4 Technologies You Need For Your Hybrid Workforce
What’s the new “hybrid workforce” of the all-too-near future going to look like? The short answer: Your guess is as good as ours.
The hybrid workforce will take on a nearly unending variety of configurations, because there are companies of every size and segment that are contemplating the use of hybrid workforce models. As Brian Kropp, vice president of research at Gartner, pointed out to The Washington Post? “In a lot of ways it’s going to be more disruptive than when we went all remote.”
Hybrid workforce planning is one of the hurdles that corporate leaders are facing. There’s a long list of questions for which many don’t yet have definitive answers. When will be the right time to make the change? What proportion of staffers will we allow to work remotely, how often? What are the procedures and tools we need to put in place to enable it?
The one bedrock reality they can count on is that, especially for companies that are tech-centric or rely on intellectual output, a hybrid workforce will be here to stay. Some of the reasons?
- The flexibility it provides in case of future disruption.
- The cost savings it offers by reducing the need for physical offices.
- The fact remote workers are more productive than they’d been previously.
What’s really needed to support a hybrid workforce?
So there’s potentially a lot of complexity just within a single organization’s hybrid workforce configuration. Different departments will have separate needs. Yet there’s also the simple fact that a company may have to make regular adaptations to its model to deal with fresh disruptions or changes in the marketplace.
So that means an organization moving to a hybrid workforce has to build specific qualities into its operations, workflows, and procedures:
- Flexibility: It has to be able to efficiently accommodate different and unique scenarios as they arise.
- Agility: Not the same as flexibility; this is about the speed with which it’s able to pivot to address those scenarios.
- Continuity: No matter what the adaptation or alteration is, the processes and people being affected still have to sustain corporate operations that are aimed at fulfilling set objectives and strategy.
Technology is key to making a hybrid workforce possible, let’s be honest. Without it, there’s little possibility of success or even survival for any business, especially one that operates at scale. That said? What are among the most vital technology solutions an organization should have in its tech stack if it’s going to evolve to a hybrid workforce model?
As we said, many companies will be managing multiple working environments for their hybrid workforce: Some will be in the office, some will be remote, some will divvy up time between the two. That creates the need for policies and procedures that are specific to each, yet pertinent to everyone. Being able to put a defensible compliance program in place will be more challenging than ever in this situation.
Companies are realizing that many of their systems and processes are a fragmented mix of applications, and/or are shackled to manual or paper-based processes, an unenviable position. Organizations will need to move to flexible policy management solutions that are easy to use, yet enhance policy creation and approval, training, assessment, attestation, and compliance reporting at a very high level.
Supply Chain Risk Management
Suppliers are confronting hybrid workforce challenges, too. Even before COVID-19, managing risk among your suppliers involved more than just the direct relationship; their supply chain is just as important to overseen, down to fourth- and fifth-tier suppliers.
Protecting your organization against potential risk caused by any of these contractors or subcontractors, at any level? That demands a resilient vendor risk management solution that supplies vendor analytics, monitoring of even fourth- and fifth-party vendors, concentration analytics, and automated reporting to keep you aware of risks before they impact your operations.
Workflow and Process Automation
If your employees are disseminated across multiple locations and scenarios, whether working from home or within the office, it’s important to make sure work processes are efficient, collaborative, trackable, and can be saved in case of the need for a future audit. This means implementing workflow and process automation to unify that hybrid workforce around optimized digitized processes that have legal and operational best practices, security measures, and more embedded within.
The effectiveness of a hybrid workforce pretty much depends on workflow automation as a cornerstone technology. The automation solution an enterprise turns to must offer flexibility, ease of use, transparency and no-code implementation so your teams are able to swiftly design and tailor processes to their needs.
I-9 Compliance and Immigration Case Management
The global pandemic has made the immigration landscape more confusing and challenging than ever. For organizations that employ foreign nationals, there’s the need to keep multiple scenarios in mind, particularly when it comes to staying compliant with U.S. Form I-9 paperwork.
The right software solution will mitigate paperwork errors in this particular process, heading off the issues and costs that could arise from noncompliance. Hiring workers remotely will still be a necessity, and this may become even more complex. So HR departments should adopt a remote hiring solution that also offers an on-the-ground verification network.
Companies with more global reach may require a global platform that’s capable of managing the challenges of hiring workers in multiple countries worldwide.