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BTOES Insights Official
By
July 03, 2022

INSIGHTS ARTICLE: ABBYY - Richard Rabin: Four fail proof factors for a successful Hybrid Work Model.

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Four fail-proof factors for a successful Hybrid Work Model

A hybrid working environment is now on the table for most U.S. companies, with many starting to draw up new strategies for combing remote and office workers. However, this may require more thought than meets the eye and leaders need to develop an approach that includes the critical step of developing a workplace technology roadmap that can handle the various unique needs of employees working in different places. 

Some business leaders are still dealing with poor decisions they made last year when the pandemic forced them to quickly introduce new digital processes, which mostly turned out to be inadequate or didn’t live up to expectations. In fact, a survey by ABBYY of 4,000 WFH employees showed as many as 74% experienced challenges such as not having the right IT tools. This supports the fact that employees value the option to work away from the office, as long as they’re equipped to do so efficiently. 

If businesses get it right, the hybrid model has significant benefits, including a decrease in office costs, meeting sustainability goals, improvements in recruitment and retention of talent, increased productivity, and more. IT leaders must show the way forward, given the central role technology will play in creating and sustaining the next workplace environment. Here, we’ll discuss some of the factors to consider, and a path forward for creating a model to successfully navigate a hybrid environment.

Consider the requirements for a successful outcome

When you’re initially considering digital changes, think carefully about both your company’s and employees’ goals and needs and how those changes will impact workloads and workflows. Employees need to stay connected to others, both professionally and socially. Getting this balance right in the hybrid workplace is not always easy, so it’s important to understand how your employees work as you begin your search for long-term digital transformation. Consider these questions:

  • Is your staff still relying on manual data entry? Are they having to physically touch papers and how much time is it taking?
  • Are they following current processes, or do they have alternative ways of completing tasks they think is more efficient?
  • Do they wish they could have more say in how processes are executed and have the ability to influence them?
  • Would they want more digital assistance?

After answering these questions, begin evaluating your current operations and business processes to ensure the best way forward for combining remote with office work. Aside from staff feedback, you’ll also need a good bird’s eye view of your entire operations to gain a true evaluation. Leaders can take a non-bias approach and make better in-the-moment decisions based on facts by using solutions like process mining. Driven by advanced data analytics, process mining uses event data to discover and map process operations and their possible variations. It can also check existing processes for conformity with pre-defined business policies, standards, and models. These analytics help decision-makers uncover the root causes of any inefficiencies in their business processes. In other words, it helps you keep track of what you’re doing well and reveals where you can do better before you start automating anything.

RESEARCH REPORT NO DATEOnce you’ve completed your evaluation and have full visibility into the inner workings of your business, consider these four factors:

  • The importance of collaboration and communication tools: Companies should support the importance of human connections and offer tools to help them collaboratively work together, no matter where or when employees are working. Technology should be an enabler for improving communications and productivity, especially in a hybrid workforce. When we surveyed office workers in November 2020, we asked what tools could make their jobs better and the top answer (70%) was communications tools.

  • Implement task monitoring: The second top answer for what tools could make office workers’ jobs better was for productivity monitoring (43%). Tools like task mining can analyze how people interact with systems and provide unique productivity data. This can help organizations shift away from repetitive tasks and empower employees to focus on higher-value work. It can even be used as a personal productivity tool for employees to see how they’re working and how they can improve processes. Advanced task mining tools have protocols and settings in place to safeguard users’ personal data since they log user interactions in real-time, helping avoid infringing on users’ privacy.

  • Incorporate new AI tools for overcoming inefficiencies
    For leaders responsible for driving digital transformation and changes, success will depend on getting the right combination of tools. They must also deliver innovation that enables them to disrupt their industry, without disrupting the company’s day-to-day operations. A study from the International Facility Management Association (IMFA) highlighted that employers are now focusing their investment on providing digital tools, equipment, and training for remote workers to ensure that workplace productivity, wherever that may be, isn’t affected by outdated tech. Most companies know they need to do this, but they are often not sure where to start.
     

While RPA is one of the most popular starting points to automate existing manual, repetitive processes, companies are reaching a roadblock in their digital transformation journey and need more sophisticated technology to achieve the full benefits and keep a competitive advantage. Some of the common AI tools available include machine learning (ML), a tool that can learn from data looking at similar patterns and is able to predict a decision a human would make; and intelligent document processing (IDP), which leverages OCR, ML, and NLP to digitize and understand forms and adds AI skills to RPA bots so they can learn, reason, and understand content within various documents. It then categorizes and extracts relevant data for further processing. By gaining insights from documents, organizations digitize their operations, dramatically improve the customer experience, increase productivity, and lower risk. 

  • Evaluate the ROI of digital transformation: With so many tools available to run through your organization to automate, initiate and drive processes forward, it’s imperative to be able to monitor their ongoing performance. This should include the ability to identify and rectify bottlenecks and have insights into how digitally transformed processes are impacting overall 
    operations and the customer experience. Process intelligence monitoring how content flows through business applications combined with business intelligence, and data science and analytics can be used individually or together to provide IT leaders a “control plane” of how all their departments’ processes workflow.  

To ensure success in a hybrid workplace, IT leaders should have a holistic view of their processes and make it a priority to review each employee’s workspace characteristics and needs. And while you don’t have to make all the right decisions about your hybrid model upfront, approaching it in the right way and considering the above factors can help you make the most of your plan, while creating a stronger environment for your employees.

Research Report 2021/22 - The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends 

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About the Author

Richard Rabin (1)Richard Rabin,
Product Marketing Manager, Process Intelligence,
ABBYY.

Richard Rabin is the Product Marketing Manager for Process Intelligence at ABBYY, a Digital Intelligence company. He works closely with global enterprises to help them better understand and optimize their business process workflows, bottlenecks, how to select the initiatives that will yield the most business value with intelligent automation, and how they will impact overall operational excellence. Richard has a remarkable academic background in Computer and Information Science and AI and has more than 35 years of software engineering expertise.

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