Now that most workplaces have started to adopt more flexibility in working hours and the workplace, a hybrid work environment is predicted to be the next most preferred work model in the new normal. A hybrid work environment combines the benefits of both home and office setups by allowing employees to work both at home and the office on given dates.
For example, an employee might be required to work at the office for three days in a five-day workweek, while they can spend two days of their choice working from home. The schedule might depend on the employee’s particular needs, but the basic structure is the same.
For the past few months, making employees work from home has made companies more aware of what employees look for in a productive work environment. Some might thrive in a home environment where they’re most comfortable, while others might prefer the hustle and bustle of an office environment.
With changes to a work environment come changes to the technology used as well. Most companies turned to software-as-a-service or SaaS as their main modes of communication and productivity when working remotely. Software companies like Google, Microsoft, Zoom, and Slack keep their places at the top of the sales charts.
Collaborative cloud-based software remains relevant even as some businesses have started to re-open their doors to clients and employees. But with workplace conditions continuously changing and adapting to the turbulent times, it now asks whether the software we use can keep up.
SaaS in a work-from-home vs. office environment
A report conducted by Aternity showed that SaaS appears to work best in a work-from-home environment. It offers an effective and efficient form of communication between employees and employers without the risk of face-to-face contact. Its cloud-based systems provide a reliable means to access data and storage across various devices and accounts.
The same study confirmed that SaaS software such as Outlook, Microsoft Teams, and Excel performed better in a home environment than in a work environment, as did web browsing using a home VPN. Of course, depending on the type of work and on the given employee, there might be variations, but for the most part, SaaS appears to be better suited for work at home.
Meanwhile, heavy enterprise resource planning software, like SAP ERP, being a business software that most companies use to perform key business functions, naturally doesn’t fare so well in home environments. This is bad news for companies that rely on SAP for their day-to-day business operations since it would work best on company computers and company Wi-Fi.
The advantages of SaaS as a permanent working tool
While it might not perform the same or the many functions as SAP ERP, SaaS comes with innumerable other advantages. Firstly, most businesses have started to move on from outdated systems to cloud-supported technology. Not only is it quicker, safer, and more accessible, but adapting to the times ensures that the business doesn’t fall behind or get bought out by larger, more technologically advanced companies.
Of course, because of this same reason, SAP ERP does support cloud now. But many companies still use outdated business models and systems or probably can’t afford to update their systems promptly.
SaaS is a cost-effective alternative and has a much smoother learning curve, unlike the confusing and often overwhelming SAP software. While SAP has been the standard for many companies and has many benefits to its name, including automation and security, SaaS such as Google and Microsoft are more well-known. Their interface would be much more familiar to any layman.
Innovations and evolution
SaaS might not perform as well when in an office workplace, but a hybrid work environment could solve that. SaaS was shown to perform the best when used in a work-from-home setup and its functionality as the go-to software for most employees at home can’t be understated. Even if SaaS was shown to not perform well in the office, most can agree that it still works in both environments, unlike SAP, which would become a question of preference for the employee at work.
A shift towards a hybrid work environment in the new normal could be beneficial for many SaaS companies looking to increase their sales and maintain their foothold in the technology industry. Moreover, the nature of SaaS as a whole is to breed and spread innovation.
SaaS is continuously expanding the limit of its many capabilities, developing software for different fields that encompass more than work at home environments. From healthcare, creativity, to social networking, the use of SaaS in both work and everyday life could potentially become more prevalent than ever before.
As we emerge into this new normal, more people and businesses have become more digitized and technologically-minded. No doubt, SaaS companies and software will continue to hold the standard for many business processes and could even overtake some of the previous frontrunners of the industry.