HB Blog

Insights from the leadership at HB on technology and culture

Ideas For Improving Hybrid Collaboration

on February 26, 2021

Collaboration is no longer just about sitting together in an office, conference room, or huddle space with another coworker in order to work together. Instead, technology solutions now need to enable teams to collaborate remotely as well as in the office. The need to improve the digital resiliency of the workforce during and after the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically accelerated trends in digital workplace technology. From virtual meeting software, to enterprise chat platforms, to desktop-as-a-service, the pandemic rapidly elevated many digital workplace technologies from nice-to-have to must-have status.

Improving collaboration in the digital workplace will be about creating a constant in-person like feel to all interactions. Sabry Tozin, LinkedIn VP of engineering, believes that "In 2021 we'll see more internal investment from companies trying to figure out a good way to continue building community in the virtual 'workplace.'" Further, LinkedIn VP of workplace Brett Hautop explains that "the most important challenge for every corporate culture in 2021 and beyond will be adopting workplace designs and innovations that bridge the gap between in-office and remote employee experiences."

Collaboration has evolved to more than working with fellow employees, it means utilizing your organizations’ technology to be more efficient. As internal meetings, client interactions, new hire interviews and a variety of other business activities have gone virtual, the distance economy has given rise to a new generation of meeting solutions that attempt to mimic an in-person meeting more closely. Here are a few ways to do just that:

SaaS (software-as-a-service): email, instant messaging, file sharing, conferencing, document management and editing, search and discovery, and collaboration can all be managed through SaaS-base communication tools. These tools work best when they can all talk to one another.

DaaS: Desktop-as-a-service provides users with an on-demand, virtualized desktop experience delivered from a remotely hosted location.

Smart workspaces: A smart workspace leverages the digitalization of physical objects to deliver new ways of working to improve efficiency. Strong technology partners for creating smart workspaces include Cisco, Crestron, and Poly. Examples include IoT, digital signage, integrated workplace management systems, virtual workspaces, motion sensors, and facial recognition.

Conference rooms: Due to the increased adoption on collaboration platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex, Hangouts, and more, offices need to make sure users can enter the conference rooms and collaborate as if they were face-to-face. Entering a virtual room should be as easy as entering a conference room.

Platform integration: Appspace, 22Miles, and other communication platforms that allow for integration into other technology greatly increase and ease collaboration efforts. Digital signage, social posts, and important communications can be viewed from anywhere.

Dan Barron, VP of Marketing at HB noted, “We needed to address our own internal technology strategy to ensure our collaboration spaces were enabled with high quality conferencing technology while also making sure there was a seamless workflow when collaborating with remote workers, as well as partners and customers working on other collaboration platforms. If the technology isn’t both easy to use and high fidelity, you risk adoption and efficiency.” HB’s goal was to make sure that the new and improved office space would be not only include updated technology, but usable updated technology.

In a Deloitte white paper titled: “The digital workplace: Think, share, do,” Jussi Roine, Microsoft Regional Director said, “The digital workplace is more than tools, technology, or a single technical setting you turn on in your organization. It’s a cultural change that enables people to collaborate and be more efficient and productive.” Collaboration has become one of the most important parts of a digital workplace. Does your technology enable these interactions?