While many American employers have embraced a hybrid work model for their employees, they have not fully implemented technologies that could help workers remain productive, creative and inspired in and out of the office setting. In a recent study conducted by real estate property technology provider JLL Technologies, 55% of office-based employees are now in a hybrid working pattern. Still, companies on average have adopted only four out of 15 recommended technologies to address the hybrid work transformation.
For its “Technology and Innovation in the Hybrid Age” study, JLL created a list of what it calls “anchor technologies” that employers should consider providing employees in a hybrid work model. They include technology that addresses, for example, remote working, in-office collaboration, workplace experience, data warehousing, touchless access, digital connectivity and more.
The study also found that remote working technology (47%), in-office collaboration technology (40%) and workplace experience apps (36%) are the top tools most companies have in place to support hybrid work.
What it means for HR leaders
Creating a productive hybrid work model requires transformative thinking, says Eddy Wagoner, chief information officer for JLL. And HR has a role to play.
“HR needs to be actively participating and collaborating with IT, facilities and, most importantly, employees to build the tailored solutions that work for their business ambitions and address the needs that the hybrid age will require,” he says.
The right technologies and thoughtfully designed workplaces can create a more connected culture, support enhanced productivity and drive employee retention.
“Hybrid work is inherently tech-enabled and the adoption of workplace technology is rapidly pivoting from a reactive to a forward-looking implementation,” he says. But Wagoner warns that HR leaders and the technologists who support them should not only consider adopting new tools for hybrid work.
“HR leaders have a strategic role to play in ensuring tech training and adoption aligns with long-term business goals [while also] building a culture of innovation,” he says. “They are critical in identifying the top transformative talent required to lead in a hybrid workplace, to manage upskilling of existing staff, and to help transition staff for the organization’s new hybrid strategy.”
That said, HR leaders should not be expected to have many of the answers at this point in the evolution of the hybrid workplace, Wagoner says.
“They will have plenty of strategic questions that will drive success in creating a hybrid-age workplace with the right technologies to address current demands of the workforce,” he says, and adds that this will “enable organizational resiliency as future workplace and employee needs emerge.”