How to maintain the agility and efficiency of work in “hybrid work model”?

The global pandemic has forced most of the companies to roll out a set of working styles that are suitable for remote working in the past year. With the continuous rise of the vaccination rate, most cities have lowered the tier status which leads most companies to face the decision of whether or not to implement hybrid work or return to the office.

The global pandemic has forced most of the companies to roll out a set of working styles that are suitable for remote working in the past year. With the continuous rise of the vaccination rate, most cities have lowered the tier status which leads most companies to face the decision of whether or not to implement hybrid work or return to the office. 

What made the decision so difficult is that the current global epidemic situation still entails considerable uncertainty. Companies are forced to adopt a hybrid work model where employees in different departments will have to work both physically and remotely. 

If you want to maintain the agility and efficiency of work execution under the “hybrid work model”, it is important to establish a transparent, efficient, trusted and flexible collaborative culture. Therefore, for companies that intend to develop a hybrid work model, integrating resources and collaboration tools in order to maintain productivity have become a top priority.

Connecting the teams with Asana

According to Anatomy of Work Index 2021, about 87% of workers have extended working hours when working remotely. Alex Hood – Chief Product Officer – believes that telecommuting blurred the boundary between “life” and “work”, increasing number of repeated e-mail and messages, and lack of clarity on updates of project details lead to increased time costs for the team and a significant drop in productivity.

“Unless organizations take a proactive approach, productivity is projected to decrease”, says Sahar Yousef, a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of California, Berkeley who partnered with Asana. Companies can solve most of the repeated work and bring more add-on benefits. 

Below are three successful cases of companies that improved their “productivity” by changing the work process, balancing efficiency and flexibility in various development stages during remote working after implementing Asana. 

1. Transparent and clear work distribution 

InVision, a digital product design platform based in New York provides services where users can design prototype tools in order to help UI designers and teams collaborate more effectively.

Due to the rapid growth of the company in 2015, the number of products launched were much higher than in the previous years. The process from planning the release date of the product to marketing was almost impossible to meet the growing business needs. Managers had to spend a lot of time every day synchronizing information, answering operational questions, and following up the progress of work – resulting in no time for standardized management and process optimization.

At that time, the Head of the Marketing Team found that it was almost impossible for him to track and manage the progress and work of a 40-person cross-functional team through “communication software” and “email.” Delays were caused due to the time wasted on doing repeated work and therefore pushed back the execution of marketing activities. 

InVision implemented Asana in order to solve the problems. In addition to the clear division of work distribution in different teams, it can also create projects, sections, and tasks according to the needs of the team. For the marketing team, all projects can be classified in detail, such as: “2021 H2 Marketing Plan”, “Community Platform Planning”, “Digital Advertising Campaign”, “Product Development Schedule”, etc. to help managers to quickly see the progress. Simultaneously, supervisors can also use the “calendar view” and “timeline view” to visually understand when different tasks occur, and whether the progress is stagnant or not.

2. Project Management Automation

According to Anatomy of Work 2021, the time spent on “unnecessary” meetings and video calls has increased by more than 40% compared to the previous year due to remote working in 2020. These unnecessary meetings are mostly for communicating details, requesting status updates, managing work priority and synchronization changes. In addition, the time spent on creating meeting recaps, reports, and routine operational files also caused enormous amounts of time before and after the meeting. 

In order to help with this situation, Asana provides 70 built-in automation rules. As long as the project settings change, such as: adding collaborators, adjusting progress, updating schedules, uploading files, adding messages etc, the system will automatically notify relevant personnel via Slack, teams, and third-party tools including Gmail and Outlook. 

For instance, the design team always gets design work requests from other teams. If it was the “printed paper or documents” time, someone needed to update the requests manually and assign work to designers every day and mark up all changes and version differences as requests could be sent verbally or scattered on all communication tools. This not only took up a lot of time, it also added unnecessary and manual assignments to the person in charge. 

How can Asana help with this? The design team can create a form on Asana and when someone submits a design request form, the project will automatically generate a task and build it in the “Requests” section. The head of the design team can then assign the task to his/her colleagues and the designer who was assigned with this task can also receive task information through Slack, Gmail and other channels in real time.

According to Anatomy of Work 2021, this tool can save up to more than 70 manual steps per week which greatly reduces the time people spend on “Work about Work”.

3. Integration with other tools

Another statistic from Anatomy of Work 2021 showed that knowledge workers around the world spend 236 hours a year doing “repetitive tasks” that others have already done or completed in the past or doing “forgotten items”. Among them, 24% said that transitions between applications is the main reason that caused “repetitive tasks”. 

Asana has integrated more than 200 external collaboration tools, including Slack, Teams, Google Workspace (including Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, etc.), Outlook, etc., which are closely tied to the team’s daily work. Instant messaging software, design collaboration tools, and other productivity tools can all be integrated with Asana to maintain the smooth flow of information between applications.

Taking the most commonly used Gmail as an example, users can integrate Gmail with Asana to create Asana tasks directly through the Gmail inbox. Once the settings are completed, any tasks created from Gmail will automatically log the content from the email to Asana. Moreover, when users must refer to Asana tasks when composing Gmail messages, instead of logging into Asana and searching for the task, they can search for the task directly from Gmail inbox through the Asana for Gmail add-on.

Master Concept – Asana Official Partner in APAC 

In 2021, Master Concept, focusing on the development of cloud technology for more than a decade, offers a full range of Google Cloud solutions and services, officially became Asana Channel Partner. As a Managed Service Provider, Master Concept aims to provide customers with the most suitable and effective consulting and technical support through an integrated cloud management platform, and offers customized solutions for clients who are looking for digital transformation solutions in APAC. 

When the employees value hybrid work mode as an important option nowadays, companies ought to maintain a mindset with new ideas on work processes and technologies. In order to make the “hybrid work mode” more efficient and sustainable, a solution to improve work efficiency and reduce time costs can be said to be imperative.

As of today, Master Concept has assisted dozens of companies in APAC with implementing Asana including customers in retail, catering, transportation, e-commerce startups, etc. For companies with remote and hybrid work mode, or large enterprises that are entering the transformation stage, Asana is undoubtedly a work management tool that can bring tangible benefits and intangible efficiency improvements.

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