When the light switch moment hit us all in March 2020, the workforce for the first time entered an era of working from home. And they relied upon technology to do so. Screens became the windows to reach teammates working remotely.

As the world opens up a lot of the employees will head back to the office, but at least some of the time. You could do a hybrid version of both. We have a lot to work on in the changing workplace.

In a world where we will work from home, in the office, and everywhere in between we will need digital solutions to keep up, to feel engaged and empowered to bring our best ideas into the work.The future of the workplace will be fluid, dynamic, and powered by digital technologies with experiences that allow you to be there from anywhere, at any time.

Readapting for return to office: Driving Collaboration in the Changing Work Environment was the subject of a round table discussion.

The panelists acknowledged that the workplace is as dynamic as the digital collaboration tools that connect it. Every level of employees have been given the power to realize their most efficient way of working thanks to cloud computing, video conferencing, telecommuting, and workflows collaboration apps.

“Organizations need to prepare for the video first culture to simplify communication and minimize time to benefit. They need to multi-device support-enabled platform that is easy to use, and flexible in terms of supporting multiple communication mediums. They need to deploy collaboration platforms at scale and permit access to employees working from anywhere. Multi-device support is equally important for a consistent look and feels across platforms and devices,” he stated.The panelists conceded that a blend of remote and office work is developing as the likely scenario, and a digital-first hybrid first will emerge as the dominant operational model. “In line with this organizational imperative, the rules of engagement, collaboration, communication, information exchange, and knowledge transfer have been rewritten,” said Sreeji Gopinathan, Global CIO, Lupin.

The level of remote work allowed to an employee depends on a number of factors, including the industry in which his organization operates, management’s mindset towards remote work, level of seniority, and nature of work. “Organizations in the BFSI and manufacturing sector are less inclined towards a remote working arrangement and would offer hybrid work model only on a situational and scenario based approach,” said Milind Khamkar, Group CIO, Supermax.

Panelists discussed the top priorities when considering remote support solutions to enhance Employee/ Customer Exp in the hybrid work culture. The use of VC platforms for better collaboration outside of the enterprise perimeter is something we talk about. It’s one of the top priorities for organizations. The Managing Director of BSE Investments and Head of Strategy said that it’s important to work from the office.

In a controlled environment like banking, work from home cannot be as effective and the employees need to return to work. “There is a need for better and proactive identity and access management is critical to allowing a hybrid work model,” said Manishi Chatterjee, GM IT, IDBI Bank.In the IT/ITES sector, remote working is here to stay. “TCS has deployed the 25:25 working model to enable a hybrid workplace. It is important for us to provide an inclusive and democratized experience to all the employees no matter where they work from,” said Rakesh Chauhan, Global Head – Collaboration, Voice, AV VC, TCS.Organizations are wising up to the fact that they need to strike the right balance for new hybrid work models. There is a need to build immersive, inclusive, intelligent, agile, stable, secure, resilient, and optionality into their platforms and all this at scale