It’s funny how buzzwords can enter the lexicon of business so quickly.

When countries were experiencing the first lockdowns everyone was talking about ‘remote working’.

The challenge for businesses and organisations was how to provide their employees with the tech to work from home: things such as secure laptops, broadband connections, Microsoft tools like Microsoft Teams, and headsets with mics.

With hopes growing in many countries that restrictions will ease over the months ahead, companies are making plans for their staff to ‘Return to Work’.

This has implications for you.

Any VA’s and EA’s who are serving these organisations need to be watchful – and be ready to respond.

The world is going hybrid

In case you’ve not heard, there’s a new buzzword in town. Hybrid.

It’s short for hybrid working. It’s where people work some of the time in the office, some of the time at home.

For larger organisations, the challenge is now about a fresh set of questions and a new game of percentages.

  • How many of their employees want to keep working from home – as they work better there?
  • How many staff are the opposite – they can’t wait to get back to the office full time because they hate working from home?
  • How many people want a hybrid mix – they like working from home but also enjoy the social interaction of the office?

I’m hearing that many companies planning the Return to Work are thinking about a particular strategy for the core of their employees.

It involves the 2-2-1 formation.

That’s two days working at home. Two days in the office. One day flex.

One thing is almost certain for organisations. The days of having 100 per cent of their employees based in a central office are over.

What I’m hearing from people who are reading, analysing and forecasting the trends in business is that hybrid working is here to stay.

That’s certainly a view supported by a recent global survey carried out by Cisco.

Its research revealed that more than half of all employees will work eight or more days each month from home.

This means 98 per cent of meetings will have at least one employee attending remotely from home.

This raises some serious questions.

Some big questions about hybrid working for leaders and managers to ponder.

How will they make their offices safe? How will they use, adapt or change their meeting room space? How will they make use of technology to allow their widely dispersed people to collaborate and communicate effectively?

These challenges also have implications for the smarter VA.

If remote and hybrid working is here to stay, that means technology is going to be playing a much bigger part in how people in organisations communicate, get creative and collaborate.

Everything will become ‘smarter’.

You’ll start to hear more talk of smart buildings and smart offices, desk booking and digital signage, and enhanced video conferencing and mic systems.

Let’s say you have some clients looking for solutions (or likely to be thinking about this for 2021 and beyond). You do some research on solutions, providers and a buyer’s checklist – and offer to share it as a PDF or PowerPoint presentation.

How is that going to look? I’ll tell you.

Clients and prospects are going to be impressed by your initiative, data skills and problem-solving attitude.

You don’t have to become a video conference, desk management or digital signage specialist. You just need to know how to find the information, and how to put it together in a relevant format.

Hybrid working means more Zoom and more Microsoft Teams.

I know I keep saying this, but if you are a VA working with an SME or corporate organisation you need to know how to use Teams.

Not just the basics. But how to make use of all of its essential features. It is much more than just a video conferencing or virtual meeting tool.

Clients will expect you to be fluent in Microsoft Teams. Make 2021 the year you get to grips with it – so you never have to ‘wing it’, waste time or miss opportunities for work.

There’s another good reason for mastering Teams.

Some companies put so much effort and investment into ensuring their employees had the tech to work properly from home that they forgot one thing. Not many of their staff knew how to use all of the applications and software that came with it.

You have people who are great at their jobs but struggling to get their heads around the tech – and not always having the support they need.

If you’re confident, you could offer to provide some basic training. You could suggest a skills audit to assess the learning and development needs of staff. Or you could refer them to a certified trainer and recommend they have a conversation about ways to get everyone up to speed.

If you think I can help you with that, please get in touch.

The world is going hybrid

It’s a time for superheroes.

As we both know if you’re having to work out how to do a task in an Office tool or 365 application you are wasting valuable time. It’s not productive. It’s not efficient.

When you get the tech side sorted, everyone can just get on with the task at hand, share ideas and collaborate more easily.

Hybrid working looks like it is here to stay. Help organisations to turn their challenges into opportunities – and ensure your skills are keeping pace with change.

Remember, you become a superhero when you make your clients, and their people, heroes.

Shelley Fishel

Posted in Business, Microsoft TeamsTagged ,

4 thoughts on “The World is Going Hybrid

  1. When you started your business all those years ago – who could have imagined today’s world and our reliance on the virtual. You really were ahead of the game. By the way I love teams although I am sure I don’t use it to the full. All the best, keep well. Let everyone to all the family, Helen

  2. Good points all Shelley – I have serious concerns about the safety of data. Our state unemployment office has had people working from home and most home internet services aren’t as robust or secure as those set up by businesses. In addition, many times customer service agents working at home cannot get the details or see a customer’s past orders so that they can accurately answer questions or correct issues. There is a lot that needs to happen for the hybrid environment to become safe, secure, accurate and above all – HELPFUL! to the customer!

    Your VA’s are lucky to have your advice and expert guidance through these changing times!

