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Hybrid Work Resource Hub

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Explore our hub to find all the resources you’ll need to prepare you for hybrid working.

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Hybrid Work Is the New Remote Work

Hybrid working has become a familiar term over the last few years, with the recent pandemic simply accelerating businesses’ need to find new ways to stay in operation. Technology, in particular, has played a big part in helping companies and employees transition to this new model of working, with tools and software enabling effective communication and collaboration at a distance. 

Employees appear to have embraced the concept of splitting their time between the office and working remotely, with 77% saying they prefer working on this basis. Employers, too, seem to be on board with the trend of flexible working, with many predicting the downsizing of office spaces and a move towards smaller, more flexible workspaces. 

By changing to a hybrid mode of working, both employers and workers can benefit.  From lower overheads to fewer lengthy commutes, a better work-life balance is on the horizon. 

What is a Hybrid workplace? 

Hybrid working is a way of working in two locations, in an office and a non-office location. While there are several hybrid working models, the common theme is offering more freedom around when and where to work. This means that employees can fit their work around their lives rather than structure their weekdays around hours logged in an office. 

Ideally, a hybrid workplace should offer the best of both worlds: structure and sociability, along with independence and flexibility. 

The hybrid workplace could involve designating certain days for in-office meetings and remote days for work that involves individual focus. Employees could be physically present for team-building exercises or training sessions, while certain work aspects are better completed at home.

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The Pros and Cons of a Hybrid Workplace Model

When it comes to hybrid working, it’s important to consider both the employer’s and the employee’s point of view. Here are some of the chief benefits both can enjoy: 

Advantages

  • Increased productivity

In a well-structured and streamlined hybrid work environment, there’s every potential for improving employee productivity. By offering staff the opportunity to create a better work-life balance, they will enjoy more job satisfaction and be happier. Happy staff make for motivated staff. The benefits of increased wellbeing and health are other aspects that will have a positive effect on productivity. 

  • Cost-efficiencies

In a hybrid working model, companies can expect to see significant cost savings, for example, in office real estate rental (especially in expensive areas like London) and utility bills. Employees, too, will see decreased costs with the hefty expense of daily commuting reduced. 

  • Extensive talent pools

Companies can cast their net wider and recruit the most talented people, regardless of their geographic location, in adopting hybrid working. This also helps people living farther afield who would not previously have been considered for roles. 

  • Increased collaboration

Remote working can be highly efficient, especially given the wide range of software and tools to help enable this. However, it can’t replace social interactions’ spontaneity—e.g. after a meeting or at lunch or networking events. Under a hybrid model, employees can still take advantage of some face-to-face meetings, helping them address personal issues. 

  • Work-life balance

Work-life balance can be greatly enhanced with a hybrid approach. By allowing staff to work more flexibly to acknowledge childcare commitments, companies can build stronger relationships with them. 

  • Environmentally friendly

Hybrid working is an opportunity to help the planet reduce the carbon footprint and boost green credentials. 

Disadvantages

The disadvantages of hybrid working will vary depending on the type of organisation involved. Here are some potential pitfalls.

  • Client experience

The client experience can fall short under a hybrid model because some clients see face-to-face meetings as 100% the way forward, for example, in the banking or legal sector, where personal contact is the preferred method of communication. This is because when dealing with sensitive issues, people need to feel confident they can trust a company, and that’s something that’s often reinforced by body language. Even a video call can’t always replicate this psychological advantage as yet. 

  • Isolation

In a physical office environment, a co-working camaraderie is built up over time, with social interactions and the sharing of ideas boosted by team members’ physical presence sitting just a few feet away. Isolation can lead to poor decision-making, so this could be an issue to watch out for.  

Keep hybrid team members connected!

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How to Implement a Hybrid Workplace Model

Setting up Hybrid Model Workplace

The coronavirus crisis has necessitated big changes in the workplace, and organisations of all types are taking steps to set up a hybrid workplace model. To do so, companies need to ensure they not only have the right technology in place but the right mindset.

