The world of work has changed. The Coronavirus pandemic forced employees across the globe to stay out of the office and work from home. This was an unfamiliar concept for most employers and their staff, as, before the pandemic, less than 30% of the UK worked remotely.
In 2020, working out of the office became the new normal. With lockdowns easing and life returning to pre-pandemic circumstances, many people are beginning to return to the office. However, a wide range of research has indicated that the majority of workers would like to have a balance in place, of working in the office for some days of the week and at home for the remainder. This concept has led to the use of a new term, hybrid working.
What does hybrid working mean?
Hybrid working combines the option of working in the office with working from home. It provides a flexible working schedule for employees to complete simpler tasks at home. Then visiting the office once a week or so for tasks that are best-completed face-to-face, such as brainstorming sessions.
Flexible working is not a new concept and was predicted to increase over the coming years. The pandemic has undoubtedly sped up this change, as it opened up new possibilities to many employees. Despite the lifestyle and working challenges brought to us by the pandemic, employees have identified many benefits from working from home, for both them and their organisations.
A recent study found that 57% of employees would now like to be in the office 10 days or less each month. This is quite a great demand, so many organisations are now considering what hybrid working means for them, and what changes they will need to make to ensure this new way of work is adequate for their needs.
How the office is changing
With the numbers of weekdays staff spending in the office decreasing, many businesses have to change their ways.
The traditional office environment we’re so used to is adapting to suit more flexible working schemes. Companies are now removing the rigid structure of desks and opening up space. Creating more communal areas to boost teamwork and employee engagement.
All businesses had to become more digitally focused during the pandemic, and this isn’t set to return to old ways. Many meeting rooms are now equipped with VoIP technology for seamless video-conferencing with remote working colleagues. The functionalities provided by hosted communication systems allows successful hybrid working. Offering a long list of benefits for both employers and employees.
The benefits of hybrid working
Hybrid working can be very beneficial for the productivity of an organisation. In a recent survey, 48% of remote employees believe they are more productive when working from home. This is likely due to having a more comfortable and focused work environment with no office distractions.
Other advantages of hybrid working for employees include cutting down on commuting time and costs and having a better work-life balance. A team that is happy at work will be an efficient workforce, providing more success for the company.
Alongside having a more productive and engaged workforce, a hybrid working model allows businesses to open a broader talent search for new employees. With the ability to work from anywhere, businesses can hire the best candidate, who could possibly live in another city, which would now have no communication or collaboration issues.
Cutting down on office costs due to needing less office space is another benefit for businesses. Save money while being more productive than ever before.
What is needed for successful hybrid working?
While it has many benefits, hybrid working can cause some logistical issues. Especially for businesses who haven’t implemented the latest technology into their day-to-day practices. Successful hybrid working is based on effective communication. With employees moving between the office and their locations, a flexible telephone system is essential for seamless communications with team members and customers.
Are you unsure if your business is ready for hybrid working? There are many different hybrid working models your business can implement. You simply need to find the right solution for your organisation’s needs. Here are 3 main hybrid working models:
Working together, but apart —Teams are spread across locations, but are collaborating virtually. The most important tool needed here is a seamless video-conferencing setup. WizyConf provides HD video calls directly from your web browser. Choose between additional hardware made for small, medium and large meeting rooms, to enhance your conference areas.
Working alone, but together — Teams are based in shared spaces, like the office, but not at the same time. Employees will collaborate through seamless file sharing, instant messages and real-time voice and video calls.
Working alone and apart — Teams are all working from home working individually, focusing on their own tasks. A feature-rich telephone system is necessary, giving employees the ability to integrate their CRM with the collaboration system, have instant access to their voicemails and connect with clients and customers.
The right model for your business will depend on the size of your team and the nature of the work being completed remotely.
If you would like further guidance, contact us today to discuss your options with our hybrid working specialists.
How to improve collaboration in a hybrid workforce?
One of the biggest concerns regarding hybrid working is the lack of collaboration without seeing team members face-to-face. A recent study of UK-based remote workers showed that 67% felt disconnected from their colleagues.
The benefit of hybrid working means that employees get a balance in their work schedules. Based on the level of collaboration and the tools needed, projects can either be conducted online, or in the office.
Arranging a meeting has never been easier than with VoIPSure. Simply add the desired contacts to a meeting or conference, set the time and date you want to connect and add any notes, then all invited colleagues will receive a notification.
With our fully integrated telephony system, your team will be able to communicate and collaborate with ease. Every tool needed will be in one place, allowing your team to connect and work together instantly.
What is the best phone system for hybrid working?
Whichever hybrid working model is right for your business, the foundation is the same: you need a reliable telephony solution. With our multi-award-winning telephony platform, VoIPSure, your team will be able to collaborate from any location seamlessly.
VoIPSure is a complete communication system built for seamless transitions between working in the office and remotely. So wherever your team are, they will have the ability to work with all the same efficiency and presence they have in the office.
Accessible on a range of devices, from traditional office handsets to laptops, tablets and smartphones, VoIPSure allows each team member to keep their office number. Meaning there is no need for anyone to share their telephone numbers. Additionally, limiting business costs of providing new hardware to employees.
With a cloud-based system, all of your data will be accessible from every device. Making the transition between working from home and the office hassle free, as you will be able to instantly pick up where you left off.
Manage your hybrid team effectively with a Supervisor license. Built with managers and team leaders in mind, VoIPSure Supervisor Edition provides real-time monitoring of team members. The supervisor can receive alerts from agents seeking assistance and then monitor or intervene on calls.
Features of VoIP for hybrid working
Our smart, cloud-based voice, video and messaging tools can help your team to serve clients anytime and anywhere. With over 50 features, VoIPSure provides businesses of all kinds with smooth communications.
✅ Call Features & Presence — A simple directory lists all your colleagues for you to see who is available, on lunch, in a meeting, etc. just as if you were in the office. Each user can start an instant chat with a team member, transfer a call to the relevant colleague (if they are available) and many more advanced call features.
✅ Screen Sharing — Team members will be able to collaborate in real-time over conference calls by sharing their screens. This feature can be used to train new remote staff, show presentations to employees in various locations, discuss projects and much more.
✅ HD Voice & Video Calls — VoIPSure provides high-quality voice and video calls so you can say goodbye to call crackling and video buffering. All you need is a reliable Internet connection for a seamless connection to your team.
✅ CRM Integrations — Our seamless integration with a range of CRM solutions brings together the functionality and features of your VoIP phone solution and inserts it into the applications that your business uses on a daily basis. Access all the tools you need to connect and collaborate from any location to increase your business efficiency to new levels.
✅ Voicemail-to-email — Never miss a message again! Even when working remotely, every employee will have full access to their missed calls and voicemails in real-time. A text transcript of each voicemail message will instantly be sent to your email inbox, as well as an MP3 file for you to listen to when you are ready.
Is your business ready for hybrid working?
Our traditional view of the workplace has changed and is only going to continue evolving. Hybrid working is looking to be the future, so your business must equip itself to suit these new models. This is an ideal time to look into what your company needs from a communication system and begin future-proofing your business.
At Best 4 Business Communications, we help businesses across the UK find the best VoIP telephony solution for their needs. Whatever the size of your company, our team of telecoms experts can help you enhance your business efficiency with innovative hybrid working tools.