The great ‘remote work experiment’ proved to organizations that productivity from home is possible. More than that, many leaders were pleasantly surprised at how well their business and workforce adapted to remote work.

However, now that we're in full swing as far as remote work goes, it's time for another shift. This time, the focus is on flexibility and hybrid work strategies that accommodate both in-office and remote workers, allowing them to thrive in the post-pandemic era of work.

So if hybrid is the future, how will it work in practice? Last year saw an acceleration of digital transformation to accommodate remote work, but this transition was not without its challenges. While the nature of work has always been complex, the recent proliferation of software, apps, remote employees, and now hybrid workforces have upped the ante again.

A recent Citrix survey found that 64% of workers use more communication and collaboration tools than before the pandemic, and 71% say this has made work more complex. Cue frustrations, employee burnout, and decreases in engagement and productivity. Even with these complexities, nearly 90% of respondents want the flexibility to continue to work at home and in the office post-pandemic. So what needs to change?

These are the themes we’ll be exploring in the build-up to our industry-leading work management conference, Collaborate.

Tackling the change

While pre-pandemic trends suggested that a more flexible approach to the traditional office was imminent, progress was slow, and many industries struggled to align their needs to a dispersed workforce.

The pandemic forced millions of businesses to close their physical doors and facilitate a predominantly remote workforce. Now, as we face a return to the office over the next several months, employers and employees alike are starting to envisage the ideal flexible workplace.

83% of workers say a hybrid model is optimal, and over half of employees plan to work from home more regularly than they previously did after restrictions are lifted, according to a Gallup poll.

The next era of work will demand flexibility for employees, remote and hybrid work options, asynchronous work, a focus on avoiding burnout, increased work-life balance, and the ability to switch off.

Employers must determine how to facilitate these workplace demands and what tools businesses need to support the flexible workplace of the future.

Moving “Forward Together”

With that in mind, our theme for Collaborate 2021 is “Forward Together.” After a challenging year for everyone, it’s time to look at the positive and negative effects of the pandemic on workplace dynamics and how they will impact the future of the workplace.

Companies need new strategies and solutions to prepare for the future of ever-increasing workplace complexities and expectations of employees and customers. An organization’s success depends on how well they support, empower, and connect employees to work collaboratively from anywhere.

We know that the next era of work is collaborative, but how can we ensure togetherness and flexibility in the workplace going forward? The short answer is that we need to reduce complexity to enable everyone to do their best work. We can do this by adopting tools that centralize and simplify work, enabling the workforce to work as one. We need to explore the latest advancements in AI, automation, and cloud collaborative work management technologies that make it possible for organizations to thrive. We also need to look outward and leverage industry insight and data to achieve a flexible, digital workplace.

That’s why at Collaborate, we’re looking at flexibility holistically, starting at the top with how leadership and workplace infrastructure impact the workforce for better or worse. The key is to create a space for adaptability so businesses are resilient in the face of unforeseen challenges while also catering to employee well-being.

Supporting teams to move “Forward Together” at Collaborate 2021

Collaborate 2021 is an industry-leading conference focusing on collaborative work management and building the workplace of tomorrow.

Presenters and attendees will explore the big topics surrounding collaborative work management in a hybrid world and how we can move “Forward Together.” So far, the line-up includes:

  • Technical and executive presentations from the world’s foremost experts on the next era of work.
  • Exciting keynotes from Wrike senior executives, celebrity guests, and industry experts.
  • Breakout sessions on the strategies and use cases that will enable teams to thrive in 2021 and beyond.
  • An incredible schedule of speakers from exciting big-name brands. Last year, we welcomed Apple, Nickelodeon, Siemens, and many more.
  • A best-in-class virtual conference experience, including virtual booths, spot prizes, raffles, interactive entertainment, and more.

Register for Collaborate 2021