The past 18 months has tested the communication tools of businesses across the globe, as the pandemic saw a large segment of the global workforce move to remote working for the first time, and on a scale never seen before.
This way of working has seen our work and personal lives blend and it’s a change which looks likely to stay.
While businesses have benefitted from a boost in employee productivity, workers are enjoying a better work/life balance. As a result, many organisations, including the likes of Google, Microsoft and Twitter, are shifting their business models to incorporate greater flexibility in how and where their employees work in the future.
In fact, according to recent research, 74% of business leaders, plan on maintaining the increase in home working, with 44% of them arguing that working from home was proving "more effective".
This move to permanent hybrid working means the way we communicate and collaborate needs to change. People need to be able to seamlessly switch between the office, home or another location without any issues or unnecessary downtime and businesses need to be able to support that.
There will also be implications across the competitor landscape and in the war for talent. Which is where this partnership, between two world leaders, can make all the difference.
The initial move to remote work happened overnight and, while businesses were quick to offer employees the equipment and digital tools they needed, recent research has shown that some employees are still missing the basics.
Additionally, poor communication and working practices amongst remote teams continues to be widespread, with 88% of employees struggling with inconsistent working practices and miscommunication. Leaving many feeling disconnected and less productive, unable to work as effectively.
It’s been proven that people work at their best when they have a positive work environment, feel they are listened to, and can easily access what they need to do their job. Making collaborative and communication tools more efficient, secure, and reliable, is a big part of this.
Through our partnership, we’re helping businesses to rapidly deploy and easily manage the communications services that are right for them using one platform.
From team messaging, video meetings and enterprise-grade voice services, all enhanced by our global network, we can build the digital communications of the future and scale them up globally too.
In the immediate, this means your employees can talk, collaborate, and share content with their team and your customers, from anywhere, anytime, on any device. Less likely to run into disruptions, they can work as they commute between meetings or free up time to have more touch points with customers and with access to the right tools, they have more choice in how, when, and where they communicate and work.
It’s not just about productivity and efficiency. Customer and employee expectations have both now changed forever.
Virtual meetings are now expected and sometimes preferred. And this will begin to change the competitor landscape, when it comes to regional or small businesses competing with larger, city-based organisations. No longer restricted by location, customers can pick the best company for the job regardless of where they are based.
There will be a similar impact on the war for talent.
Employees have had time to reassess what’s important to them and enjoy the flexibility and additional time working from home has given them. As a result, 66% of employees want flexible work options to remain, while a third of these would quit if remote working was stopped entirely.
This means that those businesses without the right tools or policies in place will start missing out on the best talent.
In response, you should be looking to include greater flexibility to working patterns and towards cultivating a workforce that embraces more agility, and redefines it.
Widening the talent pool, businesses will benefit from the best talent. Whether that’s parents returning to work, the older generation staying in roles for longer, the younger generation coming into the workplace for the first time or Gig Economy workers after temporary contracts.
While the office will continue to be a part of the workplace for many organisations, it won’t be the only workplace. Hybrid working will also play a big role in the way we approach meetings and collaboration.
Core to all of this will be facilitating communication with the right tools both in and outside the traditional working environment – which is where cloud technology can contribute. Connectivity and technologies like 5G and SD-WAN are key to the future of collaboration and ensuring businesses are ready for the future.
For Vodafone Business and RingCentral, communication sits at the heart of what we do. And we aim to partner with our customers as they tackle the challenges of staying connected as we enter a new era for collaboration beyond the boundaries of the office.
Together our goal is to make collaboration more integrated, more intelligent and more immersive.
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