While hybrid work is becoming more commonplace these days, it has a decades-spanning history and is not actually a new phenomenon
In the 1960’s Germany introduced “flex time” to help stay-at-home moms support labor efforts, and by 1972, the United States gave the hybrid model a spin. In the US, it was a trial in response to the Telecommunications-transportation Tradeoff, a strategy proposed to create a better economy by reducing traffic congestion and energy consumption.
So what’s new about today’s version of hybrid work?
It’s that most employees have a strict mindset toward the flexibility hybrid work offers. A recent study from Accenture indicated that 83% of workers prefer the ability to work remotely one-quarter to three-quarters of the time. And the near-global adoption of hybrid workplaces has given them the ability to satisfy these needs.
As a result, enterprise leaders are confronted with the challenge of better understanding employee journeys in the hybrid workplace and how to engage and retain their workforce.
In this post, we’re going to zoom into the employee journey touchpoints of the hybrid workplace and explore how to create a more informed community of employees. From employers and people managers to employees and prospective talent, we think it's easy to have an engaged and successful hybrid workplace.
Understanding The Hybrid Workplace Employee Journey
Employees want to work from home to create more time for family connections, prioritize daily self-care, and minimize costly commutes. Organizations, especially global enterprises, are saying in response: we understand, and we are here to make it happen. But let’s still try to stay connected.
An effective and efficient hybrid workplace has to be powered by technology to enable those connections. This has been the driving force behind the rise of the Workplace SuperApp. When done right, the typical workday can transform from convoluted and confusing, to something that more closely reflects this sequence:
Reviewing their Workday: They start the day in the app, maybe in bed or maybe in the car, with a quick review of their calendar and meetings, scanning for times, locations, and a sense of how strong they need their morning coffee.
Finding Parking: On the days they’re driving in, they reserve their parking slot for the time they need it.
Booking a Workout:If fitness is a priority, they book a slot at the gym and grab their favorite running shoes or yoga mat.
Getting Refreshments:Next, they may order coffee or tea from the on-campus café to pick it up on their way to a meeting or before their workout.
Touchless Entry: They gain access to the office by tapping their phone or keycardand head off to their meeting room or booked desk of the day with turn-by-turn blue dot navigation.
Check-in at Location: Once they get inside of the building, they update their location status by checking in on campus to keep their team informed.
View Company Updates: Depending on their interests, they look for internal updateson their app home screen or company slack channel.
Locker for personal items: If they carry a gym bag, or extra briefcase, or would just like to have storage space, they drop off their items in a private locker.
Checking the daily specials for lunch: After a successful start to the day, they browse the daily specials at the café or local restaurants.
Reserving a desk or room: For lunchtime, they can book a desk near a colleague or reserve for an impromptu hybrid meeting.
Checking out of workstations: After a completed workday, they browse the app directoryto find a workplace buddy to meetup with and wind-down before they head home.
Different technologies help create this type of workflow scenario by connecting unique touchpoints. Built for distributed work settings, super apps have become ubiquitous in hybrid workplaces because they create a seamless hybrid journey that employees evangelize, and employers want to invest in.
A super app can bring ease to any hybrid workplace with the everyday employee being able to streamline their workflow. So, after an employee starts their day, there are less friction opportunities. With one workplace experience platform, they can plan days, order refreshments, find meetings, book desks and conference rooms, and even find colleagues.
Executive and upper management absolutely love this level of workflow precision since it saves time and makes everything easily accessible. This results in better employee engagement and boosts productivity.
These leaders know quality on-site experience subtly indicates that their companies are equipped to thrive in the future and as result, top talent will be excited to stay on-board.
So, ironically, as leaders pull new levers to launch employee experience programs that create this type of workflow, they stumble upon more organizational benefits of the hybrid model. Then, naturally, they start being proactive and considering hybrid work challenges like work-life balance, collaboration, and employee productivity.
Benefits and Challenges of Working in a Hybrid Environment
For employees, the hybrid workplace model offers numerous advantages, making it an attractive choice for many. With the ability to work from both the office and home, employees have a better sense of control over their workflow and can better manage their work-life balance. This autonomy over schedules creates an arrangement employees will even switch jobs to maintain.
But, while the flexibility of a hybrid work model can be a significant benefit, it can also blur the line between work and personal life, which can sometimes result in decreased productivity when the right checks and balances aren’t in place.
Workplace experience apps can be an effective solution to the productivity challenges faced by remote and hybrid workers. These apps can provide a centralized platform for communication, collaboration, and worktech integrations that enable employees to stay connected and engaged with their colleagues and their work, no matter who they are, or where they’re working from. They also solve for critical issues like:
Disconnection: Some hybrid employees may feel disconnected from their workplace, which may lead to poor employee engagement and decision-making. Thankfully, many super app developers have thought ahead to make it easy for team leaders to use a delegate approach to connect different team members. By booking entire rooms and desks on behalf of their crews, they can book out larger spaces, reserving a flexible workspace for multiple people.
Navigating communication: With a distributed workforce, miscommunication can arise quickly, leading to mistakes, missed deadlines, and frustrated team members. With super apps, employers and people leaders can easily book a room and have impromptu brainstorming sessions or quickly gather everyone in one place with room booking tools that help you find tech-enabled spaces fit for hybrid collaboration.
App overload: Many employees experience app overload because they have to toggle between multiple apps to do their job. This eventually leads to app fatigue and burn out. A super app will help streamline this process, boost productivity, and eliminate app overload.
Collaboration: Employers prioritize creating team cohesion. Super apps make this easy because, in one centralized location, you can create a content repository that everyone can access anywhere, anytime.
When it comes to this level of proactive thinking - we’re in the same lane. The Workplace SuperApp™ we designed provides a holistic solution for both managers and employees by streamlining the hybrid workflow to support employee well-being.
We knew simplified days prevent burnout, so we built an ecosystem of over 150 integrations to the most effective workplace applications. By eliminating the toggle tax, our users spend less time on task management.
Soon after deployment, our clients say their teams have experienced a more sustainable hybrid work experience by having their workflow simplified. Then, naturally, app adoption increases and people love coming into the office.
And there’s more. These experiences are not isolated to our clients, many companies are noticing how different workplace tools perform.
How A Workplace SuperAppTM Improves Employee Experience
Many organizations have started competing to offer the best work environment to attract and retain top talent. The focus has shifted from simply providing a paycheck to creating a workplace culture that supports a wide range of employee needs. And now, in a hybrid workplace, employees' experience of workplace technology plays an essential role in developing a positive workplace culture. Workplace technology went from a nice-to-have to an important marker of top employers.
Now, today's workplace technology is expected to nurture a sense of camaraderie within organizations. At CXApp, we saw this shift and made sure our Workplace SuperApp reflected it through features like:
A Employee Directory: A repository of employees with the addition of skills information and enhancedsearch capability (search by email, skill, and department) that can help employees build long-term relationships and make easy connections with the right person.
Desk and Room Booking: On a live map, you can search and find open desks and rooms,reserve seats, and view amenities like special monitors for hybrid meetings or rooms with north-facing windows.
And more is to come! This list will continue to expand as we note the incremental pivots in workplace experience.
If you need help planning your employee experience strategy – we're here to be your sidekick. Workplace specialists at CXApp have use case scenarios that fit employees from new hires to tenured executives. And if you want to visualize the impact of super apps in the workplace - take a look at our infographic below on the hybrid workplace journey!