The last few years have sparked significant changes in how people work and what they expect from employers. Working from home during the pandemic afforded many employees a better opportunity to achieve the elusive work-life balance. Now, many companies are offering hybrid work as a compromise and perk for attracting top talent.
Implementing the right tools is integral for creating a safe, productive working environment. Here are some must-have tools for a successful hybrid work team.
Employee Monitoring Software
Employee monitoring software is a tool that allows employers to track employees’ online activity. Depending on the tool and functionality, this software could look at time spent active, sites visited, productivity scores, and more.
Many employers have reservations about remote and hybrid working out of concern for productivity levels. This software helps offset those concerns by monitoring employees working from home.
However, using this software can be controversial as employees may feel micromanaged. Employers need to take an ethical approach when implementing employee monitoring by:
- Prioritizing transparency – let employees know they’re being monitored and what is being tracked.
- Developing clear policies – work with HR to create clear policies about what is and isn’t permitted during work time.
- Getting consent – put a well-written policy in place and get employee consent before you start monitoring.
If employees use their own computers during remote work, it’s also essential to put safeguards in place for their personal protection. Look for software with functionality designed for personal computers, such as scheduled downtime, log-in activation requirements, etc. You should not be able to monitor employees during their off hours.
Finding employee monitoring software with time tracking built in is also beneficial to streamline productivity and efficiency tracking.
Project Management Tools
Clear, consistent communication can be challenging in a hybrid environment. It’s integral to ensure everyone on the team has access to the information they need, whether they’re working from home, the office, a coffee shop, or the local library.
Cloud-based project management tools help companies create structure, workflows, and real-time updates for hybrid teams. These tools help cut back on time wasters like email communications and ensure everyone has access to information about a project as it progresses.
While Slack, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams also play an integral role in hybrid work, they can create inefficiencies. Rather than sending a private message with a question, team members can comment on the project tasks to ensure everyone can see the updates and can find relevant information later.
Some top project management tools for remote teams include Monday, Asana, and ClickUp.
Hybrid and remote work can open employees and the company to cybersecurity attacks. The onus of preventing these attacks is on the employer.
Implement cybersecurity tools to protect your workers as they log into public networks. Work with an IT specialist to put firewalls, anti-virus software, and best VPNs in place.
While these tools are the first line of defense, educating your employees is integral. Keep them up to date on the latest phishing scam attempts and best practices for communications and link opening. Cybercriminals are getting more sophisticated each year, and constant vigilance is a must.
These three tools are foundational for a successful hybrid working environment. Set clear goals and policies for your team and choose effective tools to create structure and efficiency.