How Do We Enable Effortless Employee Communications In The New Age of Hybrid Working?
A couple of years ago, the massive migration to remote working seemed temporary, but now that we see a potential permanence in remote and hybrid business structures, we need to reconsider the tools we’ve been using.
Challenges Facing Hybrid Workers
New hybrid and remote working structures rely more heavily on technology than older office-based models. Staff are now relying on everything from dependable internet access to communication platforms tasked with replacing face-to-face interactions. When something breaks down, entire projects can fall apart. This leaves businesses vulnerable in an unprecedented way, and those that have plans and solutions in place beforehand will be the ones that thrive.
Potential breakdowns aside, organisations and employers also need to consider ongoing collaboration between teams in different locations. Emails and phone calls simply aren’t effective enough to maintain streamlined communication between employees.
Additionally, lagging connections and poor network performance can lead not only to staff frustration, but also breakdowns in processes and deliverables.
While connectivity is occasionally a user problem, businesses need to consider how they can address issues on their side as well. Before the pandemic, networks were built on the assumption that most staff would be based in the office, which led to a centralised model with capacity and network intelligence focused on the organisation’s premises. The smaller number of remote workers accessed this via a virtual private network (VPN).
However, now that a significant amount of the workforce is remote, this model is no longer viable. Addressing these challenges is key to an effortless employee experience, which will in turn save time for the business. Additionally, removing some basic staff frustrations could even help with retention and attracting new talent.
How to Meet These Challenges: Building New Networks
Businesses have already adopted tools such as Teams, WebEx and Slack, which have either been designed or rapidly enhanced to enable collaborative, multi-location working. These platforms have made it easy for everyone to store and access conversations from anywhere with an internet connection.
With our hybrid return to work, businesses should focus on bringing these tools into the office environment. Meeting rooms need to be equipped with display screens, full audio and video capability and a way of allowing people to seamlessly use the same tools they rely on at home when they’re in the office.
Networks also need to be addressed. This is where distributed models become key to delivering an effortless and consistent experience to all employees. In a distributed model, the power is at the network edge, closer to users. This can reduce the risks of sluggish video performance, which benefits both remote workers and office-based staff.
Another major benefit of a distributed model is that security controls are also put at the edge. This gives the network the ability to recognise a user’s identity, device and location to determine what services and applications that user can access. The end result is a simple, consistent user experience, without the need to access different tools.
Moving to a distributed network model can be a challenge, but if hybrid working is the future – which analysis supports – then a distributed model not only provides an effortless employee experience, but also gives organisations the agility, security, and scalability they need to thrive in a changing landscape.
However, onboarding new network solutions can be a challenge, which is why we at Connect have developed our own network from the ground up. This business grade network is optimised to deliver service both locally and on a global scale. We own and manage it end-to-end with service in over one hundred countries, so you can be confident in quality, performance, and compliance wherever your staff is operating.