The Definitive Guide to Hybrid Working: What it is & Why Your Business Should Adopt it

With traditional working practices becoming a thing of the past, flexible models like hybrid working are taking place. Hybrid working relates to employees working both in an office environment and remotely (often in a home office - WFH), splitting their time between the two. Employees are now coming to expect this type of flexible-working, so employers have to integrate it into their long term plans. Employer/employee relationships look set to undergo a drastic transformation, and businesses that don’t embrace this change could get left behind.

All the Pros and Cons of Hybrid Working & What They Mean for Your Business

Whether for logistical or financial reasons, more and more companies are adopting a hybrid approach to working. Before developing a hybrid structure in your organisation, it will pay to weigh the pros and cons. The many benefits of hybrid working include cost savings, greater productivity and access to a bigger talent pool. On the downside, unless well managed, employees could feel more isolated and unmotivated.

The Ultimate Guide to Remote & Hybrid Work Etiquette

There are clear benefits to adopting a hybrid working model. However, this new approach comes with a new set of guidelines. For example, when planning meetings, hosts should ensure they are as convenient as possible for everyone and set clear rules around punctuality. Employees should dress appropriately for video conferences and use collaboration tools appropriately.

10 Ways to Keep a Good Work Life Balance When Hybrid Working

While hybrid working seems like the ideal model for achieving a good work-life balance, it’s not a given. There are many ways to help ensure employees enjoy the right mix of work-based activities compared to personal ones. Setting clear goals and expectations and ensuring a level playing field for career development are two ways to help achieve this - but there are many more.

The Top 25 Remote Work Statistics & What This Means for Hybrid Working

The drastic move towards remote and hybrid working has left some employers struggling to catch up. Will people return to the office over time, or is hybrid working here to stay? These remote work statistics give a clearer idea of the impact of remote working on businesses and employees.

The Ultimate Guide to Hybrid Working & Flexible Work Arrangements

Flexitime and hybrid working models are becoming the norm in many organisations today. With schedules more flexible, the aim is to empower employees to work smarter during their working hours. Setting daily quotas, implementing omnichannel communications, and job-sharing are just ways to address more fluid modes of working.

10 Best Online Workspaces and How They Can be Used to Support a Hybrid Workforce

With hybrid working now seen as an ongoing reality, companies need to consider how best to implement a virtual centralised environment. Employees will need public and private spaces to collaborate and communicate with one another and with clients. To be successful, workspaces need to offer easy app integration, be cost-effective, customised to each individual’s requirements, and accessible from everywhere.

Remote Working Case Studies

Pre-pandemic, RingCentral’s cloud telephony solutions helped companies in all sectors achieve increased efficiency and productivity. Post-pandemic, it’s anticipated that by adopting RingCentral’s VoIP and other software, businesses will be better positioned to enable effective collaboration between remote employees whilst offering clients and customers a higher level of customer service. 

With more than 1200 employees in 14 locations across six countries, enterprise SaaS company TechnologyOne struggled to grow internationally using its existing telephone system. The phone service didn’t integrate with its call centre solution, and employees disliked the online meetings system. They decided to consider a move to unified communications. Having looked at several providers, TechnologyOne decided to opt for RingCentral’s unified software solution. Having one system for telephony, call centre, video conferencing, team chat, and collaboration has enabled employees to communicate and connect more effectively, helped with training and onboarding recruits, and made it easier to stay connected even when at different geographical locations.

Read the Case Study

Top accounting firm MHA MacIntyre Hudson realised that changing times required new technologies. They needed a solution that would enable them to carry out important in person meetings whilst being available to clients when on the road. Their previous on-premise phone infrastructure allowed accountants to make and take calls only from their desk. When not at the office, they were unavailable to clients. They had no central communication hub, just a collection of legacy systems which were becoming increasingly inefficient. Implementing RingCentral’s unified cloud communications solution solved their problems. Accountants could now take and make calls on their business numbers from laptops and smartphones. RingCentral’s call-forwarding and routing features have also enabled employees to make adjustments in real-time to their communication workflows, creating significant increases in productivity and efficiency

Read the Case Study

Financial service provider OptimumCredit was growing quickly and realised their existing telephony system wasn’t up to the task. They needed a communications solution that enabled them to scale and provide absolute reliability. Given the strict regulatory environment of the finance world, Optimum Credit also needed a telephony provider that could support secure data capture, along with the ability to record calls. RingCentral not only fulfilled the above criteria and allowed Optimum Credit to integrate the new system with their existing lending platform, we also supported self-service functionality and gave them the ability to adapt to future regulatory requirements. With the help of RingCentral, the company has embraced an omnichannel strategy that increasingly supports flexible working patterns for its workforce.

