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A space by Acadal about business culture and people.

A blog by Acadal

6 tools you need to empower your hybrid workforce (that's only $35 monthly).

Hybrid work is here. In-office some days, working remotely the others. This also means companies need to upgrade their tech stack to manage this shift. Here's is your guide to a set of lightweight, people-centric tools to make the workspace digital.

Søren Vasø
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With office and remote work, the hybrid workplace requires most companies to rethink how they are organized — and to that, what tools to secure efficiency and great experiences for employees.

We’ve put together this list to cover everything from daily communication, documentation, meetings, and employee engagement.

Every tool is selected because it adds something valuable to your digital infrastructure. And the tools them-self is built upon people-centric ideas: putting the employee first, transparency, empowerment, and ease of use.

Here’s is the 6 lightweight tools you should consider when building a hybrid workplace:

#1 Slack

“Your digital HQ” is the claim on Slack’s front page. And they are right. When you really start to leverage Slack, internal emails become redundant. In fact, we have a rule at Acadal: 3 internal emails = you have to buy cake for everyone.

Slack lets you organize real-time communication in channels, so communication becomes more efficient and way more transparent. Everyone can see what happens, and direct messaging lets you have open channels to everyone in the company at your fingertips.

For teams not sitting together in an office, this is not just an option but a requirement.

Why it’s People-Centric
It creates transparency in the company and gives power to people because you can move in and out of channels and turn availability on/off when you need to focus. Speed of communication also rises when you learn how to use it.

Cost
Free to use, but limits saved posts to 10.000. It sounds like a lot, but when you get going, it’s really not. From there, users costs £6.30 monthly (yearly pay reduced that to £5.25).

Visit Slack and try the tool for free

#2 Notion

If Slack is your live communication, Notion is your written command center where you document everything. The wiki. The intranet. The docs folder.

Imagine a place where all your playbooks, projects, lists, personal to-do’s, meeting transcripts, and goals live. That’s Notion. Pages, upon pages of information, but structured so easily everyone can find and manage it.

Why it’s People-Centric
Again, it creates transparency for everyone with high availability. It also gives much more clarity than other systems because everything is in one place. When defaulting to written documentation, you also up’s speed because no one needs to wait for answers to most things you do regularly. It also creates a much more dynamic place to document learnings and progress than most platforms.

Cost
Free to use, but limits you to 1000 pages. You’ll hit that limit quickly, but it gives you plenty of time to learn just how powerful Notion is. From there, it’s $10 pr. user or $8 if you pay annually.

Visit Notion and try the tool for free

#3 Zoom

Needs no introduction. You have all been on Teams or Zooms more than you wanted. It’s on the list because it cuts corners in all the right places. Having the team on speed dial with screen sharing covers the gaps Slack fails to.

Used right with groups and the desktop client installed, it reduces time and adds efficiency like few other tools. I prefer Zoom over Teams any day because the image and audio quality is better, it’s easier to use, and it’s overall faster as a tool.

Why it’s People-Centric
With the modern workplace pointing to hybrid models between in-office and work-from-home, you need digital infrastructure for meetings and coffee-chats. Zoom should go on top of that list to give your people the smoothest way to communicate.

Cost
Free to use for any 1on1 calls, but the free version limits any calls with more than two persons to 40 minutes. From there it’s $14.99 monthly, but it’s likely not everyone on the team needs the paid version.

Visit Zoom and try the tool for free

#4 Miro

Miro is a digital whiteboard. Easily accessible from any browser and easy to use, with 1000’s templates and excellent user experience.

Use it for brainstorms, ideation, visualizing workflows, mapping out stuff, and much more.

Some of the cool features are that everyone can be active on the whiteboard simultaneously and even turn on the camera, so you can see each other. The tools are also intuitive and easy to use.

Why it’s People-Centric
If you want to involve your people, letting them control the whiteboard marker and post-its is a great idea. Whiteboards are such a big deal in most company cultures, and we need to support that experience with remote work. Miro makes the experience come close and even adds new cool elements.

Cost
Free to use, but limits you to 3 boards. $10 monthly for the next tier and $8 if you pay annually.

Visit Miro and try the tool for free

#5 Officevibe

“Bring out the best in your team” says the front page of Officevibe. And as the name tells you, it’s a tool to navigate the vibe in the “office.”

It’s a survey tool that allows everyone to answer simple questions daily or weekly around how they are doing and where to improve as a team. It also allows your team to give anonymous feedback that’s hard to flush out normally.

People-Centric
Not being around everyone when they work from home, Officevibe provides a reality-check on how everyone is doing. It gives leaders and teams insights into how the mental state is and where to improve. And data beats gut feelings most of the time.

Cost
Basic is free for teams of up to 10, and premium costs $4 pr. Month. 200+ users will give you discounts on the monthly price.

Visit Officevibe and try the tool for free

#6 Acadal

I have to add our own product, Acadal, to the list as well. It’s built on the same people-centric principles and provides a digital infrastructure to involve your people in business development.

It’s a tool to build processes around workshops, ideations, development, and execution, so meetings don’t have to drive the process. It puts people at the center and aligns your problem and solutions by bringing everyone’s perspectives and ideas to the table. Then the ideas are put into execution mode, where doing and continuous improvement are the goal.

Why it’s People-Centric
It provides voice of the employee as leaders ask questions instead of directing. So everyone gets to speak their perspective on new things to be done. This creates high ownership and engaged employees. You also combined all knowledge from your people to find the right solutions. And like the others tools, it’s digital infrastructure, so business development continues even when you aren’t together in space or time.

Cost
€1000 per month, including 25 seats. $20 pr. seat to add from there (only counts active simultaneous users). Yearly payment brings the monthly cost down to €670.

Visit Acadal and try the tool for free

Point-solution vs All-In-One Platforms

All the tools mentioned are so-called point solutions. It means they do one thing really great, rather than doing 20 things okayish (maybe with Notion as the exception).

For example, you could use Teams instead of Slack + Zoom. But you would also have fewer options, and the user experience would lack.

This means more individual systems and possible more integrations, but also better, faster work. The cost/benefit is up to you, but I recommend these upon trying most tools in this space and not being tech-scarred.

Also, all the tools offers trials or free versions for you to try before deciding.

Build a complete tech-stack for Hybrid work for roughly $35 monthly per employee

Let’s play with the idea of you having a workforce of 100 people. It’s probably not enough people to negotiate prices too much, but you should try anyway.

So here we use the list prices and you pay annually. I have also taken usage into consideration. No need for all 100 employees to have a paid Zoom etc. That’s the estimated user’s number.

  • Slack is $8.640 yearly or $7.20 pr. employee monthly
  • Notion is $9.600 yearly or $8 pr. employee monthly
  • Zoom is  $77.495 yearly or $7,50 pr. employee monthly*
  • Miro is $2.400 yearly or $2 pr. employee monthly**
  • Officevibe is $4.000 yearly or $4 pr. employee monthly
  • Acadal is $8.040 yearly or $6.70 pr. employee monthly***

Notes
* Zoom is only half the team
** Miro is only 25%, business development
***Acadal is only 25 active users

This seems like a lot of money but look at it this way.

It just tops $35 pr. employee per month.

Imaging operating without it and lack the efficiency and control it gives the employees — what would the cost of that be?

Søren Vasø
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