Your Employees Are Ready For The Hybrid Office, Are You?

Home office or in the office? The answer is absolutely yes! The last year has been 12 months of “firsts”. First virtual happy hours, first virtual holidays, first time really embracing video conferencing, first time wearing a polo with sweatpants (we hope). While phrases like “you’re on mute” won’t be spoken inside the office, there are a lot of trends that will continue in some form or another as we prepare for post-pandemic work life.

Pandora’s box has been opened for both employees and CEOs in different ways. For employees, flexibility tops the list. For CEOs, the cost savings of expensive office space, technology, and maintenance are on their mind. The good news is that the conclusion for executives and employees alike is the same: working from home and the office.

Employees Have Become Acclimated To Flexibility

The dilemma of taking your lunch break to pick up the kids from school has not existed in the world of Covid, because you can be on a conference call while picking up your kids from school, or walking the dog, or watching Jerry Springer. While our hope is to have our employees engaged 100% of the time, we know that is just not possible. However, productivity has risen 13% during the pandemic working from home. Proving that with all the distractions from kids to Netflix, working from where your employees feel the most comfortable is better than your office.

Think about everything we dealt with this past year and most companies had no plan to work from home. In spite of all of this, employees were more productive because they were comfortable. They were in their own home, around their family, and could get more done while also being a part-time teacher and IT consultant. Proving their value with all that happened in 2020 is top of mind for employees. If you are not making accommodations for some type of work from home model, full or part-time then your best employees will find those accommodations elsewhere.

Did Your Communication And Collaboration Tools Pass The Test?

Think back to a year ago to March 2020, was your IT department scrambling to figure out how to work from home, or did you simply have your employees download an app, and away you went? With all of the talk about cloud communications over the past decade, the rubber met the road during the pandemic. While making the transition was not easy on anyone, even for us at Inflow who have existed remotely as a company, we found that customers with RingCentral had an easier time than most.

Having the ability to quickly spin up robust video conferencing features made collaboration easier and gave employees comfort. While we may be fighting video conferencing fatigue now with video calls, let’s not forget the small sense of normalcy we all felt being able to see a friendly face when Covid first started. Unified Communications took on a plural meaning for all of us over the past year because although we felt separated if you had a true cloud collaboration tool like RingCentral in place, your company felt a small sense of unity from the jump.

Redefining The Contact Center In A Hybrid World

The Contact Center tops the list of fragmented workforces during Corona in so many ways. From agents who have known nothing else besides working side by side, to Contact Center leaders wondering where the calls would go. At least that was the feeling if you didn’t have a robust Cloud Contact Center solution. Having to spin up a redundant cloud solution from a premise-based solution is not easy, and many IT Directors found that out the hard way a year ago.

Just like IT, Directors wished they had a Hybrid Contact Center solution, employees like the option to work from home or the office. The Contact Center is where your employees engage with your customers, and that can be from their home or in the office, or both. Enabling your agents to do their best work no matter the venue is easier today than it has ever been.

We Know Remote Working Because We Live It Every Single Day

At Inflow, we don’t just help companies expand their technology stack to live in a hybrid or fully remote world. We live it and are our very own living, breathing case study. We have done some things wrong, and a lot of things right. Remote working, cloud communications, and online collaboration is in our DNA. It’s part of our culture.

If you are wondering how to navigate this new world, how to empower your employees, realize cost savings and create a customer experience that creates raving fans we should talk. After all, this is what we do, and what we will continue to do for years to come. Let’s chat, share some tales of what went wrong, and how we can make it right for your business!