You’re in the office, working on a new project. As you sift through the files, you realize that an important document is missing. You head to your coworker’s desk and ask whether they’ve got the file you need. They find it for you, and you thank them for their help.
If that seems like a distant reality, you’ve almost made it through the COVID-19 pandemic. While traditional workplaces thrived on in-person interaction and frictionless communication, the pandemic forced organizations to adopt remote work.
After two years of self-quarantine and social distancing, business leaders, HR managers, and working professionals have realized that a desk, computer, and internet connection is all they need to run business operations.
The Rise of the Hybrid Workforce
Employees have recognized several benefits of working remotely, including better work-life balance and minimal commute costs. A recent survey suggests that 47% of professionals would consider taking up a new job if their current employer doesn’t offer a hybrid work model after the pandemic ends.
Also, 41% of workers are willing to accept a job with a lower salary if they get the flexibility to work from anywhere. It isn’t surprising that more than half of the global workforce will work remotely at least five a month by 2025.
On the other hand, business leaders have found their employees to be more productive and driven when allowed to work from home. Also, adopting a hybrid work model will help your company reduce recurring costs, such as rentals and utility bills.
So, it’s to assume that the traditional pre-pandemic workplace belongs to the past. In 2022, implementing flexible and hybrid work policies is imperative if you’re running a company.
The Biggest Roadblock
It’s important to understand that adopting a hybrid work model isn’t as simple as organizing regular team meetings on Zoom. Nor is it as easy as digitizing business operations and migrating your data and systems to the cloud.
The biggest hurdle in the road to a hybrid workforce is internal and external communication. When employees come to the office every day, in-person interactions are a given. Also, they can use circuit-switched telephone networks and other legacy tools to stay in touch with their coworkers and customers.
A hybrid work model limits the extent to which employees can communicate with each other. It has the potential to become the breeding ground for communication gaps and silos. That, in turn, could affect employee productivity and customer relationships.
It emphasizes the importance of reviewing your approach to workplace communications and creating an environment of seamless collaboration.
Adopting Communication Technologies
Here’s the thing – remote and on-site employees must stay in touch with each other to ensure the successful completion of a project. If you’ve already implemented a hybrid work model, your employees are likely already using a variety of communication tools, from VoIP and text messaging to email.
But keeping track of different communication channels and tools can be exhausting. Also, it creates room for propagating misinformation and communication gaps.
A clever alternative is to use a unified communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) platform that integrates various channels, including video conferencing, VoIP, enterprise messaging, and email. It can go a long way to minimize silos and enhance employee productivity.
If you’re looking for a reliable UCaaS provider for your business, it’s a good idea to visit an online review portal, like UCaaS Review. You can check out the ratings and reviews of different UCaaS solutions and choose one that best fits your organization’s needs.
Besides improving internal communication, a UCaaS platform will also help you deliver a better customer experience. It integrates with email marketing and CRM software to help you nurture, score, and convert leads. Also, customer support executives can use the platform to address customer concerns and queries.
Normalizing Asynchronous Communication
Employees only have to interact with a handful of their coworkers in an office environment. A hybrid work model improves access and opens the doors to communicating with anyone irrespective of their location.
Using too many communication channels can overwhelm them and pressure them to answer every call and message.
Company leaders can alleviate the situation by encouraging asynchronous communication. The first step is to understand that employees don’t need to communicate everything in real-time with instant replies.
Instead, they can choose to prioritize certain messages over others. For instance, instead of organizing a Zoom meeting to introduce a sales presentation, you can email a screencast to respective team members and ask for their feedback. Also, invite them to share their queries about the presentation.
That important thing is to let employees know that real-time communication isn’t always mandatory.
Every communication solution you use should be geared towards helping employees adopt a device and location-agnostic approach to work. It emphasizes the need to implement cloud-based solutions that can be accessed anywhere.
Whether using a hosted VoIP platform or instant messaging software, make sure each solution offers a mobile app. Also, educate employees about the security risks of using mobile devices and connecting to untrusted networks.
Seamless communication will become an integral part of the hybrid work model. As a business owner, you should look for robust UCaaS solutions that offer seamless connectivity across different devices and locations. Also, reinforce communication technologies with robust cybersecurity solutions.