In the year and a half where chats at the coffee machine were traded for Slack channels, and team meetings replaced by Zoom calls, having a robust technical infrastructure to support your business has become make or break for a lot of companies.
But as the world begins to return to (dare we say it) a “new normal”, offices are adopting a hybrid working environment to facilitate the new-found benefits of working from home, whilst still encouraging the perks which come with actually being in the office - particularly for our marketing teams.
In a recent article, CEOWorld claimed that “technology is the science and people are the art in marketing” suggesting the creative process marketers need to design beautiful campaigns and spark innovative ideas requires the collaboration, observation and contribution of peers to truly connect with the customers they are trying to reach.
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we are fundamentally social beings who thrive around peers, and that the small talk on the way to the conference room or jokes in the office on a Monday morning are actually a huge part of what drives the creativity in the workplace.
Nemetos are following the trend of over 70% of businesses who will have at least one member of staff working remotely over the next 12 months, and adopting a hybrid working strategy which accommodates staff preferences to return to at least some form of office work whilst still offering the option to work remotely.
We’re taking a look at some of the benefits of a hybrid work structure and how this can help you run your teams more effectively, and in turn, offer benefits for your digital marketing innovation.
1. Creativity through collaboration
The office is no longer seen as just a place where employees come into work. What previously drew people to work on site - better technology, robust working set up, somewhere to wind down during the lunch hour - is no longer enough to draw people back to their old desks, mainly because these aspects never really changed.
In fact, what is now creating a bigger pull back to the office is space to talk to colleagues, opportunity to collaborate and that office “buzz” that just can’t be replaced by the sound of daytime TV or the kids running around the house all day.
This collaborative working also prevents silos forming within teams, where members can feel isolated. This perceived “bubble” rarely allows them to connect with other members of the organisation who may not necessarily work with them directly, but may help to stimulate vital ideas.
We’re suggesting employees come in at least once a week, where they can, to give them the space and time to chat, meet teammates they may never have seen in person, and collaborate more effectively.
2. Small talk creates the big ideas
Small talk. Love it or hate it, it’s something we’ve had to manage without over the last 18 months. But it turns out that these little chats about the latest Netflix series and what you’re having for dinner improve your mood and provide more energy for working.
Realising this, your company was probably amongst the many who spent money and time trying to simulate these social situations whilst everyone was forced to work at home. In fact,
according to Sound & Communications almost 70% of organisations are either using team-collaboration apps or are on track to do so by the end of 2021, over a 250% increase from the same period in 2017.
One of the biggest benefits of returning to an office environment is that those seemingly meaningless chats will directly contribute to a more creative and connected space for employees to spark ideas.
At Nemetos, we’re inviting clients in for meetings, arranging more in person collaborations and giving ourselves time in the office to catch up over coffee. (In fact, that’s exactly what we’re doing in September, but you can read more about that below!)
3. Screen fatigue = burnout
In a study called Future of Work: From Remote to Hybrid, Capgemini found that 55% of employees across all age ranges felt burnout due to longer hours in a remote setup.
Particularly for people who work and relax in the same environment, the line between work and daily life has become incredibly blurry. The pressure to be available all the time means people have been spending more time staring at their computers, in addition to all the regular smartphone, TV and general browsing time, causing major screen fatigue.
You may think that, more hours at the screen means more work done. However countless studies have found that too many hours without breaks actually hinders work. This is partly down to the fact that the cognitive load is much higher in video chats than it is in reality. From an over-emphasised nod of agreement to the simple act of keeping your head central throughout the call, video chats are undoubtedly draining our energy much faster than in-person meetings, which has a notable knock on effect on work.
Being able to spend time around people in a relaxed environment helps to re-energise the body, and reinvigorate the brain. We’re suggesting that employees maintain flexibility to work when it’s best for them, but have the core hours of 10-4pm to ensure maximum productivity and availability for collaborations during these hours.
4. It’s not all bad
Whilst there are a lot of pros to returning to the office, that doesn’t rule out the positives gained from being at home.
Less commuting and a reduction of waste all have sustainability benefits. There is increased capability to recruit outside of the locality or even time zone. Not to mention that whilst there are many good things about collaboration, working from home allows tasks to actually be done rather than simply discussed.
By adopting a hybrid model, you can leverage the benefits of all ways of working, ensuring your staff get the best of both worlds whilst still feeling in touch with their colleagues and able to perform their best work.
Ready to make the most of this new hybrid model?
Throughout September we’re inviting you and your colleagues to get away from your screens to join us for coffee and croissants and to answer some of your burning digital questions. What actually IS headless anyway? How can I improve my user experience in a post-pandemic world? Are we making the most of our current tech stack?
We’ll be offering mini consultancy sessions to have a look at your digital solution and offer some ideas about how you can really make the most of this to elevate your customer’s experience to bring you an ROI that makes you stand out in the conference room.
For more details, book one of our Coffee and Croissant Consultancy slots where you can meet the team and learn more about what you can do to upgrade your digital experience - we can’t wait to meet you.