The days of rigid working patterns and employees being compelled to attend the office every day from 9-5 are being phased out to make way for a new, modern way of working.
A mixture of technological advances allowing employees to work from anywhere, a stronger focus on work-life balance, employee wellbeing initiatives and the impact of covid has contributed to this significant shift in our working patterns.
The advances in business communication technologies has made it easier for employers to introduce flexible working in recent years. VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) has made communication between colleagues, suppliers, and customers easier than ever before. The ability to make and receive calls over the internet rather than a traditional telephone line means that you can be available wherever you are in the world whether it be in an office environment or on the move. What’s more, with the traditional ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) lines being phased out by 2025, more and more organisations are transitioning over to VoIP telephony with the deadline fast approaching.
Enabling employees to work flexibly is about far more than just responding to changes in technology. This new world of working brings a host of benefits for businesses which we’ll now dive deeper into…
Employers are constantly striving to improve productivity amongst their employees. Well, the good news is that installing a flexible working policy can increase productivity levels. A recent report found that productivity increases when employees ‘have access to remote-work options—including flexible work location, distributed teams, and/or virtual work/telework/working from home.’ Alongside productivity, the report found increases in innovation, engagement, commitment, and inclusion because of access to remote working options.
Employee wellbeing has become a much more pertinent issue in recent years and even more so since the pandemic struck. One major aspect of employee wellbeing is maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Recent research from the CIPD found that 61% of employees reported an improvement to work-life balance as a result of remote working. This is great news for employers, as a healthy work-life balance has been linked to an increase in productivity, reduced levels of stress, less sickness and absenteeism, and a happier workforce – which can only be a good thing for business!
One of the most obvious, but likely most attractive, benefits are the cost-savings that can be made by changing work patterns. A recent survey conducted by Gartner found that 74% of companies intend to introduce remote working permanently for some of its employees. One of the biggest drivers of this change was the cost benefits that can come with a remote workforce.
The obvious cost saving that can be realised with remote working is the reduced need for office space. There are many costs associate with running the modern workplace, chief among them is the real estate cost. With more employees working from home, there is less of a need for an expansive workspace and the savings this can offer are significant. Research by Capgemini suggests that shifting to remote working can bring about an average of 32% cost saving for businesses and, in some cases, up to 43%.
With a remote working policy, your talent pool becomes much wider. The fact that employees can work from anywhere mean that you can offer roles to candidates based anywhere in the country and, for some companies and industries, the world. Without a flexible working policy, you are reducing the number of candidates that would be eligible or interested in your vacancy because they may be based far away and need to make a long commute to the office.
With a remote working policy, even if they need to come to the office once or twice a week, the remote working policy can be enough of a pull to encourage applications.
Further findings from the report we mentioned earlier tell us that employees with access to remote working options were 30% less likely to look for a new job in the next year. With the excessive costs associated with recruiting and training new employees, retaining top talent is a high priority for employers.
Having mentioned all these benefits, do not forget your employees who will be delighted to get back to normal office life. Remote working does not work for everyone, so ensuring you retain some office space, even if you are thinking of downsizing, for your employees who are wanting to get back to ‘normal’ working patterns is also important.
Enabling remote and hybrid working is an area that we specialise in. Our products and services include some great options for businesses looking for a smooth transition to VoIP telephony to enable remote and hybrid working.
Our very own cloud phone system, Wave is ideal for businesses looking to incorporate remote and hybrid working for their employees. With softphone and browser capabilities, employees can access Wave from any device, anywhere in the world, making business communication easier and more convenient than ever. We have also recently announced a new Microsoft Teams integration, Wave Teams+ which allows you to turn wave into your unified business communication system. Learn more about Wave here.
3CX is another excellent VoIP telephony option for businesses. Flexible, scalable, and feature-rich, 3CX offers true modern telephony, packed full of useful features for organisations of any size. Features such as fully customisable call flows, skill-based hunt groups, live chat and digital receptionist make 3CX a great option for organisations transitioning to VoIP telephony. The CRM (Customer Relationship Management) integration also makes remote and hybrid working easier as it allows users to easily integrate their PBX and CRM, meaning everything can be centrally managed including calls, call logging and customer interactions. Learn more about 3CX here.
We recently installed 3CX solution for Wookey Hole Caves to enable remote working and underground communications.
Though the pandemic forced many businesses into this new world of remote work, it has made us all reflect on our approach to business communications technology and shone a light upon the benefits of unified communications. Microsoft Teams Direct Routing has been crucial for many businesses throughout the past two years and Direct Routing has allowed businesses to connect their telephony systems to their pre-existing internal communication system (Microsoft Teams) thus turning Microsoft Teams into a fully unified communications solution.
This solution is perfect for incorporating remote and hybrid working as it allows users to access their company communication system from anywhere and centralises all important business functions such as messaging, file transfers, telephony, and meetings. Learn more about Direct Routing here.
We recently installed a Direct Routing solution for social housing company Longhurst Group to improve communication and allow their employees to work from anywhere.
To conclude, the business case for implementing a flexible working policy, whether that is remote or hybrid, is strong and there are many benefits to employers and employees alike.
Gradwell have several off the shelf solutions to help your business make this transition. To enquire about utilising one of our products to help your employees work flexibly, please use the button below and one of our friendly team will get back to you.