Office data tracker Kastle Systems reports that U.S. offices are now half full of employees – 50.4 percent, to be precise – compared to pre-pandemic occupancy. Many experts predict that this is as good as it’s going to get, in employers’ return-to-the-office goals. Stanford University economist Nicholas Bloom, who studies the evolution of flexible work, says, “Office numbers have flat-lined.”
The pandemic taught us that many jobs can be performed remotely, or with only part-time in-office hours. The Great Resignation showed that employees really, really like remote work, and want a high degree of flexibility in their in-office schedules. Even jobs that aren’t traditionally considered as off-site positions are now being modified, with many heads-down tasks being handled outside the office.
Interestingly, some of the push for returning to the office is coming from young workers newly entering the workforce. They feel a lack of the mentorship and team connection that comes with full-time remote work. Like many more-seasoned employees, these novices like a hybrid schedule that lets teams determine when they all need to be in the office, giving them both face time and flexibility.
Some large employers continue to push for a return to full-time in-office, but they are definitely in the minority. The majority of U.S. offices are adapting their workflows and personnel management to hybrid.
Now new technology is springing up to manage the communication, scheduling, and information management needs of the new workstyle. However, if you’re organizing hybrid workflows in your office right now, there’s no need to wait for new tech to come online when there are already robust tried-and-true solutions.
- Document Conversion: Information on paper documents is nearly impossible to share when team members are in more than one place. While they may be assembled in the office one or two days a week, they may need to refer to those documents when they’re out of the office. Document conversion transforms paper-based information into secure, searchable, remotely accessible digital information.
- RFID: As employees come and go between office and home, so do an organization’s assets – laptops or research materials, for example. RFID tags and doorway readers keep track of these assets as hybrid staffers take them in and out of the building.
- Smart Lockers: No one shows up at the office empty-handed. With so many hybrid workplaces using hot-desking rather than assigned workspaces, people need secure storage for their personal items. Smart lockers can be remotely reserved and managed, creating a solution for staffers’ stuff as well as providing an aesthetically pleasing design feature.
Hybrid is here to stay, with all the management challenges that come with a new way of doing business. Talk to a storage technology consultant and take full advantage of the supportive tech already available. No matter how many people are in your office on any given day, these solutions will help your operations transition into the new hybrid reality.
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