The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way that we work, accelerating an existing trend towards remote and flexible working. Gone are the days where everyone has to gather in one office to get their work done, we have now entered a world where people want to have the option of doing their work from anywhere.
This reality is forcing companies in all industries to think about how they run their business and how they are preparing for the future world of work. There already exist some great solutions that enable methods of work that can proof your hybrid work model against future disruption.
What Is Hybrid Working?
The hybrid work model sees many employees spend some time in the office and some time working remotely. Rewind just a decade or two ago and this wouldn’t have been possible. Today, thanks to advancements in communication, video conferencing and cloud computing it’s possible to run a company with employees working from anywhere.
The best setups right now have a unified communications platform at their core, supplying secure instant messaging, voice calling and video conferencing for remote meetings, and a cloud storage provider that allows everyone to collaborate on documents and other materials in real-time.
Future-Proofing Employee Freedom
The world of work will continue to change as we discover better ways of enabling remote work and deal with some of the challenges that are presented when we’re not together. There’s been a lot of discussion around the psychological impact of isolation, the micro-managing that can happen and the blurred lines between personal and work lives.
If you want your business to offer a productive hybrid work experience for your employees, you’ll need to consider the following:
Adapt your leadership style
Hybrid work requires leaders to adapt how they interact with their teams, embracing the new distributed workforce. Too much contact and you risk micro-managing out of fear of losing control. Too little and you risk leaving members of your team feeling unheard and alienated. We suggest the balance lies in keeping lines of communication open without pressuring frequent contact, resolving to check in weekly with members of your team and adjusting from there.
Invest in the right communication tools
When your team is working in a distributed fashion, communication becomes more important than ever – both internally within teams and externally with your customers. Make sure you have a sophisticated phone system that empowers your staff to work from anywhere while still providing crystal clear quality and all the features required to provide a great customer experience. The better this infrastructure is, the more effective your hybrid working model is going to be.
Make meetings effective
When you do meet virtually or in person, you should be doing everything you can to squeeze value out of those sessions. Set an agenda for structure, but don’t be afraid to follow the threads of new insights as they’re offered. With some members working remotely, crucial details are easily missed and your weekly meetings might be the only touchpoint at which they can be caught.
Give team members the technology they need to succeed
Each member of your organisation should be given the opportunity to build a remote working setup that helps them to be more productive than ever. Done right, remote workers can be aided in creating a work environment with fewer distractions than the office, supercharging productivity.
Whether it’s a good chair, a second monitor, or a company phone and Bluetooth headset, these investments help to keep both morale and productivity high even when an employee is not in the office. This also serves to show your team members that you care about their wellbeing and are willing to invest in their success.
Make your work processes remote-first
As you transition into a hybrid model, you’ll be forced to rethink your standard processes. This is a great opportunity to re-imagine how your company works and look at things from a remote-first perspective. What would this look like if it were decentralized? What would this look like if I could complete it on my phone? These sorts of questions will help to shape your thinking and give you some longevity when it comes to your decisions.
As things shift, you’ll need to continue assessing how you’re doing and making the relevant adjustments along the way. If you’re looking for some assistance with communication technology specifically, compare our VoIP plans today. We’ve helped thousands of customers to build robust lines of communication with customers and fellow employees no matter how their teams are distributed.