How Leaders Can Empower Their Team for the Hybrid Work Environment


Companies across the nation continue to weigh in on their employees’ opinions on the return-to-work model. While approximately 141 million Americans have been fully vaccinated, a good percentage of employees are hesitant to return to the office.

Microsoft’s recent Work Trend Index report states that 80% of managers say they expect more flexible work from home policies post-pandemic. In addition, 73% of employees want flexible remote work options to stay.

CEO at Microsoft, Satya Nadella, states that organizations across industries will need to provide different approaches to accommodate the various needs of their people. While Microsoft’s research shows that employees desire more flexible remote work options, they also prefer in-person collaboration, post-pandemic. These findings have led experts to label this historical time as the ‘hybrid work paradox,’ with 67% of employees in the United States wanting more in-person work or collaboration post-pandemic.

Keeping team members inspired, connected, and motivated are some of the many ways that business leaders will need to incorporate into their strategies of creating equitable and inclusive work environments.

Here’s what you need to do to prepare team members for the hybrid work environment and provide a seamless experience:

team work

First, empower your managers to lead the shift.

One of the many reasons HR leaders emphasize hiring top talent is their ability to successfully get the work done and collaborate with team members to overcome adverse challenges.

Hiring competent managers with both hard and soft skills is equally important. Managers should feel empowered to make decisions for the benefit of their team and hold the necessary tools and skills to lead their team through the hybrid transition.

Such examples would be the encouragement of managers to implement a “no-meeting” Friday or to approve team members to work from home on certain days, allowing them to create a connection that enables everyone to thrive within a more flexible work world.

Secure your network.

We are operating in the most complex cybersecurity landscape we have ever seen. Vasu Jakkal, Corporate Vice President of Security, Compliance, and Identity at Microsoft, believes in the power of the Zero Trust approach.

The Zero Trust strategy helps prevent successful data breaches by eliminating the concept of trust from an organization’s network architecture. It ensures that every access request is fully authenticated, authorized, and encrypted before granting access.

SD-WAN has also become the go-to solution for many enterprises worldwide. With Smart Choice Communication’s SD-WAN solution, you can achieve supreme visibility with end-to-end analytics, get comprehensive security in a single box, and gain insights from intuitive centralized management, all while being natively secure within your organization.

Transform your physical spaces into intelligent, cloud-powered ones.

Moving everything to the cloud enables business leaders to adapt faster to the new hybrid reality. Cloud readiness was one reason why SmartChoice was able to move to remote work virtually overnight with limited impact on employee productivity.  A back to the office guide on hybrid work technology can steer business leaders towards the right path as they make key decisions.

With the cloud, you can manage identities, devices and empower employees to feel comfortable working from anywhere. Another advantage of the cloud is its ability to support environmental proactivity, powering virtual services rather than physical products and hardware, removing the need for paper waste.

Digitize every business process, from operations to sales.

As we continue to transition into a more flexible world, we must build for future workforces. According to MarketWatch, over the next five years, the global market of freelancers will reach $5026.3 million by 2025. While many enterprises may shy away from hiring freelancers, they will not shy from contractual work that can be outsourced worldwide.

By digitizing processes and automated systems powered by analytics, teams can gain access to an array of data and provide timely insights on project matters without working in the office. Remote workers will feel empowered to complete their work without experiencing the fear that they are missing out.

CRM platforms that can integrate with VOIP and SMS to interact with customers significantly contribute to the automation vision when working with a sales team. By incorporating tools that enhance connectivity, both leaders and team members can progress towards their common goal.

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