Improving Employee Experiences as People Adjust to Hybrid Working

I recently spoke with a group of all-star CIOs and IT leaders about their company’s plans, support models, and approaches to improve employee experiences while transitioning to hybrid working. Several CIOs acknowledged that transitioning to a hybrid model is more challenging than the abrupt switch to remote working we all experienced last year because of COVID-19.

Improving Employee Experiences as People Adjust to Hybrid Working - Isaac Sacolick

One CIO told me, “We had no choice last year to switch to remote working. But this year, we have to consider business requirements, employee needs, transformation opportunities, operating conditions, and regulations when determining policies and defining the hybrid work operating model.”

The transition to hybrid working is an opportunity and challenge. CIO and IT leaders should continue to focus on employee experiences by making day-to-day things easier to do, providing collaboration tools, and simplifying IT support. Progressive IT leaders will consider a mix of technologies to streamline work for hybrid workers, including digital tools and advanced capabilities from HP printers like the HP LaserJet Enterprise 400 Series.

As another CIO told me, “We’ve spent the last year in a digitally boxed-in collaboration model, and with hybrid working, there’s the opportunity to bring a mix of digital, in-person, and physical experiences to improve collaboration and productivity.” 

Why is focusing on employee experience important? Well, for one thing, many employees are stressed out from a difficult year of adjusting to new priorities and ways of working. Hybrid working brings on transitions, challenges, and opportunities to create a happy and productive working environment.

Top IT leaders recognize that enabling seamless, easy-to-use technologies are one way to reduce employee stress and raise the bar on how IT helps people and teams excel in the transition to hybrid working.   

Let’s look at some innovative ways some CIOs, IT leaders, and end-user computing managers can bring a real-world, hybrid working model to their employees.

Bring Conveniences to In-Office and Remote Working Environments

Employees largely worked on screens and devices for the last year but found creative ways to create variety in their working environments. Sometimes, that meant bringing the laptop to the dining room table, while other times, it was more convenient and productive to sit in the living room reviewing printouts of the latest reports.

Employees returning to the office want simplicity, conveniences, and to enjoy the same productivity levels they experienced while working from home. In other words, they don’t want to be tethered to their desks and screens. Very often, taking a printout, sitting in a comfortable chair, and jotting down notes is an experience that can help people break up their day and improve their concentration.

As an IT leader, I want to offer this working option to employees and ensure they have conveniences similar to working at home, where they can access their equipment without waiting for others. When it comes to printing in the office, I want to make sure people can copy, scan, and fax while others are printing, and HP’s multitasking capabilities enable these conveniences.

Enable Teams to Develop a Shared Understanding

Let’s now consider how to go from individual working experiences to hybrid working teams collaborating on a shared objective.

One place to look for a working model is to consider how distributed agile development teams collaborate. These teams invest time to develop a shared understanding of end-user personas and value propositions by documenting, sharing, and printing a shared vision statement. From there, agile development teams write requirements as user stories, and agile collaboration tools mimic the index cards teams used to stick on whiteboards to manage the active sprint.

Only today, while whiteboards and index cards won’t work for hybrid working teams, team leaders must still align teams and develop shared understandings of the business goals.

One of the top product owners I worked with called it “Getting the team on the same page.” He did this literally by sharing documents through SharePoint, printing them before each meeting, and ensuring we were all reviewing the same page when collaborating on design requirements.

Today, HP printers have more collaboration options and come equipped with easy web apps for print-from and scan-to-cloud repositories such as Google Drive, OneDrive, Box, Dropbox, SharePoint, and from the printer control panel.

Simplify Management for IT Employees

Now let’s take the charter of improving employee experiences for hybrid working one step further.

Here’s a news flash! People working in IT are also adjusting to hybrid working, and improving the management and support experiences around end-user computing technologies are critically important.

In other words, for successful hybrid working environments, IT leaders should target win-win technologies that work for end-users and teams, as well as the IT service and operational teams that support them.

When it comes to printer solutions, HP has several capabilities that support hybrid IT. For example, HP Web JetAdmin enables easy installation, configuration, and remote management capabilities, which provides options when IT employees must service printers when working from home. Another feature, HP FutureSmart firmware, enables an upgradeable, consistent experience across multiple device generations and entire printer fleets. There’s also the opportunity for IT to innovate by developing integrations with employee workflows using the HP Open Extensibility Platform (OXP) with OXPd JavaScript or OXPd .Net/Java.

These features also make it easy for IT to support HP printers deployed to regional offices and people’s homes when they elect remote working options.

Hybrid working is all about offering and enabling choice, variety, conveniences, and simplicity while providing a productive, collaborative, and engaging working environment. IT leaders have a significant role and opportunity to select win-win technologies that help employees transition to hybrid working and enable businesses to offer progressive working environments.

This post is brought to you by HP.

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of HP.

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About Isaac Sacolick

Isaac Sacolick is President of StarCIO, a technology leadership company that guides organizations on building digital transformation core competencies. He is the author of Digital Trailblazer and the Amazon bestseller Driving Digital and speaks about agile planning, devops, data science, product management, and other digital transformation best practices. Sacolick is a recognized top social CIO, a digital transformation influencer, and has over 900 articles published at InfoWorld,, his blog Social, Agile, and Transformation, and other sites. You can find him sharing new insights @NYIke on Twitter, his Driving Digital Standup YouTube channel, or during the Coffee with Digital Trailblazers.