We have entered a new era of work. While the traditional office and remote working were once considered entirely separate concepts, modern workplaces are now defined by the sophistication of their hybrid work approaches.
Maximum flexibility for employees without compromising on the quality of team collaboration, security and efficiency has become the hallmark of a well-designed hybrid work environment. In this context, it’s no surprise that forward-thinking business leaders have been quick to adopt innovative solutions and new digitisation initiatives to keep pace with the changing landscape of increased mobility.
However, as hybrid work becomes more established, organisations must now consider what new business growth strategies they need to adopt to remain competitive and resilient in the long-term. In this article, we’ll identify two factors that may hinder growth for your organisation, before discussing four strategies to drive success in the coming decade.
2 factors that hinder growth
1. Not challenging your current growth strategies
One of the biggest mistakes for organisations to make in the new era of work, is to hold onto outdated growth strategies. Many previously held beliefs have been disproved - for example, that organisational change must be a lengthy process - and as such, existing strategies may no longer be appropriate for the new context.
While it may be tempting to simply tweak your current growth strategies to make them more ‘hybrid workplace-friendly’ without conducting a full review, this isn’t the most effective solution. Setting your hybrid employees up with the same tech they used at the office will not necessarily equip them with the best tools for remote productivity and collaboration.
The reality is that your customers, employees, industry, economy and business have all changed. So take the time to challenge each entrenched strategy, process and tactic to determine if it is the best method for driving growth and success in the new era of work. While some may still prove to be relevant, by avoiding assumptions, you can choose the strongest strategies to support your business’ future.
2. Taking an ad hoc approach to improvement
Quick fixes or ad hoc approaches to improving and updating your infrastructure and processes will also hinder long-term success and growth. Instead, they will lead to more frustrations caused by stopgap systems that fail quickly, new platforms that don’t integrate well and datasets that are inaccurate and unusable.
Alternatively, fostering a continuous improvement mindset will enable you to take a more long-term approach to change, which is also more holistic as it considers how to improve your entire business, not just one part of it. A culture of continuous improvement can improve productivity in your organisation by anywhere from 20–80 percent, according to McKinsey, as well as give you a competitive edge. The changes don’t have to be large - in fact, often they’ll be small. But they are frequent and ongoing.
To create a culture of continuous improvement, you must:
- Be transparent about performance by setting public goals
- Share knowledge across teams and departments
- Involve employees to capture their front-line insights
4 business growth strategies for the new era of work
In the following, we outline 4 business growth strategies that are going to be critical in the new era of work. As you consider these four business growth strategies and how to apply them to your organisation, ask yourself these two questions:
- What are we already doing well and how can we reinforce this?
- Where do we need to make improvements and what innovative alternative solutions can we implement?
1. Strengthen and stabilise new systems
According to McKinsey, the immediate challenge for most businesses in 2021 is to “[build] and [institutionalise] what has been done well so far” - that is, to strengthen and stabilise the new systems you implemented in 2020 that are proving to be effective. This could mean improving your digital and omnichannel platforms, establishing virtual customer meetings as a normal offering, or solidifying your hybrid workplace set-up and policy. Whatever it is, don’t forget to assess whether it’s working before committing to it long-term.
2. Invest in the right infrastructure
Investing in new infrastructure goes hand-in-hand with stabilising your current systems. Did the shift to hybrid work lead to any gaps in your capabilities? Where do you need to replace short-term solutions with long-term ones? Can your infrastructure easily scale up to accommodate growth?
The best way to start identifying and filling your infrastructure needs is to use the Equip, Connect, Optimise methodology. This is a holistic three-step approach to investing in the right hardware, software and processes to enable your employees to be productive wherever and whenever they work.
- Equip your team with the tools they need to work anywhere, including laptops, printers and other devices.
- Connect your people with the right software to enable effective collaboration, such as cloud tools, content management systems and communication platforms.
- Optimise your processes to ensure you’re using your new technology and services to their full potential, including streamlining processes, automating tasks and training staff on new platforms.
Download our Smarter Workplaces Guide to learn more about how to implement the Equip, Connect, Optimise methodology to build an effective hybrid workplace with the right infrastructure for growth.
3. Create a culture of continuous learning
A culture of continuous learning enables organisations to upskill and reskill their employees for current and future skill gaps. This type of culture fosters open mindsets and independent thinking that encourages people to react with the speed, agility and flexibility needed to seize business growth and market opportunities.
The growth benefits of continuous learning are obvious - businesses are 46 percent more likely to be first to market, 37 percent more productive and 92 percent more likely to innovate.
The Harvard Business Review recommends four steps to establish a culture of continuous learning:
- Reward continuous learning
- Give meaningful and constructive feedback
- Lead by example
- Hire curious people
4. Prioritise sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions
Sustainable business practices have been on the rise for a number of years thanks to the many commercial benefits they offer in addition to their environmental impact, from increased productivity and better workplace culture to improved retention, reputation and cost-savings. For growth-oriented businesses, sustainable and environmentally friendly products, services and processes are likely to be a key feature of successful companies over the coming decades.
McKinsey reports that many governments are using the recent disruption to improve their environmental policies and outcomes. And as investors and customers are increasingly concerned with sustainability, businesses must look for “green growth opportunities” to drive their business forward.
Choosing the right printer and device infrastructure to support productivity and growth in hybrid workplaces can be challenging. Download our Comprehensive Guide to Digital Workplaces to learn how to equip your organisation for collaboration, mobility and productivity in the new era of work.