The future of remote working
With the further relaxing of Government Coronavirus guidance on July 19th Boris Johnson declared it would no longer be necessary to instruct employees to stay away from the office. It was said that this would allow employers to start planning for a safe return to workplaces. With what is now being termed in some parts of the media as the 'next normal' taking shape, organisations have to review the best options for themselves, their business, their employees and their customers.
A study of 5000 UK directors and business owners on behalf of Virgin Media Business found that “technological advancements will see over half of office-based employees regularly working from home by 2022”. The report suggests that at least 60% of employees will work from home, with 72% of respondents believing that face-to-face meetings may become a thing of the past within a few years. While the total disappearance of face-to-face business meetings seems unlikely, at least in the medium term, the fact remains that people have become used to working remotely and the improved work/life balance that it allows. Businesses will find that the reduced requirement for office space far outweighs any costs of increased IT provision.
Assuming that flexible working patterns are here to stay, the IT to support team members who are working in a variety of ways will change for most organisations. One of the areas that has expanded over the last 18 months is VOIP or Voice over Internet Protocol telephony. While this is an area that call centres have been familiar with for a few years, other office settings found the need to distribute phone calls to a variety of locations unheard of. Utilising the latest cloud technology VOIP based telephone services offer ease of setup, call management and administration. With additional reporting and metrics, telephone based KPIs are simple to implement and monitor. This gives businesses the ability to support team members who may be struggling with some aspects of remote working, as issues will be flagged through the phone system.
Beyond simple voice calls, Microsoft Teams offers the opportunity for your team to chat and collaborate through text and video call as well as phone. This can prove an invaluable tool in enabling colleagues to stay connected on both a personal and project level. eInfinity can support your transition to the cloud through Microsoft Office 365, including Teams and VOIP telephony. Our team of IT professionals have the practical experience to help you implement solutions that provide the functionality you need and which suit your budget.
The buzzword at the moment regarding the shift to new working patterns is “hybrid”. We will look in more detail at the impact of team members working in more than one location next month. In the meantime, please get in touch to discuss how eInfinity can assist with aligning your IT to support remote working in the long term.