A series of technology advancements to get the most from hybrid working.
Since March of 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic has been disrupting business operations, forcing companies to try new technologies and revised working models to stay up and running. As businesses start to see the results of these changes – and it becomes ever clearer that a post-pandemic “normal” won’t be a return to traditional workplace practices – businesses of all sizes have begun to focus on what is now called a hybrid working model: those who choose to work in-office, those who are still working remotely and (much more commonly) those that blend the two.
With digitization accelerating, businesses are also considering how best to future-proof operations as the way we work also evolves. Successfully implementing a hybrid working model – and getting the most out of its advantages – requires more than adding new software or forwarding a desk phone to a mobile line; it needs a tech roadmap that outlines what tools your teams will need to ensure future growth in an evolving work setting.
Here are 5 tech trends enabling businesses to transition and succeed in hybrid working environments.
Reliable communication platforms to stay connected
In today’s workplace, you can only go as far as the strength of your internet connection. Providing your employees and/or customers with access to a strong and reliable internet connection improves communications and maximizes productivity. Whether they are working directly in the cloud, checking email, collaborating with coworkers, or simply catching a call, employees are online more than ever. A dependable internet connection is key wherever your employees need to work. In fact, many companies are doubling down on reliability with wireless back-up solutions that help ensure connectivity, allowing employees to stay productive.
Security software to protect your data anywhere
Certain tech trends have moved from nice-to-have to necessary. Giving your employees flexibility to work from anywhere while also protecting your business data is more important now than ever before. Remote employees have a greater risk of a cyber-attack than those who are working in-office from a secure access point. Products like Advantage Security, Managed Firewall, Secure Remote Worker and data protection services help protect your digital operations and the important information accessed by employees working from home. Some business security applications now offer the important ability to backup information and keep it safe and available in face of an emergency, helping your employees work stress-free no matter the location.
Digital transformation through the cloud
Alongside security software, saving information to a cloud-based server is a key requirement for hybrid working. Moving to the cloud frees up real estate in the office by making services and/or servers virtual to reclaim working space. While reclaiming office space while staff are remote might not seem to connect to hybrid efficiency, having communications and documents/processes run in the cloud save routing all that data through a centralized server – where it can be vulnerable to site-specific concerns from lag to outages. As employees return to the office, the extra working space will be key to staying socially distant in the office when appropriate.
By moving to the cloud, businesses can increase internet bandwidth capabilities, reduce the maintenance and upkeep costs of on-premises infrastructure, and enjoy the ability to flex capacity up or down whenever needed.
As people are increasing work from a variety of locations, employees from multiple sectors are searching for cloud-based applications that save data automatically – and make it easy to share, and access. Wherever your employees need to work, applications like Microsoft 365 with Microsoft Teams and Operator Connect (enabling global voice calling via Teams) keep your business moving by helping your staff collaborate with ease and stay connected with customers – all from a single platform. Because they allow your employees to focus on projects from home, the office or the road, these tools form the backbone of the successful hybrid working model.
In the pursuit of flexible collaboration, especially when it comes to employee connectivity, businesses can now use mobile tools to elevate their collaborative experiences. Internet-based phone systems like Cloud Unified Communications (Cloud UC) offer an advantage over traditional hosted services. For some businesses, investing in mobile tools may be more lucrative depending on their needs. These types of mobile tools offer flexibility and plugins that work with Microsoft Teams and other collaborative applications to increase work efficiency. With mobile tools, businesses can ensure their employees and customers stay connected regardless of location or device, creating a seamless experience from day to day.
Smart technology for smarter buildings
As technology advances, so do businesses. These advances go beyond employee tools and aim to foster productivity, safety, and comfort within work locations – leading to the adoption of “smart building” technologies that offer a range of benefits. These include better on-site communications with kiosks and digital displays, improved safety and hygiene through applications like air quality monitors and enhanced security through smart surveillance cameras and sensors. Together these solutions protect both properties and staff. In the face of the current work climate, having the proper safety protocols and sharing real-time information on sanitation and environmental safety will quickly become a standardized practice to help employees feel safe, secure, and focused when returning to the office – full time or only on selected days of the week. As work models change and technology evolves, employers are redefining expectations to stay up-to-date with the acceleration of a hybrid working model. Businesses looking to forge a stronger future in the next new normal will need to prioritize the latest technology capabilities to provide employees with the flexibility to work productively wherever (and whenever) they need to.
Learn more about how your business can utilize the latest tech trends by reading future insights of the hybrid workforce from Rogers.