SAP AppHaus released the results of their research and experiment about the Next WoW (Way of Working)– underpinned by SAP’s Human-Centered Approach to Innovation in collaboration with stakeholders and end-users– to share their experiences and the next hybrid work solutions they have found relevant for organisations to explore.
Amidst the pandemic SAP AppHaus, one of SAP’s longest-living innovation teams, has expanded its global network to make innovative projects and designs accessible worldwide. In 2021, Deloitte in Australia and Datacom in New Zealand joined the SAP AppHaus Network to ensure SAP customers in the ANZ region have access to creative spaces and innovation services.
Championing innovation to address disruptions brought by COVID-19, SAP AppHaus has also launched initiatives that support the new world of work. Aside from debuting the Innovation Culture Toolkit for virtual collaboration for remote teams last year, the AppHaus 2.0 project aimed to reimagine The Next WoW (Way of Working) in a hybrid work environment was also launched in March 2021.
Uncovering the Next Hybrid Work Solutions
Led by the AppHaus 2.0 team– a group focussed on the changing working environment– in partnership with SAP AppHaus Network and other SAP counterparts, conducted user research, design thinking workshops, and created and tested prototypes of new work settings. 11 innovation leaders from nine companies across seven countries were involved in the research to provide diverse views on hybrid working. After months of conducting research and experiment with stakeholders and end-users employing SAP’s Human-Centered Approach to Innovation, a combined methodology of Design Thinking with Architecture Thinking to build scalable solutions, SAP AppHaus’ white paper “The Next WoW- Reimagining Hybrid Work for an Innovation Team” revealed key concepts for successful hybrid work.
The white paper dubbed as the first public share-out of future hybrid work scenarios highlighted three key pillars of the Next WoW:
The report stated that a hybrid team practices a flexible work structure that drives collaboration by allowing some members to be physically present in the office and some to join remotely. SAP AppHaus found out that the key to making hybrid-team work is to define a working model that works for the members and ensure social connections are consistent.
As for leaders, the report revealed that it is critical for them to adopt a 360° inclusive communication style to bridge the generation gap as well as address the limitation of the expressivity in a hybrid work setup. In addition, leaders need to encourage transparency and set clear expectations by hosting sharing sessions.
SAP AppHaus emphasised that strong collaboration, as a key driver of innovation, goes beyond its team and extends to their customers, their end-users, and key stakeholders. The white paper shared SAP AppHaus’ key learnings from transitioning from in-person to remote working such as: remote workshop as the new norm; space affects not only human behaviour and mindset but also performance; and productivity matters in digital collaborations.
As for hybrid collaboration tools, there are currently many meeting platforms and communication tools to choose from namely Zoom, MS Teams, MURAL, MS Outlook, Slack, SharePoint, and Innovation Culture Tool Kit. According to the team AppHaus, fancier communication gadgets may come with a higher learning curve.
The report highlighted that employers should strongly consider a hybrid workplace option to support their employees’ wellbeing, productivity, and transition from work-life balance into flexible work-life.
Take for example SAP AppHaus spaces that are evolving into a broader concept to represent its brand, culture, and identity. SAP AppHaus’ customer-facing innovation spaces worldwide have been designed with a human-centred approach directed on focus, collaboration, and networking. SAP AppHaus spaces have collectively hosted nearly 3,000 workshops and engaged over 75,000 visitors in its creative spaces since 2013.
“Since the pandemic, we have experimented different approaches to hybrid work, and we are continuing to reinvent ourselves here at the SAP AppHaus. The Next WoW is not a project that we can put a deadline on. We will keep iterating the concepts that we have introduced in this white paper and keep sharing our learnings in the future,” the report stated.