Our latest article of the hybrid working series looks at how to ensure your teams remain productive and efficient
Hybrid working is a boon to charities. But ensuring that charity workers are equally productive inside and outside of the office can be challenging.
Digital tools are a must-have for organising schedules and collaboration. To promote healthy and effective productivity, we’re sharing our top tips and tech tools for your hybrid office.
Cloud-based infrastructure is an essential digital feature for all charity operations. The set-up ensures accessibility and reduces hardware. Cloud-based data access means that workers can tap into charity data whenever and wherever.
Staff no longer have to lug important files home, with the risk of loss or damage. Better yet, accidentally deleted files and previous versions can be recovered.
DropBox, Google Drive, and Apple iCloud help organisations stay on top of access and space. DropBox’s business accounts include access management features, version control, and recovery settings for charity administrators.
The Charity Digital Exchange also offers discounted DropBox rates.
Available to charities, Google Drive and iCloud also have limited amounts of free cloud storage space.
Hybrid working comes with communication challenges. Colleagues can be on different time schedules, making it hard to get in touch. To stay coordinated, you’ll need tools for asynchronous working.
The first two, Teams and Slack, offer options for asynchronous working. The topic-based chat functions allow workers catch up at their convenience.
For specific projects, this offers an already filtered set of messages related to the task at hand. Teams has also added an integrated phone function which gives users another element of convenience.
Zoom and Skype are also great for those overcoming distance challenges. The platforms offer free versions of the software for charities on a shoestring budget.
Our top tip for communication tools is to ensure that your broadband and wi-fi settings work for data-rich platforms.
Hybrid workers need digital spaces for project collaboration and coordination. There’s a wealth of management tools catering to tracking and organisation.
New on the scene, Google Workspace integrates business emails, video conferencing, cloud storage, and calendars. For charities looking at this collaboration platform, cloud accessibility and email customisation features are the main benefits.
Dedicated project management tools also enhance hybrid working productivity. Asana, available on the Charity Digital Exchange helps charity workers keep on top of projects.
Asana maps out the trajectory of work, assigns tasks and deadlines. There’s also a centralised messaging tool for teams to pick up announcements.
Our top tip is to try before you buy. Many of the platforms offer free trials before committing, so make sure you’ve tested the functionality and project tools.
Productivity can be affected by hybrid working uncertainty. Not knowing where your team mates are, or, being interrupted by phone calls and emails may make it hard to concentrate.
To manage hybrid working environments, office booking tools keep track of desk space and health and safety. Desk booking platforms like WiggleDesk, Yarooms, and Officely help offices transition to hybrid working. They can schedule room and desk reservations and Officely can even manage contact tracing and health surveys.
Applicable to both in-office and at home staff, make plans to stay focused. Psychologically, getting dressed in professional attire helps the mind prepare for work.
Our top tip is to plan out your day, set up your workspace, and schedule time for breaks. Let your colleagues know that you aren’t available to chat by blocking time out and sharing your calendar.
For those workers at home, digital hacks can help you stay productive. Concentrate on the task at hand by eliminating distractions.
If you’re struggling to put down your phone, for example, apps like Forest temporarily lock you out of it. To stay motivated, digital list keepers Trello and Todoist help you visualise achievements by ticking them off.
Digital fatigue happens when workers spend too much time videoconferencing. To ensure hybrid working is productive, charity staff need to prioritise mental health well-being.
Our top tips to combat digital fatigue are to minimise your own video and to plan the agenda in advance. When you minimise your own video, you’re better able to focus on what’s being said rather than your appearance.
Plan how you’ll engage with those in and outside of the office. Using interactive content keeps audiences focused. Be sure to include question and answer sessions both in digital and live formats.