How Timewatch helps companies build a successful hybrid work model
A guaranteed conversation topic in 2022 regardless of where in the world you work: are you returning to the office?
As we continue to push through the impact COVID has had on the workplace and employment, there is desire from many quarters for a “return to normal”. Memo to all employers: those days are gone. Work will never look like it did in 2019.
The new normal for many industries – mostly desk-bound computer-facing roles – includes remote working from home or maybe a hybrid model where time is split between remote and in-office working. There are basic benefits in working from home: travel time is under a minute, there are no travel costs, and an improved lifestyle that can include staying in your pajama bottoms all day if that’s your thing.
Do employees want to return to in-office working?
According to a recent survey by Wakefield Research for Envoy, a hybrid office management platform, almost half of employees (47%) that were surveyed would likely look for another job if their employer didn’t adopt a flexible work model.
Admittedly there is room for bias in a survey published by a hybrid work software platform promoting hybrid work but there is no denying the strength of desire for continuing remote work principles.
What is a hybrid working pattern?
Why do employees want to continue working remotely? It’s not hard to work out. Reasons for remote or hybrid work can include:
- Better work-life balance
- Work when you are most productive
- Reduced exposure to sickness (did someone mention COVID?)
- Reduced real estate expenses
- Larger hireable talent pool not required to relocate
Timewatch customers have told us that their employees are in no rush to return to offices and that they need to embrace hybrid work models. This also means they must implement permanent procedures and systems to manage hybrid working environments for workers turning up to the office or logging in remotely. Work models changed fast in 2020 and now many of those changes will be permanent. What can businesses do to maintain there is no drop in service to customers while keeping its workforce happy?
How to deliver excellent service to customers with a hybrid staffing model
When structuring a hybrid work model for your staff it is vital to ensure employees have the right balance of remote and blended office experience, meetings, interactions, and conversations. There is no one size fits all solution and what works for one business won’t necessarily fit another. What is common is a need for businesses to improve remote communication technology, collaboration, business performance, feedback, and direction and never ignore employee well being.
Apps like Teams, Zoom, and Slack are now common work tools for all businesses but that doesn’t mean communication is always perfect. Some smart training companies have quickly pivoted to offering courses on how to communicate more effectively virtually. Welcome to 2022 office life.
Some challenges of hybrid work can include:
- Misalignment between in-office and remote workers
- Balance during meeting
- Office space and rent
- Overhead and labor costs
- Management and collaboration – this applies to us
- Differences between in-office and remote employees
Smart businesses have learned what worked and didn’t work for its employees during 2020 and 2021 and identified what is important for companies implementing permanent hybrid work models. These can include:
- Flexibility in work schedules
- Work-life balance
- Digitally enabled businesses
- Connection and collaboration
- Distributed work
You can read more about all that here.
It’s important to recognize that no plan fits all businesses but we can all agree that the best management software that works for all employees regardless of where they are located will give businesses the best opportunity for continued success. That theory is boosted by a PriceWaterhouseCoopers report that claims: “Those choosing a hybrid model, technology will play a crucial role in its success. So will CIOs as they’re called upon to provide the digital tools to make employee interactions with one another and with customers seamless across all types of environments.”
Build a business to thrive in 2022
Hybrid work as the new normal will require the best technology for seamless communication between staff and also the best management tools.
“Most companies have already implemented better team collaboration tools through the pandemic but with hybrid work here to stay, many will require better resource scheduling and resource planning tools that are sensitive to where people are working from,” says Timewatch CEO Graeme Wright.
Timewatch customers wanted us to help them manage their remote workforce better, so we implemented many enhancements to our resource scheduling and employee performance monitoring tools.
How do you monitor performance in a hybrid workplace?
When everyone is in an office, visibility of staff is easy, but with remote and hybrid working, businesses had to vind a better way to see who is working where and what they are doing. The multi-employee calendar views in our resource scheduling system solve this, but most organizations don’t need a full blown resource scheduling system. Customers that use Outlook already have much of this information in Outlook, but people need to share calendars, and Outlook can really only show a few calendars simultaneously.
To help remote and hybrid working, Timewatch created a seamless link from Outlook to our multi-resource scheduling view. With this, employees carry on using Outlook as they normally do, but schedulers can see multiple employee’s calendars on one screen and sort, search, scroll and locate resources, as well as filter resources by availability, skill and other attributes.
“Now Timewatch can provide hybrid working organizations with full office staff visibility and availability seamlessly from peoples’ Outlook calendars,” says Phil Jones, senior account manager at Timewatch.
Time tracking and timesheet entry is also made easier as a result of changes caused by hybrid working and the increased use of Teams and Outlook. Where Teams is used for collaboration in a hybrid work force, this and Outlook information can be used to prefill employees’ timesheets. This increases the accuracy of timesheet entry, as well as saving employees valuable time.
With a suite of professional services software this is where Timewatch can help your business succeed in 2022. No matter where your staff is located our services can connect everyone and centralize all your staff data.
- Resource scheduling that syncs with Outlook, Teams & Google
- Outlook Timesheet system that saves employees two-four hours a week
- Sophisticated time and billing solutions to perfectly meet your organization’s needs
“Our services are used by organizations with as few as five employees and as large as 5,000 staff located all over the world,” Wright explains. “As businesses pivot to a post-Covid future in how they staff on-site and remotely, we offer customized and proven platforms for continued success.”
Discuss your requirements
You know your business, we know our software. Working together we can save you valuable time. If you are interested in our solutions, let’s talk.
We provide free access to product specialists because we’ve found that by letting prospects speak directly with the people that implement our systems, they get the answers they need more quickly, and are more likely to become customers. Contact us today to book a free session with an implementation specialist.
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You know your business, we know our software. Working together we can save each other time.
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