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How to Overcome the Challenges of Hybrid Work and WFH


Hybrid work and work from home (WFH or remote working) present challenges more than traditional work setups. Workers and management are now facing difficulties different than before COVID-19. Platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Google Docs are constantly upgrading their services to better help the working populace. However, challenges involving hybrid work and work from home revolve around not being able to meet face to face. Making instantaneous decisions, witnessing body language, and having that ‘bond’ with your colleagues are but part of the problem. According to Harvard Business Review, they categorize the most important concerns for hybrid workers into “5C Challenges”: communication, coordination, connection, creativity, and culture.


Discover how to overcome challenges to hybrid (and remote) work. Read on to find out…


Communication

Technology plays a huge part in today’s work environment. We’re not just talking about computers and printers anymore. Different types of video conferencing devices and collaboration platforms have become a necessary part of day-to-day work. There was a time (not too long ago) when each participant would have to log on to a separate computer. Now that some are back in the office, would it still be necessary to do this? Is there technology available to improve our hybrid team communication? When remote participants see the group on-site, will they not feel isolated being shown alone on their video conference frame while others are shown as an image inside a physical room?


How to overcome communication challenges:


Coolpo AI Huddle Pana is a video conferencing device to help solve problems with hybrid communications. It affords remote participants a complete view of the on-site location. It shows a panoramic view of the room plus meeting participants it detects through sound and visuals. +It contains a fisheye camera, 4 microphones, and a surround speaker. The camera zooms in on up to 3 active meeting participants which afford remote attendees a clear view of their facial expressions and body language. Since everyone in the room will be seen, there is no need to separately enter the virtual meeting room. The Pana’s features include (but are not limited to):

● 360° camera

● 4 smart microphones

● 360° all surround speaker

● AI dual positioning technology: visual and sound location of active meeting participants

For video conferencing software, companies can subscribe to free and premium products of platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and WebEx, for example.

Coordination

It might seem that extra effort is required to coordinate with remote employees. How do you coordinate with people who “are not present”? Comparing the situation to a long-distance relationship would somehow be accurate. Over the fiscal year, remote teammates might be left out of important conversations and therefore out entirely of the decision-making process.


Suggestion to overcome coordination challenges:


Your team may like to consider investing in platforms that offer real-time collaboration across various platforms. Online, real-time collaboration platforms like MS Teams allow coordination for teams across distances. Most premium options especially in Microsoft Teams are very “team friendly”. You can prepare documents together, enter live chat sessions with the group, avail yourself of the many app integrations for other tasks, and perform most (if not all) work-related functions separately but simultaneously! This means that tasks can easily be coordinated. Any concern or topic that needs to be said is effortlessly conveyed to everyone via chat and video conferencing. Teams can be more coordinated now than ever, with the help of online collaboration platforms.


Connection

Extroverts make up about fifty to seventy percent of the US population. Extroverted individuals are characterized by being friendly, outgoing, and sociable. Most of them enjoy being on-site for opportunities to be with other people. More than half of the people in the US are craving for that social interaction afforded by engaging face-to-face with other human beings. However, this also means that the other part of the spectrum enjoys hybrid work, WFH, and remote work. On-site teammates might be getting into conversations that probably exclude their remote counterparts. Concerning being skipped over important conversations, a “dominant class” may also arise with the same faces always in the office.


How to solve connection challenges:


Zoom’s solutions encompass many functions and features that are useful in boosting office connections. They’re not only about video conferencing. Apps like Miro, Hangouts Chat, and Monday.com can easily be integrated into Zoom to improve your team’s connection. Make sure nobody gets left out!


Creativity

Hybrid work endangers two kinds of creativity: collective and individual. Collective creativity suffers because most teammembers are not yet used to remote collaboration. Remote or hybrid brainstorming can be a pain if you have not adjusted yet. Presenters may find it awkward to highlight ideas and products, for example. With hybrid meetings, remote participants may find it hard to follow presenters around the room and still identify whatever it is they are trying to present. Hence, no matter how good the preparation is, the right ideas might not be conveyed properly.


How to solve creativity challenges:


Traditional webcams we used before the pandemic simply cannot cater to our changing needs anymore. Flexible features must meet flexible demands. The Coolpo AI Huddle Mini can frame the group on-site and also shift smoothly to presenter mode using a hand gesture. With your raised hand, the Mini will identify you as the presenter and follow you around the room. This mode is perfect for when you need to get up and point something at the whiteboard or when you need to exhibit a product to remote attendees. When that’s done, simply perform the same gesture to shift back to group framing. The 6-microphone array system can capture voices from up to 18ft away. Moreover, the algorithms allow for flexible features that when you need to simply utilize the 110-degree wide-angle camera, a simple push of a button will take care of that for you. The Mini’s flexibility does not end there. You can position it in different ways: on top of the monitor, clip it to your laptop, place it on any flat surface, or on a tripod.


Conclusion

The last challenge not yet mentioned is culture. Company culture is everything that makes up the company. By ensuring that the other four challenges are addressed, company culture could follow behind somehow. Hybrid work and WFH will become less of a challenge over time. However, time alone cannot solve the underlying issues with these relatively new setups. In this day and age, technology plays a big part in making sure the team is completely connected and that everybody is heard. After all, everybody deserves the spotlight. Make sure your company considers investing in tech such as Coolpo AI Huddle Pana, a 360 video conference device; Coolpo AI Huddle Mini a compact but powerful conference room camera; and collaboration platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams that (almost) natively integrates with other apps for a smooth transition between different work settings.

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