For all the recent, pandemic-related talk of getting ‘back to normal, it’s enlightening to think just how many practices that took root in the COVID-19 era look set to remain. One example is working from home, even if might not quite take the form it did back in 2020.
While some employees have expressed a willingness to work from home permanently, many are instead drawn towards ‘hybrid working’, where work time is divided between home and the traditional office. The onus is thus on your brand to adapt to this emerging trend.
Is hybrid working really here to stay?
Research certainly suggests so. As generally reflected in surveys cited by The Conversation, about two-thirds of members of Generation Z — the demographic born after 1996 — currently in office jobs favor hybrid working and would be willing to switch employers to get it.
In a recent study mentioned by Computerworld, over 75% of respondents reported their belief that hybrid or flexible working would become standard practice within their organizations during the next three years.
Hearteningly, your own business might already be in a position to easily accommodate preferences for hybrid working. For example, you might have replaced a dated PBX phone system with a wholly cloud-based unified communications (UC) alternative.
Even if you haven’t, transitioning to unified communications is much easier than your company might have anticipated. Besides, the move would assist in future-proofing your firm as well as potentially providing it with a valuable competitive advantage…
What exactly is unified communications?
The term — or, indeed, ‘UC’ — refers to a system where a range of communication channels, such as voicemail, text messaging, and videoconferencing as well as the more conventional telephoning and emailing, are all tied to just one interface.
As a result, your workers could have all of these channels literally at their fingertips. These days, UC is about far more than just facilitating smooth, seamless interactions with customers; it’s also about bringing the same qualities to exchanges between members of your staff.
Corporate processes which can happen more easily over the UC system by holding meetings, collaborating with other team members, and sharing files.
Hence, implementing UC would bode well for your workforce’s productivity. By making the necessary tools available for cloud communications and collaboration, enterprises have unlocked productivity improvements in the region of 10% to 25% — leading to appreciable reductions in the time taken to complete projects and resolve problems.
Are you leading by example with your communication efforts?
Once your business has a UC system in place, you should make sure, as the business owner, you are showing — rather than just telling — your workers how it can be effectively used.
Judging from statistics alluded to in a Business 2 Community article, as many as 74% of employees have felt left out of the loop concerning company news or information. Leaving an issue like this unaddressed in your own business could needlessly disgruntle your workforce.
Fortunately, UC would enable you to quickly reach out to all your workers — even if they are separated between different locations.