Across the country, employees from organizations of all sizes expect flexibility when it comes to travelling for short or long periods and the ability to work remotely from a variety of locations. It seems like a relatively simple ask from their perspective, having heard about or having already used the various tools and apps that make hybrid work possible. In reality, it can be quite a challenge to offer employees these kinds of hybrid work environments.
Naturally, there’s the matter of sourcing, deploying and managing the right technologies to allow colleagues to easily and securely connect and collaborate from various locations. And that is before we consider the importance of ensuring innovation potential and organizational culture won’t suffer when employees work remotely. Fortunately, there are some principles and strategies employers can follow to find the right balance and deliver a better employee experience in today’s hybrid workplace.
Enabling rich and flexible collaboration
It’s the richness of our interactions that builds trust, facilitates the exchange of ideas and instills a sense of community. Ultimately, this creates a stronger workplace culture. Intangible factors like these can have a big impact on employee recruitment and retention, which are especially important given the skill gaps many businesses are facing.
That’s why employers should encourage their teams to choose live, video-based communication when possible. To promote video, rather than picking up the phone or sending an email, it has to be a simple, one-click process. It should also be an option no matter the device an employee is using. Whether it’s a smartphone, tablet, desktop, laptop or a conference room in your offices, connection needs to be simple and immediate. Obviously, video calls aren’t always practical, so voice calling is still an important component. Calling needs to be easy and high quality, with each employee having the same number at their desk, on their laptop or on their mobile device.
A sufficiently advanced unified communications solution keeps this kind of collaboration simple – in addition to integrating instant messaging, voice and document sharing and other apps as needed. Crucially for today’s hybrid world, the right solution lets employees seamlessly switch between devices as circumstances demand. For example, they might start on a mobile device connected to their car audio; when they arrive at their destination, they can easily pick up the conversation on their workstation or laptop.
To avoid creating disparity, it’s also essential that all employees have access to the same tools.
Supporting and securing hybrid work with the right network
Like any digital solution, the performance of a voice and collaboration platform is only as good as the network that supports it. As well as providing reliable connectivity and security, the right network architecture has the benefit of supporting network-driven optimization across your operations.
Enabling a high-quality employee experience for your hybrid workforce requires a network that is:
- Built for the cloud and capable of automatically optimizing traffic patterns
- Able to support the demands of live collaboration, sharing, voice and video tools
- Reliable, managed and engineered for the highest availability
- Designed with security as the cornerstone that protects data and end users
This last point is more important now than ever. Businesses today face considerable protection and compliance challenges brought on by an ever-evolving cyber threat landscape combined with increasingly complex and dynamic regulations and standards. The large numbers of devices and endpoints that come with hybrid work expand an organization’s attack surface, deepening the challenge of staying secure and compliant.
Endpoint security and SASE (secure access service edge) technologies are part of the solution, along with effective network architecture and management models. To establish those models, it’s critical to involve security planning from the outset – solutions must be designed with security in mind at every stage – rather than as an afterthought.
Partnering for an exceptional employee experience
Creating that ideal employee experience requires a mix of core skills in key areas like networking and security, cloud deployment and management, and voice and collaboration. The right external partner can help ensure success, from design to deployment to ongoing support.
Whether you’re searching for the right technology to support your team, need help implementing solutions or are exploring what’s next, Bell can help you transform your employee experience. We deliver integrated solutions – tailored to your specific needs – built from our comprehensive portfolio of products and services across voice and collaboration, cloud, network, IoT and security. We empower customers with a consultative approach that includes professional services and flexible delivery models, while our robust fibre and 5G networks deliver the vital connectivity your employees need.
Transformation journeys are continuous: technology evolves, and so do the expectations of your current and future employees. With Bell by your side, you can count on our broad expertise and hands-on experience to maintain a collaborative and flexible workplace culture that will help attract and retain the talent your business needs .