    1. Yes it can be a concern – we have all been thrown into the deep end. However with a few systems in place going forward I believe it will all come good.
      Thank you Laura for your kind comments.

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The session was well structured and the explanation was very clear. It was amazing how Shelley managed to squeeze so much info in just one hour and a half! Colin’s support and contributions were also very valuable, and so were “Virtual Veronica”‘s. Thank you for a most interesting and useful training session at the Miss Jones Virtual Summit!

Laura Carizzo- Royal Norwegian Embassy in Argentina

I haven’t used PowerPoint in 20 years, this has really boosted my confidence.

Lyn Parker

Course is packed with so much valuable information in a easy-to-understand and follow language, even for a complete beginner. I can respect the fact that sometimes it’s very hard for an expert to break the information down to basics. but Shelley has done it brilliantly. I was sure that I knew quite a bit but Shelley has proven me wrong even at the very beginning of the basics of PowerPoint. Lessons are short and precise which allowed me to easily transfer the new skill into practice without being overwhelmed and to carry on adding on more with each lesson. I had so many ‘Aha!’ moments and for most of them I couldn’t believe I used to pay graphic designer to do it for me, now, thanks to Shelley, I am looking forward to creating, designing, converting my presentations all by myself!

Iva Freeman – Vertex Human Capital

Shelley was very thorough and knew a lot of tip’s for using Teams, thank you 🙂

James O’Connor – Cavannah Homes

Very informative, constantly getting everyone in the meeting involved, loved every bit of it!

Dylan Teal Hopkins – Cavannah Homes
Fantastic and informative training and great to see all of the exciting functions with Microsoft Teams.
Laura Rigby – The Apprenticeship College
Shelley was really clear in her teaching and went at a pace that was helpful to us. We covered all we needed to know to get us started, as a small team, using MS Teams. She was also very helpful in the run up to the session, with check in calls and ensuring our platform was set up correctly. I would highly recommend Shelley to anyone wanting to learn to navigate their way around MS Teams.
Leigh Dowling – Innuous

Microsoft Teams One to One Training Session

Shelley was approachable, easy to work with, and agile with answering questions to apply the session to my specific needs

Melissa Marshall – Present Your Science

A course on Outlook had been on the top of my list when Shelley asked VA’s what they wanted to learn.

It was a real case of ‘so that’s how you do it’ or ‘I never knew that’. I have to say that I learnt so many great tips it has definitely improved the way I work in Outlook and my inbox is looking colourful and organised and I can’t wait to share this knowledge with my clients.

Jacqueline Leake – JLeake VA Services – Outlook

A great course with lots of examples and step by step instructions. I can now confidently create infographics and as a bonus, I learnt a lot of new PowerPoint functionality that will enhance all my PowerPoint work and save me so much time.

Jessica Bailey – Integral Resource

I really like Shelley’s courses. She has a clear and easy to follow teaching style. In ‘How to Create Fillable Forms’ I’ve learned about the functions of the Developer ribbon which will mean I’ll be able to create a bespoke Returns Form for a client who has an online shop

Freya Henderson – Virtual Office Orkney

Shelley was really clear in her teaching and went at a pace that was helpful to us. We covered all we needed to know to get us started, as a small team, using MS Teams. She was also very helpful in the run up to the session, with check in calls and ensuring our platform was set up correctly. I would highly recommend Shelley to anyone wanting to learn to navigate their way around MS Teams.

Sarah Clements – Inuous

Absolutely superb course, easy to follow and to refer back whilst putting it all into practice! I was unaware of the extent you can customise a presentation and it’s just made me want to know more – what’s next Shelley?

Denise Williams

I thought I had a pretty good grasp of Outlook until I did this course! In her videos, Shelley is clear and concise, and the language she uses is straightforward and jargon-free. Each module is broken down into manageable chunks, which helps keep your attention and means the course is easy to fit in around other commitments. I’ve created email templates and implemented rules that are already saving me time, and as all the other things I’ve learnt start to become second nature, the positive impact on my efficiency is fast becoming clear. This course has been incredibly beneficial and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to strengthen their skills and boost productivity.

Pip Doleman VA

I thought I knew Powerpoint really well, but I wanted to specifically learn how to use Powerpoint to create better infographics, easily and quickly. Shelley explains everything in a very logical and clear way, so I understood everything the first time I heard it. The most useful thing I learnt was that Powerpoint can do so much more than I thought it could. By also using the short cuts that Shelley showed me I am much quicker than I have ever been and I thought I was already quick!

Susan Marot

Shelley Fishel of Tomorrow’s VA has a wealth of experience in Microsoft Office. I met her in person 2 years ago at the PA Show in London. I also saw her in action in a fab workshop and knew she was the whizz that everyone had told me she was. I have since bought a lifetime access to her HUB and all the courses in there are a MUST if you are a VA on a mission. The courses will give you confidence in all the Office 365 components and will catapult you to dizzy heights

Alex Hughes