11 Hybrid Work Tools and Software

The hybrid workplace model seems like a happy medium, but it can be tricky. Here are the top tech tools to help hybrid teams succeed.

Written by Sunny Betz
11 Hybrid Work Tools and Software
Image: Shutterstock
UPDATED BY
Matthew Urwin | Feb 12, 2024

Once a rare perk, hybrid work has become a mainstay in the work landscape. A Gallup survey found that 80 percent of U.S. employees already work hybrid or fully remote, with 52 percent of remote-capable employees preferring hybrid work.

What Is a Hybrid Workplace Model?

A hybrid workplace is one where teams work both in-office and from home. Many companies have approached hybrid work by adopting split work weeks, where employees work in person a certain number of days and from home the rest of the week.

While its flexibility appeals to employees, the hybrid work model presents a tricky logistical puzzle for those in charge of launching it.

“Teams need to work hard to ensure that ideas and input flow freely, and that remote and in-person workers are encouraged to participate fully — regardless of their working location,” said Sandra Moran, chief marketing officer at WorkForce Software. “Employers navigating this new normal hybrid work environment need to rethink what they offer to their employees, and [whether] they have the proper technology to do their jobs.”

From managing workflows to supporting employee friendships, here are 11 tech tools that can improve the hybrid workplace.

 

Hybrid Work Tools and Software 

Asana

Asana is known for simplifying workflows, offering a range of templates to help teams organize projects, company goals and other key projects. Team leaders can even set up rules to automate specific tasks, saving time and freeing up members to focus on more complex problems. In addition, Asana integrates with other common workplace platforms and apps like Microsoft Teams, Gmail, Jira and Slack.  

How hybrid teams use it: Because of its ability to work well with other popular applications, Asana can be used by hybrid teams to stay on top of projects and to-do items. Teams can combine Asana with tools like Slack and Google Workspace apps to seamlessly exchange information, maximize their efficiency and ensure all personnel are on the same page. 

 

Slack

Slack has transformed work communication, making it easy to send messages about work-related tasks, organization updates or casual topics. On Slack, there are separate channels to organize teams, departments, ERGs and social groups. Slack users can also create channels for sharing pet pictures, offering music recommendations, posting vacation photos, or discussing other hobbies. The platform lets users indicate whether they’re on vacation or taking sick time, and can integrate with other tools like Google Calendar to notify coworkers about their availability.

How hybrid teams use it: Slack’s accessibility and efficiency are part of why it’s become such a relied-upon tool, though it isn’t the only one out there. Overall, Moran emphasized the importance of workplace messaging software, and how it can give hybrid teams a boost.

“Smart communication technology, for instance, can speed up employee productivity, helping employees to communicate more efficiently,” Moran said. “[It can] tick off tasks faster to improve business outcomes and even strengthen workplace bonds through a sharing platform.”

 

Free Guide: Embracing the Hybrid Future

Use this guide to overcome common hybrid work challenges and optimize your hybrid work structure to meet your talent needs.

 

Zoom

Zoom is one of the most common apps for video conferencing. The platform offers HD video conferencing solutions for hosting one-on-one meetings, team huddles, and company-wide scrums, as well as collaboration features like breakout rooms and chat boxes.

How hybrid teams use it: Shane Franklin, VP of infrastructure at Conductor, has relied on Zoom to encourage employees to build friendships and connect with others from home. Since Conductor’s remote employees can’t have the same kind of spontaneous conversations or lunchtime chats, he says Zoom has been the next closest option for fostering an inclusive culture. 

“We’re looking to have Zoom meetings running on screens in the lunch area,” Franklin said. “It doesn’t have to be a planned activity — if I’m at home, I can just log into the meeting and see how people are doing.”

