How to Prepare for a Hybrid Workforce Transition

Are you ready to adopt a ‘Hybrid Workforce’ model? Do you have a designated change management champion for your related digital transformation initiative? Yes, no, or maybe.

If you’re like me, then you have been thinking about the practical realities of the ‘future of work’. There’s no doubt in my mind, this ongoing journey is likely a complex scenario with lots of things to consider as you move towards your organization’s goal of being fully prepared.

Gartner’s analysts have been studying this topic and have reached some very interesting conclusions [1]. “More employees go above and beyond at work when organizations give them a choice over where, when and how much they work,” says Sasha Tuzel, Director, Advisory, Gartner. “But those benefits can only be captured when leadership is willing and able to reimagine how we work and communicate, without sacrificing the company culture and collaboration.”

Leadership and Organizational Preparation

According to the Gartner assessment, hybrid-ready leaders must be able to:

  • Drive performance, even when teams are remote, without close monitoring or supervision.
  • Champion development to ensure that employees are equipped with the skills needed to drive current and future performance.
  • Communicate effectively across a variety of channels to lead virtual and in-office teams.
  • Enable enterprise contribution, connecting remote workers with their in-office and otherwise dispersed peers and supporting them all to drive high enterprise performance and contribution.
  • Foster inclusive team climates, independent of employees’ choice of work location.
  • Build trust and psychological safety so that dispersed workers feel safe to share their challenges for collective problem-solving.
  • Establish team culture and norms throughout in-office and remote teams.

IT and Network Infrastructure Preparation

Regarding the related enterprise leader’s quest to prepare for Digital Business Growth, a panel of Gartner analysts shared the following perspective [2]. “As executives consider their 2021 strategies, they face enormous uncertainty about how the global COVID-19 pandemic, changing customer preferences, and other trends will impact their business. Executives everywhere are under pressure to digitalize their business while simultaneously rightsizing their spend.”

However, becoming prepared to support your essential knowledge worker employees within the organizations’ headquarters location, branch offices — and anywhere else they may choose to work online, such as their home — requires you to also reimagine your current network connectivity and Digital Workspace environment.

I believe that to successfully adapt to the remote-work future, IT leaders must rapidly transform their infrastructure and wide area networks. IT leaders must be able to securely scale-up and scale-down their remote working environment quickly when needed. That’s why savvy CIOs and CTOs are actively collaborating with their trusted tech advisors to architect, deliver, and manage strategic digital transformation solutions.

Gartner has offered insightful complimentary research on this topic.

Learn more, “Preparing for the New Era of Work: Working from Home

Next Steps: Prepare to Thrive and Grow

To survive the global economic realignment and thrive after the pandemic recovery, you will need to adopt proven ways to improve network performance and strategically cut recurring communication services expense, while also funding new digital business growth-enabling investments. That requires mastering how to reallocate your valuable IT budget and skilled human resources, to drive sustainable revenue growth from new digital service offerings.

See my prior article “How SD-WAN Enables Digital Business Growth

Research Sources:

[1] Smarter with Gartner: Are You a Hybrid Workforce Champion or a Laggard?

[2] Smarter with Gartner: 7 Cost-Reduction Mistakes to Avoid in Your 2021 Strategy

[eBook White Paper] Top Enterprise Benefits of SD-WAN

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