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How to balance freedom and productivity while hybrid working

How to balance freedom and productivity while hybrid working 41

By Neal McMahon, Regional Sales Leader UK&I

Financial Services offices in the UK are opening up, meaning employees have the freedom to take advantage of different work environments that exist outside of their homes. In light of the learnings from remote working, many employers are now offering a hybrid working model, where employees choose where they work – from home, from the office, elsewhere, or even whilst on the go. Many large corporations around the world have embraced this way of working, announcing that they will allow more workers to continue working from home post-pandemic, including Ford, Salesforce, Siemens, and Shopify. Research from HiBob – a people management platform – found that 63% of full-time employees are currently working from home at least part of the time.

Avaya surveyed 10,000 people from 11 countries to gauge public attitude to hybrid working in its Life and Work Beyond 2020. More than 60% said they would like to carry on working remotely, responding that they would support government policies that encourage a hybrid work environment. Nearly half (46%) of respondents envision ‘work from anywhere’ being a viable way of working well into the future. Businesses should certainly pay attention to the fact that another 46% of respondents reported an increase in productivity while working remotely according to the research.

These factors combined suggest that businesses that have the ability will benefit from giving employees the freedom to work both from home and the office. But there are important steps businesses should take to help ensure their workforce is as productive as possible, wherever they choose to work from.

The Experience Economy

In today’s experience economy, the employee experience (EX) is as important as the customer experience (CX) and employees provided with the right technologies feel empowered and confident. A well-connected, digitally advanced mobile working infrastructure creates confident – and therefore productive – workers.

To help maintain productivity, organisations should ensure their employees are equipped and empowered to perform at their best irrespective of where they work from. This means that they should provide a communications capability that enables employees to work productively from anywhere.

Elevating CX

Employees have more than proven that they can keep up communications with colleagues, customers and partners while working remotely over the past 18 months, but productivity can be hindered by the use of too many different communications and collaborations apps. Many of us stay connected while working remotely through an app for team chat – however, some may have another for video conferencing, another for a company’s file-sharing platform and yet another, such as a task management tool. Need to discuss customer information with colleagues? Some do this through the CRM. To add to this, customers today want the freedom to switch between their preferred touch point for receiving assistance. Research conducted last year found that nearly 60% of working UK respondents often use three or more tools, apps, and resources to complete a work project.

Today’s employees must have the capabilities to connect with colleagues and customers when they want, in the way they want, whether that’s via phone, chat, video meetings, collaboration, file sharing, task management and virtual rooms. Both customers and employees deserve an effortless experience, and this is possible through cloud-based unified communications as a service (UCaaS).

The right UCaaS or single-app team collaboration solution elevates the customer experience while offering employees a single number for calls, chat, video meetings, file sharing and continuous collaboration that reaches them wherever they are, on whatever device they’re using. It should also allow for their own preferences for call forwarding, availability, presence, messaging, and video meetings, to be easily managed, removing the burden from IT admin, staff, or a reception.

Composability

For a business to create experiences that matter for its hybrid workforce and customers, it needs more than monolithic glass-ceiling apps in a cloud world. That’s why it’s important to choose a communications and collaboration solution that is built on a composable platform. Composability using a communications platform (CPaaS) enables a business to assemble and combine the specific business capabilities required to achieve the outcomes it needs in the moment, making it agile and competitive under rapidly changing circumstances. This cloud-based flexibility allows the collaboration solution to grow and adapt as an organisation does, or its needs change, making it a solution for both the present and the future.

EX equals CX

An intentional and thought-out employee experience is the basis for a great customer experience – a priority in the customer-centric world of financial services. The right tools will empower employees to solve problems quickly and easily by improving collaboration with different team members in different departments, with different disciplines.

As we enter a new world of work, we should reimagine how we collaborate and what makes us productive. Composable collaboration tools are the key to elevated customer and employee experiences.

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