More on HR TechA Guide to HR Tech for Effective People Teams

 

Google Workspace

Google Workspace has positioned itself to be a platform that caters to fully remote, hybrid and in-person teams. Docs, Slides and Drive make it easy to store and share information while Chat and Meet facilitate online communication. The platform adds new features on a rolling basis to continue to enhance the user experience as well. One downside is that because Google Workspace is entirely web-based, it may not be as powerful as desktop software alternatives like Microsoft Office.

How hybrid teams use it: Unlike some other document or spreadsheet programs, Google Workspace’s cloud enablement allows for instant real-time collaboration. This means companies can use its suite of tools to share information and communicate without having to email attachments or deal with complicated access permissions. It’s a feature that Ginger Dhaliwal, co-founder and chief people officer of UpFlex, says has made Google Workspace an indispensable tool for her team. She can collaborate with her team on documents and calendars without having to switch between platforms.

 

Jira

Jira is a platform from Atlassian that helps engineers and software developers keep tabs on bug issues and workflows in real time. Jira’s interface is straightforward. Plus, both managers and employees have a transparent view of current and ongoing tasks. Jira is a tool specifically designed for software and engineering teams and it is ideal for agile development teams. Its project visibility features make it a particularly indispensable tool for hybrid tech teams that can’t have huddles in person. 

How hybrid teams use it: For nationally or globally dispersed teams, instituting some central location for managing bug fixes and technical tasks is crucial to maintain progress on a higher level. Otherwise, developers waste precious time sorting through disorganized email requests or Slacking one another to repeatedly explain issues. Franklin said his global tech teams rely on Jira to keep each other up-to-date on project progress even while working from different time zones.

“[We use] Jira for ticketing requests, and so people can look at projects related to company objectives, or even just if someone’s laptop is broken or they need a new mouse,” Franklin said. “It’s a more centralized, cloud-based solution.” 

 

Loom

Loom is an asynchronous video communication software that allows users to pre-record videos with messages for their peers. Loom lets users record themselves talking through their webcam and sharing their screens, which they can then send to their peers and coworkers so they can watch them at their own pace.

How hybrid teams use it: Loom allows users to re-record takes of a video as many times as they need to, a feature that gives the program an edge on screen recording. Loom users can also add notes in a video to ask the video’s creator for clarification on specific points as needed. Dhaliwal said that Upflex has adopted Loom to share updates across hybrid teams without making employees jump on a call

“It’s all about asynchronous work for us, because we do work on multiple time zones,” Dhaliwal said. “So how do we make sure that everyone has the information that they need? I love Loom, because you can video record anything you want and share it with people. It’s a lot easier to document things that way.”

 

Donut

Donut is a free Slack-integrated bot that provides users with opportunities to connect socially and build relationships with their peers. It sends out reminders about employee birthdays, anniversaries or other milestones so teams can celebrate their coworkers. The bot can also encourage employees to connect with peers or mentors one-on-one, ensuring that social bonding and networking don’t fall by the wayside.

How hybrid teams use it: Franklin from Conductor said that Donut keeps his team connected even while working from many different locations. It also helps new hybrid or remote employees feel welcomed from day one.

“For new hires, Donut can set up random meetings and allow people to get to know others,” Franklin said. “Everyone is so immersed in their day-to-day jobs that they sometimes don’t realize that the social aspect of networking is also very important, and can accelerate getting things done. We want to encourage people to create those relationships.”

Donut’s impact on Conductor’s workplace culture has strengthened employee bonds and built lasting trust between teams and their leaders, Franklin said.

 

Airtable

Airtable is basically a fancy spreadsheet that companies use to keep employees on-task and track progress. Within Airtable, employees and managers can communicate updates without leaving the platform and leave notes on each other’s tasks to provide direction or guidance. The platform’s automation tools can be modified to send out Slack messages or emails when certain records are edited, and can integrate with apps like Salesforce, Hootsuite and Zendesk for more consistent workflows. It also offers a variety of templates such as grids, spreadsheets, calendars and Kanban boards that users can choose from based on their preferred work styles.

