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Hybrid working: starting in the workplace
Hybrid working: starting in the workplace

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6 Digital skills

In the hybrid workplace, there are a number of basic digital skills which you will need to have in order to work effectively. This not only involves understanding the key programs used at your organisation, but also understanding the behaviour and expectations for using them, and the ability to adapt and learn on the job. Being adaptable and open to training and learning will be crucial (Prince, 2021). As with any technology, there is a learning curve, but if you put the effort in and carefully follow the instructions or training, there is no reason why you cannot learn new technologies quickly and efficiently.

Tools and systems

Most organisations will use a variety of different digital tools and systems, such as Microsoft Office 365 or Google Drive that all staff may use, for collaborating, communicating and sharing documents. Shared work technologies have never been more important, particularly in a hybrid workplace.

Depending on the nature of your work, you may be required to use digital work management software (WMS). Tools such as Zoho, Trello, or Monday are an increasingly popular way for hybrid workers to manage their daily tasks. With less time spent in the office, these programs are becoming more and more important for helping everyone stay organised and on-track within an office environment.

Video calls and messaging are an equally important aspect of hybrid working. The use of virtual communication tools are an essential part of hybrid working, and it is worth making sure you familiarise yourself with these tools, such as how to share a screen, record a meeting, quickly turn on/off your microphone/camera, and more. As mentioned in Section 4, it is also important to understand the culture of your organisation, including the ‘rituals’ and ‘systems’ (Johnson and Scholes, 1992). What is the dress code for virtual meetings? Does everyone keep their camera on? What is an appropriate background? It’s crucial to understand these values quickly, in order to make a positive first impression and ensure you are meeting the ‘norms’ of the company you are working for.

Many large organisations also have their own in-house systems that have been developed, which will have specific requirements and require you to develop your skills for using these. Your employer should provide training in the tools and systems you have to use, but you could take the initiative and build your confidence, skills and understanding by finding online guidance (e.g. via the tool or system’s website) or by asking your colleagues for tips.

Activity 10 Thinking about tools for communication in a hybrid workplace

Timing: 15 minutes

Attending remote and hybrid meetings will probably form part of your daily work routine. Feeling comfortable attending these and having the confidence to use the virtual conferencing tools requires not only digital skills, but also behavioural. Take some time to reflect on the following questions:

  1. Think about a time you have been on a video call in the past six months. What additional features of the videoconferencing platform were used, e.g. chat, screensharing, meeting break-out rooms? Are you confident using each of these features?

  2. How do you feel when participating in virtual meetings? Do you have your camera on/off? Do you fully participate? Does it depend on the type of meeting?

It can be useful to try to familiarise yourself with video conferencing tools, and a ‘safe’ way to do this is to arrange calls with trusted work colleagues or friends where you may be less worried about making mistakes and asking questions.

To develop your digital skills and behaviours, for working with tools and systems, and communicating and collaborating online, you may wish to study the following courses from the Supporting hybrid working and digital transformation in Wales collection.