Remote and flexible working has been increasing for the past few years, but in 2020 it took not only a huge jump in popularity, but a sudden leap in necessity, as the COVID-19 pandemic forced organizations to look at ways they can safely continue business operations.
As we discussed in a recent blog - What is the Hybrid Work Model, and Why is it the Future of Work? - a large number of organizations across Canada (and the world) are now transitioning to a hybrid work model, in which their employees work from both the office and from home.
This new way of working can bring many benefits for your business, such as happier employees, improved productivity, increased creativity, more loyal team members and much more, but only if you have the technology infrastructure to ensure that on-site employees and remote workers are able to communicate and collaborate effectively together.
Unfortunately, many organizations haven’t updated their IT infrastructure to support the hybrid work model and this new way of working.
The hybrid work model is increasing in popularity, but IT infrastructure investment is lagging behind.
A global business survey commissioned by Xerox Holdings Corporation earlier this year shows that an estimated 82 percent of the workforce will on average have returned to the workplace in 12 to 18 months time, necessitating investment in new technologies that support a hybrid workforce.
The survey polled 600 IT decision-makers from the US, Canada, the UK, Germany and France and found that most businesses suffered from challenges caused by the sudden transition to remote working, with 72 percent citing they were not fully prepared from a technology perspective.
As a result, 56 percent of businesses have increased technology budgets and 34 percent are planning to speed up their digital transformation due to COVID-19. Most notably, the biggest pain point during the required work from home period was communication breakdown across teams (26 percent).
With regards to technology specifically, respondents said their top challenges were:
- Remote IT support (35 percent)
- Inadequate workflow solutions (27 percent)
- Lack of communications and collaboration tools (22 percent)
- Lack of cloud-based solutions (10 percent).
What technologies do businesses need to support a successful hybrid workforce?
To mitigate future disruptions and ensure that all employees are working productively (both those in the office and those outside of it), organizations that have transitioned to a hybrid work model must invest in new technologies that evolve their IT infrastructure from a purely office-based strategy.
Here are just a few of the many technologies that companies must consider if they are to manage a successful hybrid workforce.
AV & collaboration: Since employees could be split between your office and home offices, it’s important that all your employees have access to communication technologies that enhance collaboration among your team. This includes everything from conferencing software such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams for your remote employees, as well as meeting rooms, Zoom rooms or huddle rooms for your office employees. Communication tools will ensure that your team stays connected, increasing productivity.
Improved IT infrastructure: To transition to a digital business where your employees can work effectively both inside and outside of your office. It’s crucial you invest in the infrastructure that enables your IT team to manage a hybrid workforce. This includes everything from improving your security solutions, increasing cloud storage and much more.
Physical hardware: Allowing employees to work from their personal computers at home is not only a security risk for your organization, it also means you have no control over the tools and technologies they are using. This could lead to inefficiencies. For any employee working outside of the office, it’s important that you invest in hardware for them (whether it’s a computer or laptop) and that those devices are connected seamlessly to the processes that your employees back in the office are using.
There are plenty more technologies that you will need to invest in to transform your IT infrastructure, and Genesis Integration can help. Contact our team of experts today. We have years’ of experience as a professional audio visual (AV) provider, integrating world-class collaboration solutions across Canada.