Will remote working continue?

will remote working continue

Will remote working continue?

Five years ago, remote working was a rarity. The technology to support it existed, but a lot of organisations still doubted the productivity of remote workers. The commute and the office were the norm. But then, Covid happened.

As the UK went into lockdown, working habits changed overnight. Suddenly, the number of remote workers went into the millions. And the results surprised a lot of people. Remote workers enjoyed having more time at home and with their families. Meanwhile, productivity was often unaffected, or even improved.

Now, lockdown is just a memory and office life has resumed. This brings remote working back into question. Will it continue? Or was it just a temporary response to the pandemic? We think it’s here to stay. The benefits are too great to ignore, and we have the technology to make it work. Next up, we’ll explain why.

will remote working continue

The impact of remote working on morale

During lockdown, we all heard anecdotal reports of improved quality of life. It makes intuitive sense. How many people really want to commute five days a week? Whether it’s for childcare or any other reason, most full-time workers would love more time at home. There’s a huge amount of data confirming this.

In 2021, Total Jobs reported a 40% increase in searches for roles with remote working options. A recent Office for National Statistics study found that over three quarters of remote and hybrid workers reported an improved work/life balance.

Does remote working benefit employers?

We’ve already seen that remote working options are good for morale. And good staff morale is better for everyone. There’s less risk of burnout or workplace strife, and staff turnover will always be lower in happy workplaces. But what about productivity?

Contrary to some stereotypes, remote workers can be as productive as office-based staff, or even more so. Research from the US has found increases in productivity, innovation and institutional loyalty. Not only that, but you can recruit from a larger talent pool if remote working is an option. You just need the technology to make it work – but more about that later!

Is remote working a legal right in the UK?

We’ve established how remote and hybrid working became more popular after Covid. And this has led a lot of countries to make it a legal right. The Netherlands recently became the latest country to pass a law establishing a right to request remote working, while Ireland is in the process.

In the UK, this legal right already exists to some extent. Northern Ireland has its own rules, but in the rest of the country employees can apply for flexible working if they’ve worked in the same place for 26 weeks. The legal name for this is “making a statutory application”.

The employer has to make a decision within three months, and if they disagree they have to explain why in writing. The employee may be entitled to an employment tribunal if the grounds are unreasonable.

There’s every chance that these legal rights will be strengthened in line with other European countries, which is yet another reason to establish a policy and look at which roles can be done remotely.

Technology to support remote working

There are lots of technologies that make remote working productive, and this is very much our wheelhouse. At One Connectivity we’ve been supporting remote working for years now, both for our own team and our business customers.

Of course, the specifics depend on your business and the work you do. But there are two words that sum up the approach we’d recommend: unified communications.

What are unified communications?

Unified communications (or just UC for short) means integrating all your business communications into a single platform. So voice, video, instant messaging and email are all in one place, on an easy-to-use interface. It’s an upgrade on the traditional business phone system, with more features and functionality.

How do unified communications help remote workers?

At One Connectivity, we offer a UC platform that’s hosted on the cloud. This means it’s accessible on any device, anywhere. So even if you’re based at home, you’ve got all the functions and features as your office-based colleagues.

All you need is an internet connection, and you can answer customer calls, attend video meetings and chip in to instant messaging groups with everyone else. This means remote workers are not excluded from internal communications, while they can speak to customers with the professional appearance you expect.

You even get a presence setting for every user, so you can see who’s available in real time. This adds convenience and saves time, because it eliminates any doubt about who’s around and how you should contact them.

What other features do I get with unified communications?

The list is endless! To name just a few, we can provide a call analytics app, which is especially useful if your team handles lots of calls. You’ll get in-depth insights into call-related KPIs, so you can see who’s thriving and who needs more support.

For quality assurance, we can provide a call recording app that supports sampling and training. This is a great way to make sure remote workers are still offering the service that’s expected. And with both our call recording and analytics apps, they’re also hosted on the cloud. This means you can access them from anywhere, which in turn allows you to manage a contact centre remotely!

Finally, we’d recommend CRM integration. This will link your customer database to your phone system, which makes calls so much more efficient. For outbound dialling, you can just click to call. And with inbound calls, your screen will display all the info you have on the caller. This speeds calls up and allows your team to answer them with confidence – which is great news for remote and office-based workers alike!

Partnering with One Connectivity

It’s pretty clear that remote and hybrid working patterns are here to stay. They benefit employers and employees alike, and the technology to support them is more advanced than ever. That’s where we come in.

At One Connectivity, we’re dedicated to using our expertise to help businesses find an option that works for them. We can make remote working work – for you, for your team and for your customers. To find out more, get in touch today.





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