The pandemic has turned the working world upside down
Everyone understands that the COVID pandemic has transformed the nature of office work. It has spawned endless debates and discussions about the benefits and costs of ‘working from home’. Managers and workers are split about the merits and downsides of this enforced change in work culture. However, there is no doubt that things will never be the same again even as life gradually adjusts to our new normal over the coming months and years.
According to The Economist, we now have more business meetings, not less, since videoconferencing took off. FastCompany says there have even been productivity gains as a result of the new working conditions. But the BBC notes that managers are not that keen to make ‘exclusively or largely working from home’ the new normal. Employee burnout is also a concern, as the Harvard Business Review explains.
The emergence of Hybrid working
Anita Wooley, a professor of organizational behavior at Carnegie Mellon University says: “The all-remote was fine; now we’re getting into the mix [of remote and non-remote, i.e. Hybrid working],and that takes a lot more thought”. Given the obvious advantages of an increased level of home-working as we gradually but inevitably return to the office, it is clear that we are now rapidly moving to a world of Hybrid working. And as Prof. Wooley suggests, this requires companies to give this new mode of working some serious thought to make it work effectively for them.
One major challenge is to make the interaction between home-workers and office-workers seamless, intuitive, agile, and participatory (home-workers should feel as included and capable of making an equal contribution to those in the office). If this can be done successfully, companies can find themselves in ‘the best of both worlds’, i.e. the optimal hybrid working situation. For one thing, people could attend only meetings where they would feel they were making valued contributions, increasing productivity. For another, the proper balance between managerial and worker demands could be maintained. Burnout problems could be reduced, family-friendly working practices could be enshrined, and from-home workers would not feel disadvantaged vis-à-vis their office-based colleagues for any meeting but would participate equally.
How FlatFrog enables effective collaborative Hybrid working
On the office end, we offer the highly regarded physical experience of a FlatFrog-enhanced Hybrid whiteboard (see this independent evaluation by Wainhouse Research). With FlatFrog’s patented InGlass™ interactive technology, your choice of Hybrid whiteboards for the office will feature the most natural (dry-erase board-like) pen and touch writing and palm erasure on the market (available through our partners). On the home (or other non-office location) end, we offer our free FlatFrog Board App for a range of smart devices (via web access). From the large range of online collaborative apps out there, ours has the unique advantage of being optimized for hybrid teams. Naturally, it also features seamless integration with our office-based whiteboards. This means that FlatFrog is very well placed to help your organization reap the benefits of hybrid working as mentioned above. You can learn more about the advantages of this kind of integration here. This will give you a very good idea of how team members spread across the office and other locations can access and share cloud-based files and other assets to collaborate securely as if they were all in the same room together.
The pandemic has underlined the benefits of working from home and other non-office locations. As we return to the office, this is rapidly creating the emergence of Hybrid working, which if properly managed could be very beneficial to most organizations. FlatFrog is uniquely placed to meet the hybrid working requirements of your organization, thanks to the way we can integrate an office-based hybrid whiteboard and the powerful FlatFrog online collaborative app that connects with it securely and seamlessly.
Contact us today for a demo of how FlatFrog can quickly and easily enable Hybrid working in your any organization and a consultation about your specific needs.
FlatFrog is a provider of free online whiteboards (app.flatfrog.com).
FlatFrog has also designed patented InGlass™ touch display technology from the ground up, providing the best pen and touch input to mimic the intuitive feeling of a dry-erase board. InGlass™ touch displays are available through our partners, including Dell, Google, Samsung, SMART, Sharp, Ricoh, Avocor, CTOUCH and more (www.flatfrog.com/partners).