has involved investment in new technologies, a restructuring in how work is done, and a change management programme for employees. Many, which scrambled to enable remote work during the pandemic, are still struggling to gain the full value of their investments.

This is the role that the channel has to play, in helping to devise and simplify technology for their partners. Where a conference room with HD cameras, audio and sound can deliver an excellent experience, it’s important not to overlook the value of paper. Channel partners are trusted to help craft experiences that benefit both in-office interactions and remove barriers that inhibit person-to-person interactions.

For more information on the Color LaserJet 4000 series, click here.

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