Hybrid working – is it just a load of hyped-up tech drivel?

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Jumping on the 2021 bandwagon

Every tech company loves a bandwagon! 2021’s bandwagon that everyone’s jumping on is hybrid working and how the last 18 months are going to change the way we all work forever. But that’s simply not true for everyone and even for those that it does touch, does the tech landscape really need to be any different to what it’s always been? 

Hybrid working isn’t for everyone 

With over 50% of the population being front-line workers –the checkout people in your local supermarket, the person behind the bar of your favourite pub, the team that puts the widgets on the gadgets on manufacturing lines, the delivery driver who arrives at your door every morning with your latest un-needed Amazon delivery and so many more – they need to be physically present wherever they do their job, hybrid working simply isn’t a thing.  

When we all get to finally go on holiday, surely we want the pilot sitting in the pointy end of the plane, not at home playing flight simulator on Xbox!? 

People should work in the best place for what they’re doing 

 And for the other 50%, businesses know when different people and activities are better off in the office environment, with real human interaction. Maybe it’s that super experienced guy who needs to train your new talent, run role plays and whiteboard sessions. Or collaborative time needed with peers to work through a challenge. There’s the spark and creativity of having everyone together versus focused tasks that may be better done at home – it’s about allowing people to work in the best place for the work they’re doing. And yes, this might be hybrid working – but it’s also simple common sense and surely not something you need the tech companies to tell you. 

The three tech fundamentals you need to get right for both office and home working 

The thing is, the underlying tools you need to make all scenarios productive are pretty much the same, yes legacy tech will hold you back, but nothing needs to be different for hybrid working as long as you’ve got three fundamentals in place: 

  1. You need to be able to stay in touch with customers and colleagues. Call it the telephone, unified communications or collaboration, I don’t care – you simply need to be able to answer and make calls on your chosen device, no matter where you are.
  2. If you don’t want to be winning the best Dalek impression on your company awards night, you need a decent internet connection and robust Wi-Fi to make sure you’re always connected – doing business offline really isn’t a viable option nowadays.
  3. You need the right software to do your job. Whether it’s the fantastic collaboration tools of Microsoft 365 and Teams, or more functional applications specific to your role – you just want to be able to access them and use them easily. Cloud applications are now making this easier than ever.

Don’t be scared by the hybrid working hype 

But the thing is, these three things are fundamental to any business worker anywhere, it’s nothing new. So, don’t let the tech companies scare you with hyped up drivel; you don’t need to worry about your tech setup for ‘hybrid working’ or ‘the new normal’; just do the stuff you were always planning to do and allow your colleagues to do a great job. 

And if you need some help making it easy and enjoyable you know where we are.