After the coronavirus pandemic confined so many people to their homes for months on end, the way we work was changed forever. Armed with the knowledge and experience that working from home can improve their lives in many ways, more workers have started demanding permanent flexibility, and most employers are more than happy to oblige.
According to a survey conducted by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development in early 2021, around two thirds of UK businesses were developing a hybrid work model, where individuals are able to work both from home and the office. Flexible working is here to stay, and it’s up to businesses like yours to adapt to the new world we live in. In order to help you do just this, we’ve outlined some of the best remote working solutions.
Unify your communications
With most employees now operating from different locations, the importance of maintaining effective communication cannot be overstated. Key to achieving this is Unified Communications, “a system in which every communications channel (chat, file sharing, phone calls, video conferencing, email and more) is integrated within a single platform.” This offers a range of benefits, from reduced licensing fees and streamlined operations, to better customer service and organisational agility. Perhaps most importantly though, it makes communicating via a company’s telephony system easier than ever and more suited to hybrid teams, as employees no longer need to be in an office using a physical telephone. This hugely benefits external communication capabilities in particular, considering a huge number of business calls still take place on the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network), the traditional telephone network.
Callroute’s unique solution makes unifying your communications incredibly easy by integrating external calling within key collaboration platforms such as Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex, as well as integration with existing legacy equipment. This enables you to enjoy full PBX (Private Branch Exchange) integration with your collaboration platform, giving your business a path to PSTN and VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) telephony systems in minutes.
Consequently, you can communicate with others regardless of whether they’re using the main circuit-switched telephone network (the PSTN) or online calling (VoIP). Furthermore, our Callroute solution offers greater functionality than others on the market including improved global calling and advanced calling capabilities and our pricing model lets you pay for the capacity your business needs rather than every user by pooling users across channels and geographies.
Obtain the right audio and visual equipment
Having the right communications platform alone isn’t enough to make the hybrid working model work, however, and employees need the requisite audio and visual equipment too. Perhaps the most obvious example here is the headset. With many coming with noise-cancelling technology that filters out up to 75% of a person’s background noise, they make communicating in both a busy office or loud home environment much smoother for both the employee and person on the end of the line. A headset also prevents staff from cradling their phones between their ear and their shoulder, something that can cause repetitive strain injuries, while wireless headsets enable individuals to move away from their desk without having to end the call.
Meanwhile, video conferencing equipment can also improve communication for both staff in the office and those working from home. Take Logitech’s MeetUp solution, for instance, which comes with a 4K Ultra HD camera with 5X HD zoom,a full-range speaker system, a beamforming microphone array, and motorised pan/tilt lens. This helps to create the best visual and aural environment possible during business calls, and is integrable with Microsoft Teams, meaning the tool can fit in seamlessly with your Direct Routing plan.
Obtain the right audio and visual equipment
One risk with a hybrid working model is that a company’s culture falls by the wayside, with less face-to-face contact than before. However, even with fewer opportunities for a “water cooler” chat in the office, you can still keep this culture going strong with a dedicated digital space for employees to talk about all things non work-related. So, within Teams, be sure to set up channels where individuals can do just this. You may even want to create ones with specific themes of conversation, from what everyone’s watching on TV to pet channels where people can post their best pet pics.
Similarly, having regular video check-ins with staff is vital, both for operational purposes and maintaining the regular contact employees need with each other and their seniors. To this end, introduce weekly team meetings where departments can run through important work matters together, as well as one-to-one calls with staff to see how they’re getting on. The beauty of hybrid working is that these can either occur face-to-face or virtually, with group meetings able to simultaneously take place both in the office and virtually by gathering everybody who is in the office around the same device.