How IT solutions could improve hybrid working in your business

Published: 13 May 2024
Published: 13 May 2024

83% of UK organisations now have some form of hybrid working – a mix of home and office working – in place (CIPD, 2023). However, while employees champion the benefits of working from home, many employers remain on the fence and some have already begun to dismantle their hybrid working policies, as concerns around communication, collaboration and company culture grow.

Investing in your IT could be the solution you didn’t know you were looking for. The right software and technology can improve the effectiveness of hybrid working in your business, helping you to combat the challenges of hybrid working while also keeping your employees happy.

There’s nothing quite like a global pandemic to shake up the status quo, and in 2020, the outbreak of COVID-19 single-handedly transformed white collar working in a matter of months. Nearly four years later and attitudes towards working from home have changed drastically in the UK.

Hybrid working in the UK – employee statistics

Despite an ongoing push from many businesses to get workers back in the office, more than half of employees prefer a hybrid working model (Hays, 2023) while only 23% of people shared a preference for full-time office working.

Whether you’re for or against it, flexible working is here to stay and employers that buck the trend risk falling behind in a competitive recruitment market. 69% of people have said the ability to work remotely is important when looking for a new role and 6% of people reported they had left a job role last year due to a lack of flexible working (CIPD, 2023).

So, if you’re a business owner with concerns about the long-term sustainability of hybrid working, what’s your next step?

How to improve hybrid working in your business with IT solutions

We’ve been helping businesses find solutions to problems, big and small, through IT for over 20 years. In our eyes, there are very few problems that IT can’t solve, which is why we’re convinced that the right technology and software can improve hybrid working in your workplace.

When we ask our clients about the challenges of hybrid working, issues around communication and teamwork are the most common complaints. While these concerns are valid, they can be easily improved by making smart upgrades to your organisation’s IT.

Cloud

If you aren’t already using the cloud, it has the potential to completely revolutionise hybrid working for your staff team. Cloud computing involves storing and delivering files, services and applications through a centralised online space that can be accessed remotely.

The cloud is flexible and scalable, so you can expand your online space to accommodate a growing team as well as add or remove features and storage space in line with your company needs.

Here are some cloud features that can enhance collaboration within your team:

  • Real-time editing on the same document for multiple users. This is not only a great collaboration tool but a productivity booster, as it can eliminate the need for a group meeting to edit together.
  • Cloud storage allows multiple users to access the same document, which removes the need to save different versions of the same document and send file attachments back and forth over email.
  • Authorised users can gain secure access to files and applications from any location on any device, making it easier for team members to work together on projects as needed.

IT communications

Choosing communication channels that align with your team’s needs can increase the reach and effectiveness of your internal communications, from one-on-one discussions to firm-wide announcements.

Here are a few ways that IT communications can keep your hybrid team in regular contact and feeling more connected:

  • Cloud-based communication apps, like Microsoft Teams, can condense several communication channels into one and make it easier for your employees to communicate from any location. As well as providing instant messaging, Microsoft Teams allows user to set up ‘channels’ with specific access settings to enable file and information sharing between groups of people.
  • Video conferencing is a great way to encourage real-time collaboration opportunities between home and office workers. It adds a range of useful features to cross-location meetings, such as screen sharing and breakout rooms.
  • Converting your physical meeting rooms into Microsoft Teams rooms can take video conferencing to the next level by creating an enhanced audio-visual experience. The process involves equipping a meeting room with a wall-mounted screen, microphone and speakers, allowing several team members to join a Teams meeting from the same office location.

Cyber security

Cyber security might not have much to do with communication or collaboration, but it’s a vital consideration for any employer thinking about how to improve hybrid working in an organisation.

If not managed properly, people working from home can pose a significant security risk to your files and systems. Making sure you have high-level cyber security systems in place is business-critical, as is establishing business continuity and disaster recovery plans for damage limitation when things do go wrong.

Benefits of hybrid working for employers

While the benefits of hybrid working for employees – from improved wellbeing to a better work-life balance – have been widely publicised, the benefits for employers are far less talked about but that doesn’t mean they are any less important!

With the right processes and systems in place, hybrid working has a range of advantages for employers. It can attract new talent, support staff retention, strengthen your inclusion and diversity credentials, and also reduce the operational costs of a 9-to-5 office space.

Get in touch with us today to learn more about how investing in your IT could improve hybrid working in your business. Our friendly team of IT experts are here to listen to your concerns and share tailor-made solutions.

Request your free consultation call today

Talk through your IT needs with one of our friendly technicians – no commitment, no cost!

Complete our contact form and one of our experts will be in touch, or call our team on 01332 374444.

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