A hybrid work Q&A with Lionsgate’s Heather Somaini
There’s a pretty good chance you’ve heard the phrase “hybrid is the future of work” in recent weeks. But hybrid work isn’t just in the future—it’s happening right now. After more than a year of pandemic-induced work-from-home, workplaces are opening up and welcoming employees back through their doors.
Workplace teams know how to support the traditional five-days-a-week, 9-5 type of employee. They’ve been doing it for decades. But now, with a hybrid workforce raring to get to the office a few days a week while hanging on to the flexibility of working from home, workplace teams have a whole slew of new challenges.
We sat down with Lionsgate’s Chief Administrative Officer, Heather Somaini, to learn how her team is enabling a hybrid workforce.
What do you see as the main challenges of hybrid work?
HS: I think the main challenges are finding solutions that allow our teams to efficiently and safely return to the office in a very stressful, chaotic time. My team will need new technology and applications that are simple, fast, and always work.
Why will Lionsgate adopt a hybrid work model?
HS: With our company going from 100% at the office to 100% at home, we quickly saw pros and cons to both. Neither extreme is a great solution. So a hybrid option feels like the best of both worlds. Our version of hybrid has whole teams coming in for 2-3 consecutive days in the office to meet, collaborate, and socialize. The other days at home are for heads down, focused work. I’m sure we’ll have some who want to be in the office more, and that’s fine too. We want a solution that helps attract and retain top talent, along with reducing some real estate costs.
How will you enable your employees in the hybrid work world?
HS: At the beginning of the pandemic, we moved an almost entirely desk-strapped workforce to laptops to allow for mobile work. This alone allowed us to move from office to home to outside meetings and everywhere in between with ease.
In the workplace, we moved away from permanently assigned desks to a desk hoteling system. The desks are arranged in neighborhoods for each team so they all have a home base; a place they know is theirs with technology and branding specific to their business and content. We will centralize a number of applications and communications specific to our office with Envoy Visitors, Protect, Deliveries, Desks, and Rooms.
We love that you’re making the most of Envoy’s workplace platform. What’s your vision for Envoy moving forward?
HS: Right now I see the Envoy mobile app as a one-stop-shop for much of what every employee needs to get back to the workplace. They can register for work, see which coworkers are coming in the same day, reserve a desk in their neighborhood, book a nearby meeting room, and invite visitors on the fly. In the future I see Envoy as a true destination app providing a way for employees to have all their needs met; from reserving a desk to paying for a sandwich, ordering a latte, scheduling a yoga class, or requesting a new laptop.
Why is it important for your team to have your workplace tools in one place?
HS: I think what is most important in a moment of so much change, is to ease the transition to the future of work for our employees. One app to help them do pretty much anything they want in the office, to make their lives easier and focus their efforts on our business, is the best way we can support our workforce.