Get Your Hybrid Workplace Working for Your Business and Your People

Welcome to the new world of work. 

While many businesses may still be unsure about the hybrid work model, employees overwhelmingly prefer having the flexibility to work from anywhere. But getting there takes careful planning and some initial technology investment.  

So, what can finance and IT leaders do to ease the transition? 

The first step is to digitalise. Without the right IT systems in place, your people will be forever chained to their desks at the office. Take spend management, for example. Filling out spreadsheets, e-mailing expense reports, and shuffling through paper invoices takes time. You also run the risk of errors, rework, and even fraud – as well as time wasted by auditing and accounts payable, for whom mistakes and follow-ups start to feel like the rule rather than the exception. 

With smart, cloud-based spend management technology, nearly every piece of input – from receipts to supplier invoices, reports, and approvals – can be captured, routed, and stored digitally, saving time for everyone and consolidating spend data in a single place. Add advanced analytics to the mix, and you now have the insight to spot trends, identify waste, and strike more advantageous supplier contracts. By working together to choose the right technology, finance and IT can not only have everyone working smarter and more efficiently from anywhere, they can also give executive leadership the visibility they need to craft spend strategy that is aligned with business goals. 

In addition to giving your people the right applications to work from anywhere, finance and IT have to make sure that everyone knows what is expected of them and has the tools they need to perform. This means reviewing and adjusting office policies to account for the new remote work model and making sure employees know how to effectively work from anywhere – including from home. Case in point – meetings. A poor connection, the wrong software, or unfamiliarity with the mute button can throw off your whole agenda. So, it’s up to leaders to budget for the training and equipment everyone needs to keep meetings on track.  

If all this is starting to sound expensive, don’t worry. The new hybrid work model offers significant cost savings as well. Instead of continuing to rent empty office space, finance and IT leaders should consider ways to consolidate, so that enough shared space is available for those in the office when they need it, but not sitting unused when they don’t. 

Ultimately, your hybrid workplace needs to support business agility, so that you can continually meet changing customer, market, and employee needs. Digitalising in one area but not another will hamper your ability to run unified operations from anywhere. This is where integration comes into play. Take our spend management example – having smart technology is great, but if it doesn’t also integrate with your ERP and finance systems, your finance teams are still stuck manually consolidating data in order to include expenses, supplier costs, and travel in overall forecasts and budgets.  

The last question finance and IT leaders should ask themselves is, “What does hybrid work mean for me?” You may have employees in remote locations and others in the office every day. As a leader, it’s important to stay connected with everyone – ensuring that team members feel included and get equal time and opportunity to connect, whether it’s over video chat or face to face. 

For more tips on how to make your hybrid workplace work for everyone, check out this tip sheet

Then visit us online to see how SAP Concur solutions can help.