The future workplace will be hybrid  combining physical office space with remote working as organisations adjust to the socioeconomic shift accelerated by Covid-19. 

Forward-looking organisations are already adapting to a flexible, hybrid way of working, investing in technology that facilitates and unifies secure modern working throughout offices and homes. Physical spaces are not disappearing, but the way we use them is changing:  

Jennifer Adams, Corporate Development Director at Incremental:  

Our offices, which have now lay vacant for almost 10 months, were designed for a certain style of working – circa 70% of the space allocated for individual taskbased working and circ30% for collaboration and rest. We have surveyed our employees throughout the pandemic and it is clear the majority do not want to return to working in an office environment full timeWhat employees want to use the office for has changed. We will remodel our offices and working practices to address the future. 

Organisations can adapt their existing office spaces to enable a collaborative and dynamic working environment. But how is this achieved? What are the key technologies which can transform physical spaces into hybrid workplaces of the future?  

Sharing information securely with the cloud

One of the most fundamental technologies for facilitating a hybrid workplace is ensuring your business-critical solutions are cloudbased. Enabling employees to communicate, collaborate and access files and documents remotely is crucial for business continuity in a modern workplace. When sustaining hybrid working across an organisation, security of information is a key concern. Investing in secure cloud infrastructure is essential.  

Microsoft Azure is a cutting-edge cloud environment that enables application and webhosting, storage and virtualisation, hybrid integration and world-class cloud security. Azure cloud infrastructure is secure by design, allowing you to trust the integrity of the cloud and the movement of information between on-premises and remote locations 

Azure Files allows organisations to move legacy, on-premises data to the cloud in a secure and resilient environment, removing the need to connect users back to a central office or data centre.  

Azure Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) provides a secure, virtualised Windows 10 desktops which can be accesses by any laptop or computer. The virtual desktop can be personalised to an organisationrequirements and loaded with company applications, including access to Microsoft 365WVD facilitates secure remote access to user desktops incredibly quickly, enabling organisations to remain responsive and prepared for the uncertainties of the future. 

Rich collaboration with smart technology meeting rooms  

As the modern workplace continues to evolve, how we communicate and collaborate is changing. The workplace of the future will need to accommodate hybrid working and dynamic, connected meeting spaces that serve as teamwork hubs. 

Microsoft Teams is an intelligent cloud meeting solution that enables human interaction when remote and office-based teams come together to work on projects or socialise. Through Teams, existing meeting rooms can be transformed into spaces which mirror the rich collaboration experience of being face-to-face. 

Microsoft Teams Rooms provides advanced functionality for a collaborative experience that is easy to use, deploy and manage. Microsoft Teams Rooms devices are designed for every space and working style, providing a unified experience between all devices. They deliver high quality audio, video and sharing experiences and support inclusive teamwork between remote and in-person attendees. Not all organisations use Microsoft Teams, therefore Microsoft Teams Rooms has easy direct connection to Zoom and Cisco Webex enabled systems, making it easy to collaborate with people outside of your organisation. Microsoft Teams Rooms can also integrate with a content camera to share physical whiteboard content into the meeting or the Microsoft Surface Hub large display to make it very easy to use visual tools to enhance meetings. 

One of the key benefits of using Microsoft Teams Room systems is the ability to unify visual content in meetings that both the people in the room and those joining the meeting remotely can experience. This technology enables inclusion of all attendees, bridging the void between remote and office workers.  

Creating a shared information hub

Ensuring accurate information is shared throughout an organisation is key to sustaining a hybrid working environment. Microsoft 365 is a sophisticated, integrated cloud platform delivering everyday workplace productivity apps such a Teams, Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint. These applications underpin almost every interaction within an organisation. SharePoint is the document storage backbone for the Microsoft 365 environment – an information ‘hub’ for entire businessesAll content stored in Microsoft 365 either via Teams or Yammer, is stored in SharePoint. 

Microsoft has modernised SharePoint, improving the way information can be stored for Microsoft 365. The modern experience of SharePoint has introduced new, flat architecture designed for less hierarchy and more fluidity within an organisations data storage. The modern platform also has a clean and simple user-interface which is natively responsive and intuitive for users.  

SharePoint is a solution where organisations can create userfriendly content locations, designed to help people find the information they need. The introduction of hub sites, which allow organisations to retain a flat structure but group related sites together, unifies information in ways that make sense to the end-user. For example, multiple HR sites rolled up into a single HR hub. The aim of this modernisation is to enable a single location for accurate information. 

Start your hybrid working strategy

With all the new possibilities these technologies open-up to organisations embarking on their hybrid working strategyit can be hard to know the best approach for your organisation. At Incremental, we specialise in digital transformation. Our experienced consultants can guide you to the right solutions and structures that fit your unique organisation requirementsSpeak to a member of the team today.