Read the Case Study

Why Choose RingCentral as Your Business Partner?

RingCentral is a 2020 Gartner UCaaS Magic Quadrant Leader, recognised for innovation and vision in cloud-based communications. Download the report by clicking the button below.

Tools and Technology

Intelligent Tools: The secret sauce to a successful hybrid workplace

In this new hybrid age, the acceleration of digital technology is unprecedented. New ways of managing people and of enabling asynchronous communication are required so that employees can engage with and be at their most productive, whether they’re in the office or out and about.

Each company has to work out the best collaboration tools to help drive success. Still, all should be easy to implement and understand and reliable enough to ensure consistent communication.

One of the most impactful technologies of the last few years is video calling technology. It’s been specially aligned with the development of remote-work and hybrid work arrangements, with teams becoming more and more dispersed. 

On video calls, users can communicate face-to-face, enabling communication on a more personal level.  A video calling app will benefit hybrid teams large and small – so long as the solution was reliable, with strong connectivity. 

Also known as VoIP (voice over internet protocol) or internet telephony, an internet phone is rooted on the internet. Instead of using a landline, users make calls using Wi-Fi or another form of internet connection. 

This enables users to make and take calls on a mobile phone or laptop no matter where they happen to be working, provided there’s a stable internet connection. Combining the high call quality of a landline with a range of services, such as testing and video calling, VoIP offers the best of both worlds. 

Team collaboration tools offer a seamless way for employees to communicate without switching through multiple apps or spending time downloading different platforms. A good all-in-one solution should enable users to use instant messaging, fax, conference call, video call, and host online meetings – with just one click from a single platform. 

As a small business, it’s essential to find a way to reduce costs while growing the company. One way is by leveraging the best communication tools. Since a lot of business is conducted by phone, it makes sense to invest in small business VoIP because this option is cost-effective and reliable. 

VoIP allows smaller companies to compete on a level footing with enterprise-level businesses. VoIP calls take place over the internet rather than using a landline and offer a host of useful features, including video calling, messaging, and call routing.

Enterprise-level companies require the highest grade of communications, with always-on reliability along with the ability to connect teams anywhere, at any time. It’s essential to select tools that undergo independent verification around security, compliance, and privacy controls. 

A robust enterprise communications solutions should also support customers at multiple global locations and integrate with existing applications and third-party solutions. 

Online screen sharing now plays a key role in our working lives, enabling teams to hold more effective, collaborative meetings, provide training, and present and annotate documents in real-time. 

Screen sharing tools allow multiple users to view a desktop screen, making it an ideal feature for holding both internal meetings and live virtual events. 

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Is Hybrid Working the Solution for the Future of Work?

The COVID-19 pandemic and introduction of lockdowns around the world have accelerated a change in the way we’ll work from now on. It’s likely that meeting rooms packed with people will not be on the horizon again, and nor will the traditional workdays of 9-5. Many businesses  are considering downsizing their office spaces to allow for more flexibility in terms of how and where staff work. 

As well as changes to the physical space in which we work, there’s also been a shift in the mindset of employees, whose expectations and priorities now revolve far more around creating a good work-life balance. Some remote workers will be keen on co-working in-house along with a partial return to the office. Others will be keener to work from home as much as possible. 

The reality could lie somewhere in the middle, with hybrid models becoming the new normal. The office may become the ‘hub’ that keeps staff connected, while remote work arrangements could become best practice for individual employees for work that requires more focus. 

Whatever form of hybrid working is adopted, it’s essential that everyone from CEO down should embrace it. 

 

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