How HR can empower teaching and support staff with hybrid working

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to play out, education providers need to build organisational resilience, so they can adapt to change now and in future. As well as improving learning experiences for their students, this requires looking after their staff first and building up the organisation’s resilience from there. HR must ensure that all staff members have the right technology to do their best work.

In this blog, we explain what hybrid working in education looks like and address how HR departments at colleges and universities can support their staff by investing in a hybrid work environment, powered by Microsoft technology.

Support your support staff

Teachers may be the face of education, but behind the scenes, colleges and universities are run by their non-teaching support staff – without them, class wouldn’t happen at all.

When we discuss how schools can build the resilience to overcome current challenges and set themselves up for future success, it is these invaluable workers who we should turn to first.

Just as teachers need the tools to inspire students, support staff need the tools to communicate and collaborate. Otherwise, the crucial pillars of the organisation would crumble. Marketing, Sales, IT, Admissions, Events, Legal, Administration and HR – all these crucial teams need to be able to work productively in the new normal.

A hybrid workplace is not just for lockdown…

As organisations reopen with social distancing protocols in place, they return with restrictions on how many people can be in the workplace at any one time. With some employees working on campus and others at home, communication and collaboration is as important as ever. A hybrid work environment is one that helps employees work whether they are in the office or working remotely.

Man working from his sofa with his dog sat on his lap

What does a hybrid workplace look like?

Interactive, inclusive, accessible
Employees can access everything they need for work wherever they are

Mobile and flexible
The ability to transform any room into a fully functional workplace or meeting room

Fluid collaboration
Platforms and channels to connect and drive better collaboration

Empowered staff
Workplace productivity tools and collaboration spaces for staff

These are some of the core aspects of the hybrid workplace. You can read about hybrid working in more detail in our eBook, ‘Making education ready and resilient for tomorrow’.

Importantly, this kind of environment allows organisations to build the resilience they need to adapt and adjust to change. It gives the organisation the agility, stability and adaptability to overcome future challenges.

In the current climate, this can help staff remain productive but also safeguard jobs and keep morale up. As we enter the critical winter months, and the potential for more regional or national lockdowns, this is particularly important for education organisations.

Hybrid working is not just for lockdown, it is also an opportunity to invest in the future of education.

An opportunity for HR

The hybrid workplace offers several opportunities for HR. As universities and colleges embrace hybrid working, there are four areas of focus for HR departments:

Maintaining the organisation’s culture

Ensuring employees can always do their best work

Maintaining employee satisfaction

Attracting and retaining the best staff

These objectives can all be achieved with new technology and as part of the move to the hybrid workplace. HR should play a vital role in the development of any digital strategy geared towards hybrid working – otherwise these opportunities could go amiss. It’s people who power an organisation, and without HR’s input, areas like company culture, employee satisfaction and talent acquisition could fall by the wayside when they should be guiding and influencing the decisions about hybrid working.

Bring in the best

With Microsoft Surface devices, employees can access all the collaboration and productivity apps they use at work at anytime, anywhere. These devices are built for hybrid working – there’s no better way to collaborate than with colleagues who have the same devices and the same apps.

What’s more, premium equipment like Surface devices not only help improve productivity but also help staff feel valued. With equipment that staff are proud to use, it can help boost retainment and attract the best talent.

The Surface Hub 2S is the final part of the hybrid working picture. The Surface Hub 2S is an all-in-one interactive whiteboard, meetings platform and collaborative computing device. It can bring remote teams together so everyone is seen, heard and can actively participate, thanks to crystal-clear speakers and a 4K+ resolution screen.

Images of the Surface Laptop 3 in four different colours

Look to the future. Invest in your people.

One of the key learning points of the pandemic has been that, when used well, digital technology can allow organisations to continue to be productive even during disruptive times. As universities and colleges look to recover, adapt and look forward, investing in technology will help them be more resilient in the face of future crises. HR should aim to play a key role in deciding what hybrid working looks like, so that company culture, employee satisfaction and talent acquisition goals are satisfied by the new technology.

Phoenix works closely with organisations in the education sector to build resilient digital solutions for schools, colleges and universities. Download our new eBook, ‘Empower students and staff with hybrid learning’ to learn how educational organisations can use technology to support their staff.

eBook  - Empower students and staff with hybrid learning >

If you want to accelerate your journey to create a hybrid learning environment contact a member of the Phoenix Education Team today on 01904 562200 or email [email protected] or fill in the form and a member of the Team will be in touch: