Although remote working was hardly new in 2020, the coronavirus forced many organizations to implement remote work strategies overnight. Technology and employee preferences were taking businesses in this direction anyway. The pandemic just accelerated the process.
Today, with a better understanding of the risks involved and vaccinations underway, some companies have started the process of bringing teams back to the office. But many have determined that remote work can save money and boost productivity, and are looking to take advantage of those benefits long-term.
The days of every employee going to the office Monday through Friday from 9 to 5 are over. After the pandemic, most organizations are likely to offer the option to work from home, whether full-time, part-time or as needed. Expect this hybrid workplace, which combines in-office and remote working, to be the norm, not the exception.
Creating the Right Culture
Despite the operational disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, remote work has brought positive results. In one recent survey conducted by Wakefield Research, 87 percent of respondents said the new way of working is an improvement. However, creating a model that enables workers to be effective in a hybrid environment is a bit more complex.
One might assume that you only need the right technology for the hybrid workplace to succeed. Technology is a big part of the equation, but the first step is to build a culture of collaboration that provides a solid foundation for a hybrid workplace.
The goal should be to improve how the organization functions, not simply shift certain functions to a remote setting. How will you enable seamless collaboration? How will you keep employees engaged? How will you maintain accountability and measure performance in a way that’s consistent for all employees?
Set clear expectations and objectives and make sure they align with your company values. Also, recognize that ongoing change to your hybrid workplace strategy is all but guaranteed, so IT must be flexible enough to adapt when necessary.
Implementing the Right Technology
Once you have a clear understanding of the company culture required to support a hybrid workplace, choose the tools you need to be successful. Given the physical distance between employees, reliable collaboration tools are a must. Phone, email, video, and chat are each ideal for certain use cases.
Although it’s tempting to rely heavily on video conferencing to replicate face-to-face interaction, employees have already exhibited a certain level of video fatigue. Scheduling and launching a video conferencing can also take longer than other forms of collaboration.
Phone calls can be faster and simpler for many conversations, and email is just fine when real-time communication isn’t required. Chat allows you to pass along relatively brief nuggets of information quickly.
All four collaboration options should be integrated into a single platform with built-in security features. Providing best practices and training will help your team collaborate more efficiently. This will also reduce security risks and ensure compliance requirements are met, regardless of where employees are working.
Mitel Remote Working Solutions from Verteks
Mitel’s MiCollab and MiTeam Meetings make it easy for your onsite and remote teams to stay connected and productive. MiCollab and MiTeam Meetings provide a single point of access for all communication and collaboration in a fully integrated, secure solution.
Verteks is a longtime Mitel partner with extensive experience in the design, implementation and support of Mitel solutions. To learn how Mitel products make it possible to take full advantage of the hybrid workplace, contact us today to schedule a consultation.