Over the past several years, business leaders have witnessed how the pandemic has reshaped where their employees work and how their companies operate. This shared experience was quite the challenge and gave us all a glimpse into what the future of work would look like. Some organizations upgraded their tools to cater to the needs of their employees. In contrast, others proceeded with outdated technology and pushed employees to their breaking points. It led to a substantial number of people seeking organizations that focused on the employee experience (EX) and provided them with technology to work from anywhere and meet their evolving needs. As a leader, it’s time to listen to your employees. The future of work is now – is your business prepared? Below, we’ll discuss the tools needed to support your workforce.
Hybrid Work Is the Future of Work
The future of work is employee-led, and a vast majority of those employees demand that their employer provide them with the option to work remotely at least part of the time. According to Stanford’s Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR), hybrid working arrangements balance the benefits of being in the office with the benefits of working at home. Businesses and everyday life have slowly returned to normal, and the home office is seemingly here to stay. With hybrid work, employees have a greater ability to innovate, collaborate, and build a culture, only if they have the right tools.
According to Zippia, 74 percent of companies across the United States are using or planning to implement a permanent hybrid work model. Organizations that fail to offer flexible work arrangements are at significant risk. A staggering 83 percent of employees will prefer a hybrid work model in the future. What hybrid work looks like for each organization is still a work in progress, and the subsequent lessons will define how we work for many years to come. One thing is clear – we’re not returning to the same workplace we left, and organizations must adapt or get left behind.
Hybrid work models are proven successful. While some managers still fixate on having employees return to the office, Gartner released data that shows that the location-centric work model is a failed approach. The only model that scored above average was the hybrid-flexible option, meaning employees and leaders have the flexibility to choose where they work. Today, it’s more important than ever to equip your teams with the necessary software and tools to make this a reality.
The data doesn’t lie; hybrid work is what more employees are seeking, but there are limitations during the collaborative process when your team doesn’t have the proper tools.
The Challenges of Not Providing a Collaborative Environment for Your Hybrid Team
One overlooked aspect of providing a hybrid work model is how it impacts employee experience (EX). A poor employee experience impacts everything from employee performance, customer relationships, and return on investment. In the hybrid era, your tech defines employee experience, according to Harvard Business Review (HBR). One of the challenges that loom over businesses looking to implement a hybrid work model is how do we meaningfully collaborate, communicate, and connect while working a hybrid schedule?
The prevalence of hybrid work continues to grow, and one aspect that defines the employee experience is the technology your organization offers its team. Without the right communication tools, another challenge businesses face when offering a hybrid model of work is defining the company culture. How can you develop a culture that gives your team, which could be located in various geographic locations on a given day, the in-person collaboration they yearn for from their job? A lack of company culture or an effective means of communicating and collaborating results in a poor employee experience. Your workers want to feel connected.
Another business challenge the hybrid workforce often encounters is an inability to communicate with one another clearly. Communication is the hallmark of any organization, and ensuring seamless collaboration is only possible if employees are properly connected to the office and communicating clearly. Your organization must consider modern communication tools to maximize team and business communications efficiency. Poor communication can result in a tense environment where employees are not motivated to be productive and may lose their inspiration to collaborate. This lack of motivation can affect how employees relate to clients and adversely affect the bottom line.
Low engagement is another pressing issue that produces challenges for employees. It’s vital to understand why your employees are feeling disengaged. One reason they might feel this way is because hybrid and remote workers report feeling isolated. Without the proper communication tools, they can’t build vital work relationships with their colleagues. According to Gallup data, when your team has friends at work, they’re more engaged and productive. One way to build connections is to have collaborative tools that enable your employees to communicate with one another in real time and develop these important relationships. Remember, happier employees translate to happier customers.
A balanced approach to improving your employees’ well-being is required if you want to build a company culture that keeps your teams feeling connected, engaged, and productive. Your business must focus on and invest in the employee experience. Regardless of location, team leaders must engage with remote employees the same way they do with onsite workers. You can enable the connections your team yearns for and improve engagement and productivity by offering adequate software and communication tools, which will improve the overall collaborative process.
