11 technologies for supporting the hybrid office


Among the biggest challenges IT leaders face right now is supporting shifting strategies around where the enterprise does its work. Prior to the pandemic, remote work was a facet of most organization’s workforce mixes — but hardly the universal business imperative it instantly became when COVID-19 hit. Now, workers are returning to offices, at least in some measure, with widespread remote work likely here to stay.

The debates over in-person versus remote work are raging on within the C-suites of organizations of all stripes, with some believing in the power of face-to-face kismet and the others extolling the creativity that comes from working anywhere at any time. IT leaders are a key part of this discussion, but will also be chiefly responsible for supporting whatever hybrid workforce strategy emerges from this debate.

The good news is that it’s easier than ever to adapt to shifting priorities, public health mandates, and mercurial bosses. It’s now common for software offerings to support the ability to work anywhere, from a safari in Africa to the same cubicle you’ve held for 10 years. The challenge is knowing what works best and deploying it, as well as facilitating change across the enterprise to ensure the workforce remains productive.

Here are N technologies IT leaders should consider in supporting hybrid office strategies and the workplace flexibility those strategies entail.

Hoteling software

Calling these tools “office hoteling” can be confusing because there are no hotels or any sleeping involved. The idea is to make it easier for employees and teams to reserve desks, workstations, conference rooms, and more, all with a click. Sure, some organizations can survive with a first-come-first-served rule, but good hoteling software can discourage conflicts that come from bad behavior such as desk hogging.

Hoteling software is growing increasingly sophisticated. Some solutions offer point-and-click maps of the workspace. Others display the current “owners” of each desk on a big screen so that it’s easy to find where someone is sitting. Some generate reports that plot demand for desks so your company can avoid overpaying for space when it comes time to renegotiate the rent. The feature set is growing quickly because companies are still dreaming up new requirements.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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