How to Support Hybrid Working: It’s Challenges and What You Need To Know
Hybrid working has become more popular over the last few years after the COVID-19 pandemic, and has been met with many benefits and challenges.
In 2019, before the pandemic, less than 30% of employees in the UK had ever worked from home.
Now, 36% of those in employment suggest they work from home at least once a week.
Hybrid working becoming more popular creates businesses to struggle with what they need to offer to support their employees.
In this article, we will discover what you need to provide in order to support your employees through hybrid work.
Hybrid working is a mix of office-based and home-based work. It gives employees the ability to focus in a quiet, distraction-free environment, and the flexibility to work from the office.
Using a VoIP telephone system is usually one of the simplest methods of adopting a hybrid working environment.
Improves Mental Health
Working in the office may improve employees’ mental health by providing them with social interaction – which is essential for humans.
Those who have worked full-time from their home have reported a decrease in mental health since they have missed the socializing of an office.
Now, it’s reported that employees’ mental health has improved because they can socialise in their office and work remotely.
Additionally, after setting up an IP network for employees to work at home, employees and employers have increased socialisation.
This is due to video conferencing and other forms of communication being available anywhere at anytime.
This set up can lead to an increase in employees mental health.
What industries Use Hybrid Working The Most
The industries which use flexible working the most are usually those which require their employees to be in regular contact with customers or clients – such as agriculture, creative services, and professional services.
This is because remote working gives these employees the chance to build relationships with clients and customers, whilst still being in the comfort of their own home.
However, there are certain people in every industry who are unable to work from home since their job cannot be completed remotely (e.g. a construction worker).
How Will Hybrid Working Help Your Business?
There are many advantages of hybrid working for businesses.
For starters, it can also help businesses save money on office space and equipment whilst offering more flexibility to employees.
Using business telecoms for flexible working can also help save your business more money.
Additionally, it can help to improve employee productivity and morale as employees feel they have more flexibility with their time.
Hybrid work may also help your business by giving employees the flexibility of work, but you (the employer) can monitor them whilst in person. This gives you the opportunity to have more control over your employees productivity than when employees work only remotely.
What Do You Need To Support The Hybrid Working Experience?
There are a few things you need to utilise to support hybrid working in your business.
Firstly, you need to have the right telecoms in place for remote working. There are a few business telecoms solutions that can help businesses support hybrid working.
The best on the market at the moment is a VoIP phone service.
VoIP Services (Voice over Internet Protocol)
A VoIP phone system (IP phone) is regarded as an alternative to a Public Switched Telephone Network (traditional landlines).
VoIP (IP phones) allows employees to make and receive calls using the internet instead of a traditional phone line or desk phone.
Internet Telephony (VoIP) can be used on mobile devices such as laptops and smartphones, which is ideal for employees who are frequently out of the office.
This is often more cost-effective for businesses than a traditional phone system as it uses an existing internet connection with no extra charges.
Using IP networks can help your employees as they can easily use voice communications and all types of VoIP calls to stay connected.
Having a hosted VoIP solution makes international calls easier and much cheaper for any company.
This means having a VoIP system will enable employees to make and receive calls whether they are in the office or working from home.
A VoIP service offers all employees flexibility as they can take a VoIP call anywhere in the world.
Correct Office Space
You also need to make sure that your office is set up to accommodate a hybrid workplace.
This means having enough desk space for employees who want to come into the office.
You also need to ensure that there is good Wi-Fi access.
The hybrid working model is not about having employees in the office all the time, it’s about giving them the flexibility to work where they feel most productive.
Support From Management
For hybrid working to be successful, you need support from management. Management needs to trust that employees are getting their work done, even if they are not in the office.
Management can support employees by ensuring their IP telephony is up to date, and employees can keep in regular contact whenever they need to.
They also need to be flexible with hours and understand that some days employees may need to work from home and some days they may need to come into the office.
Another important aspect of the hybrid model is time management.
Employees should manage their time effectively so they can get their work done on time. That means having regular updates with management on their work and what they are doing.
Employers should also create check-ins with employees to see if they need any extra support with their workload.
The Right Tools and Resources
To support flexible working, you need to make sure that employees have the right tools and resources.
This includes providing them with a laptop or mobile device so they can work from home.
Whilst additionally ensuring they have access to the necessary business telecoms software (VoIP technology) and internet connection.
Finally, it is important to provide training for employees who are new to hybrid working. This will ensure that they know how to use the VoIP system and that they understand the expectations of remote work.
Hybrid Working Model Challenges
While hybrid working has many advantages, it can also come with certain challenges at first. These challenges are similar to the benefits of hybrid working, as you can only have the benefits of the system, after overcoming the challenges.
Communication is essential for any business, but it can be a challenge for businesses with employees working in different locations.
There are a few ways to overcome this challenge, including using video conferencing, a VoIP phone system, screen sharing, and instant messaging.
During remote working, it can be difficult to stay productive – but there are a few methods your employees can use to help.
One method is to create a schedule and make sure your staff stick to it as much as possible.
Another method is for staff to take breaks throughout the day and make sure they’re not working too late into the night.
These methods ensure employees stay productive and do not have burnout whilst in the hybrid workplace.
Hybrid work can also be a challenge when it comes to time management. This is because you need to juggle your work life with your personal life.
One way to manage your time better is by setting boundaries between work and personal time
These challenges may arise, but after you’ve implemented these techniques, you can be confident that they’ll only last a short time.
Your business and employees will then be able to reap the benefits of hybrid working very quickly.
Who Will Benefit from Hybrid Working?
Hybrid working can be beneficial to a wide range of workers in all industries. This includes workers who need to commute for their jobs or those who have caring responsibilities. It may also benefit you as you’ll have more productive employees with less overhead costs.
As a result, your company’s profits will rise as more work is being done and your overhead expenses are reduced. You will also have happier employees.
What Would Happen If You Don’t Offer Hybrid Working?
If you don’t offer hybrid working, you may find that your employees are less productive. This is due to them not having flexibility with their work.
If you do not provide your employees with adequate flexibility, they will be less engaged with their job. This can lead to them taking more time off work or looking for a new job.
Both of which have a high cost on your business.
What Could Your Business Become If You Use A Hybrid Work Model
With a Hybrid Work model, your business can achieve excellence, as you will have employees who love their work and are extremely productive.
This can lead your business to become a leading company in your industry with a high-profit margin. Leaving you feeling proud of your business’s growth.
Why Hybrid Working Should Be Used In All Industries
Of course, many jobs cannot be done as hybrid working (e.g. surgeon), but there are many jobs in each industry where hybrid working can be utilised. Hybrid working can do many great things for all industries:
Great Work/life balance
One reason all industries should use hybrid working is it can help with the work-life balance of employees.
It can promote better mental and physical health as people will have more time with their families and exercise.
Hybrid working can lead to employees being happier and more productive, which is beneficial for your business.
Greater Connectivity With Business Telecoms
Telecoms are a necessity for any type of hybrid working, as staff need to be kept connected. Depending on the industry, business telecoms have numerous features which correlate to the needs of all industries.
Hybrid working makes it much easier for employees to connect as they can instantly connect at home, or physically meet in the office.
There are many ways that you can support hybrid working in your business.
You should remember that though there may be challenges with hybrid working at first, these are only temporary.
It is also important to remember that not everyone will want to or be able to do hybrid working.
So, you need to offer hybrid working as an option rather than force it on your employees.
Here at Jera IT, we are cybersecurity specialists for small to medium businesses (SMBs). We are here to help with all your business telecoms and hybrid working needs.