Integrating modern business communication tools with your existing business software will directly result in an improved employee experience. It will help your employees to feel more engaged and proud of their work. This is difficult to achieve when they are using outdated technology.
Streamlining Business Software and Workflows Can Improve Collaboration and More
Modern technology platforms improve the employee experience and collaboration process, making them happier, more productive employees. A recent survey from Asana’s Anatomy of Work found that employees report feeling burnt out, which makes sense, especially when businesses rely on disjointed apps that lead to inefficiency, missed action items, and longer hours. Adopting tools that streamline these processes and reduce the number of apps your employees use will instantly enable them to focus on what matters most and allow them to be more productive. The same study found employees spend only 33 percent of their day focused on completing the job they were hired to do. Outdated tools are productivity killers that lead to a poor employee experience.
A staggering 86 percent of employees in leadership positions blame a lack of collaboration as the primary reason for workplace failures. On the flip side, organizations that promote collaboration and communication have managed to reduce employee turnover rates by 50 percent! These figures are glaring on both sides of the aisle and speak to the significance of the collaboration process. So, what’s the solution?
The solution is consolidating your business software apps, integrating your communications solution, and streamlining your workflows, enabling your employees to spend more time on their work and not wasting time with outdated tools. When your business can integrate its software with existing apps, it saves significant time, making it easier for your employees to do their jobs. As a result, they’ll be happier, more productive, and more satisfied in their role, helping your business retain employees and attract new ones. Increased productivity and efficiency will also significantly benefit your business.
A streamlined business software solution with integrated communications technology will enable your organization to:
- Offer effective hybrid work models
- Improve the employee experience
- Optimize the collaboration process
- Inspire creative solutions for customer issues
- Enable fast response on various channels
- Empower your workers to solve problems quickly and efficiently
- Give your staff flexibility and mobility
- Help your workers feel supported
- Reduce employee turnover
- Attract top-tier talent
- Elevate your company’s image
Streamlining business software solves the challenges we’ve discussed above that businesses face, like employee burnout, a lack of collaboration, employee turnover, and a lack of productivity. Businesses that utilize integrated tools enable their workforce to work more efficiently, which allows them to devote their energy to serving customers. Your business communications solution is a big part of this picture — is it time to upgrade? We’ll explain the benefits below.
Upgrading Your Business Communications Solution for Improved Collaboration
Fortunately, the solution to improving upon low engagement, employee experience, and communication is by upgrading your business communications as a part of an overall streamlining strategy to be ready for the future of work. If you’re one of the organizations operating on an outdated analog phone system, you could be making your employees work harder than they need to by having them perform redundant, repetitive, or time-wasting tasks that could be solved with upgraded communications solutions. If your employee is only spending 33 percent of their day on productive work because of outdated communications technology, you could be missing out on sales or ways to improve your company image.
An effective way of delivering a better employee experience is by upgrading your business communications. When teams communicate effectively and often, they know each other better, a vital component of a positive hybrid work experience.
A modern business communications solution improves collaboration by providing the following features in one unified system:
- Advanced Phone Features
- Text, Instant Messaging, and Group Chat
- Business Software Integrations
- File Sharing
This is only the tip of the iceberg of what the right communications solution can bring to your business. Upgrading your business phone system will provide instant benefits to your business, and we’ve developed an extensive guide that walks you through the process.
Download Our eBook: The Complete Guide to Choosing a Business Phone System
If you’re ready to take the first step toward transitioning to the future of work by upgrading your business phone system but don’t know where to start, our team has developed an eBook that answers all of your questions and more. It’s called The Complete Guide to Choosing a Business Phone System, and will demonstrate the instant benefits your organization will enjoy by upgrading. If you’re ready to learn more, download your copy today.