In 2020 UK businesses had to adjust quickly to keep their operations running during the first Covid-related national lockdown.
At times businesses achieved continuity simply through adapting their existing technology solutions and making use of free digital services wherever possible.
Now though, as we progress into a more permanent way of working in a post-Covid landscape, businesses must adjust their technology stack to not only survive the new conditions, but to thrive – especially as an influx of businesses have now adopted a ‘hybrid working’ model.
What is ‘Hybrid Working’?
‘Hybrid working’ describes a working environment in which an organisation’s employees split their work between office-based locations and home or other remote locations.
Many well-known global businesses, including BP, Twitter and Microsoft, have announced their intention to continue with this working model indefinitely.
While there are many benefits to hybrid working, many businesses are now discovering that the transition to this way of working isn’t without its challenges – many businesses simply don’t have the existing technology stack needed to provide a seamless hybrid working experience.
Commercial Benefits of Hybrid Working
To facilitate efficient hybrid working methods, business owners need to look at the technology solutions they need to implement – mainly cloud-based technology services.
From a commercial standpoint, the introduction of cloud-based solutions required for effective hybrid working can actually save money and increase efficiency if correctly implemented.
Reducing on-site hardware for IT and telecommunications and switching to monthly subscription-based services will allow a transition from CapEx to OpEx, meaning no upfront expenditure and improved cashflow. Compliance, resilience and scalability will also be improved.
While it may seem complex to have remote workers utilising cloud-based tools, cloud service providers normally provide all the necessary training for employees – as we do here at DVAD.
Meanwhile, the responsibility for hosting, servicing, and upgrading your services will also fall to your cloud services provider.
Challenges to Consider
While there are many benefits associated with a hybrid working policy, there are several decisions businesses need to make before implementing one. These are everything from how to overcome legal and HR challenges, through to technology related considerations.
From a legal standpoint, if a business is considering formally introducing a new policy, there may be contractual updates required.
In more human terms there must be thought given to how new policies affect the wellbeing of the most important resource within a business – employees. It is essential that organisations build a culture that is suitable for hybrid working. Managers should develop skills to ensure effective communication, performance management, team and relationship building and collaboration in hybrid teams, while training on new systems is essential.
Technology Solutions Needed for Hybrid Working
With that in mind, how does your technology stack encourage relationship building and collaboration? Does your business use instant messaging or collaboration tools such as Teams to promote ‘ad-hoc’ discussion? If so, are they set up for online meetings by default and do they allow employees to make external phone calls from the same system?
Considering a unified communications strategy and hosted VoIP telephony could be central to ensuring many other challenges are easily overcome.
One final challenge for operating hybrid working practices is IT security. Once outside of a well-protected office network, and instead reliant on their own connectivity, employee devices could be vulnerable to security breaches.
This can be easily overcome by implementing effective cyber security services, and with the implementation of threat defence software, which are important to consider.
Hybrid Working IT Services from DVAD
Hybrid working can bring commercial and employee benefits when implemented well. Reduced office space and demands on IT and other services can save businesses costs, while cloud migration increases efficiency and agility. Meanwhile reduced time commuting, better work-life balance and increased flexibility can improve wellbeing for staff.
However, in a hybrid work environment, businesses continuing to rely on their existing technology stacks and business policies may struggle to adapt. Employees need to be able to work seamlessly between workplace and home, and there needs to be ease of connectivity between people in the office and those working remotely.
DVAD services for effective hybrid working:
To learn more about how DVAD can support your transition to hybrid working, please give us a call on 0800 84 999 84, or email us at email@example.com.
Our full contact information can be found here.