How hybrid teams use it: As far as workflow management platforms go, Airtable’s appeal comes from its built-in flexibility, Dhaliwal said. Each user can customize their view to fit how they work best, instead of being limited by a traditional spreadsheet format. This, she said, makes it a uniquely efficient tool for hybrid teams, where flexibility reigns.

“Airtable has wonderful workflows built into it,” Dhaliwal said. “I think everyone’s work is so different, and you need tools that are flexible, as opposed to traditional applications that force you to work their way. Airtable gives you the components to create the workflows you need.”

More on Hybrid WorkplacesReturn to Work Pushes Tech Companies to Rethink Office Designs

 

Confluence

Confluence is a technical documentation platform that essentially serves as an internal wiki for storing and updating company knowledge. It’s designed to standardize and automate technical documentation processes so that there are no gaps in communication pipelines. Another benefit of Confluence is that, because it falls under the Atlassian product umbrella, it can be synced with Jira so that records of technology updates and bug fixes can become a part of a company’s knowledge base and get saved for future reference. 

How hybrid teams use it: Because their specialty is the ever-changing world of SEO, Irene DeNigris, chief human resource officer at Conductor, said that Conductor’s tech teams rely on Confluence to keep track of what works and what doesn’t. Her employees can add their own notes to Confluence’s platform, which acts as a digital encyclopedia for their processes, policies and terminology. Confluence makes it easier for other team members to steer clear of avoidable mistakes and use past knowledge to solve future problems.

“In Confluence, everybody has the power to update the [company] wiki,” DeNigris said. “Everyone can share information and update their teams on projects. It can help your data to persist, whereas on Slack and elsewhere data is more transient.”

 

Envoy

Envoy is a software platform that companies use to manage their physical office locations, maximizing their real estate usage and organizing when employees come to work in person. With Envoy, employees can book desks ahead of time, making sure there’s a workspace ready for them when they arrive. Envoy’s tools also help users coordinate office deliveries, book conference rooms and approve guest visits, among other capabilities.

How hybrid teams use it: Many employees aren’t showing up at the office like they did before the pandemic, so managing desk space that fluctuates daily is a new challenge. DeNigris said the tools Envoy provides have helped her team mitigate a lot of the risks that come with running a hybrid workplace.

More on HR Tech58 HR Software Tools and Platforms to Know

 

CBRE Host 

CBRE Host aims to make workplace experiences as comfortable and seamless as possible. Its mobile app lets employees request desk and office locations as well as supplies like whiteboards and monitors to get their work done effectively. It can even let users control workplace aspects such as lighting and room temperature in meeting rooms to make spaces more comfortable. 

How hybrid teams use it: If companies are spending money on office space, they want to make sure it’s getting used. But in a hybrid work model, Dhaliwal said it can be hard to convince some employees that making the commute is worthwhile. CBRE Host’s technology is AI-enabled, and can learn over time and give leaders a clearer picture of which employee services are in highest demand.

“Companies now have to work a lot harder to get people to come into the office,” Dhaliwal said. “[CBRE Host] collects data and really tries to figure out how to create a more personalized office experience.”

CBRE Host also gives employees more control over their space — they can tweak everything from the supplies at their disposal to the warmth of their office. The CBRE Host platform can make interactive office maps, order catering and enable keyless employee entry to make the office more inviting and easier to navigate. It also provides tools with which companies can keep track of their employees’ most common requests, so they can anticipate them before they occur.

 

Free Guide: Embracing the Hybrid Future

Use this guide to overcome common hybrid work challenges and optimize your hybrid work structure to meet your talent needs.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

A hybrid work model is a setup in which employees work both from home and in the office. With this arrangement, companies typically split up the work week to have employees work in person on some days and work from home on other days.

Video conferencing tools, cloud-based work management platforms and collaborative software are a few technologies companies need to support hybrid work.

Hiring Now
Toast
Cloud • Fintech • Food • Information Technology • Software • Hospitality
SHARE