Hybrid working blog

Hybrid Working, the top 5 features for the new normal

The way we work has changed, and hybrid looks here to stay. I know this might sound like old news by now. Many of us have been working flexibly for years now. But with the recent push from a lot of talking heads to return to the office, I think it’s important to establish how and why businesses have seen success working remotely. We’ve adopted many hybrid working practices here at RHM that both we and our customers have benefitted from.

Today I wanted to introduce my thoughts on the services that have helped make hybrid working a success for us.

 

1: Softphone functionality

 

Being equipped with the tools to work at your best is one of the first steps to successful hybrid working. You essentially need to be able to get your hands on the equipment you use every day in the office. I know this often isn’t easy to do, which is where softphone functionality comes in.

Softphone functionality is included as part of our communications platforms. This feature means you can access your phone system’s interface on a device of your choice. This allows you to access a full range of call handling services while on the go. It’s fantastic for remote staff to be able to work at their best on whichever device they feel most comfortable using.

 

2: Live presence

 

When working remotely it can be a real challenge to know whether your team are available to collaborate at any one time. It’s one of the challenges we and many other teams faced early on in 2020. I’ve spoken to people who when working remotely, just didn’t contact members of their team for fear of interrupting them!

It’s a challenge we solved for ourselves and many others using unified communications.

Unified communications apps come with a feature called live presence. Live presence can display a staff member’s status in real time – whether they’re ready to collaborate, away from their desk or on another call.

It takes away that sense of the unknown when you get when working remotely, and goes a long way to saving time. Many UC services can also integrate with your calendar app, allowing you to set an out-of-office that your team can easily see.

 

3: 4G dongles

 

When you think of hybrid working, it’s normally a mix of home and office that springs to mind. However, I think that working on the move us just as important and falls under the same umbrella as well.

So, your team need to stay connected on the go, but how do you do this without connecting to often-insecure public Wi-Fi? The answer is to naturally turn to your mobile data signal.

Our 4G dongles allow you to use the 4G signal from your mobile and connect it to a device of your choice, such as a laptop or tablet. It’s high-speed data, when you need it. We use these ourselves when working on the move, and they’ve also been incredibly useful for customers, such as those in the property sector.

 

4: Call routing

 

One of the words you hear the most around any discussion of hybrid working is availability. Your team and your customers should, within reason, always be able to reach you.

Whether you’re looking to implement a hybrid working policy, or you’re in an industry where staff are constantly on the move, it’s important that when customers reach out to you, you can always answer them in a professional way.

That’s where call routing comes in. With our systems, you can set up call routes, so when staff are away from their desk, calls will automatically route to their mobile, with no loss in audio quality. We’ve use this service and you really can’t tell the difference.

 

5: Video conferencing

 

The final hybrid working feature I wanted to highlight in my top 5 is video conferencing.

This is probably the most well-known tool in any hybrid worker’s arsenal, but it has to be used effectively. Although it’s not 2020 anymore, and people have generally gotten to grips with this service, there are still some areas for improvement. Here are my top tips:

  • Always make sure you’re using a business-grade service. Platforms designed for consumer use generally do not contain the same level of collaboration or security features.
  • Make sure to schedule regular calls with your team, as a group and as 1-2-1’s. This will help to improve morale and prevent any tasks from being missed.
  • If you use MS Teams, consider integrating it with your phone system to access a wider range of call handling features.

I hope you’ve managed to glean some insights from my ramblings here. I genuinely do believe that hybrid working is the way forward for a lot of businesses. If you use the right tech, and your staff follow some key practices it can be a real success. We’ve implemented some hybrid policies here at RHM and I think it’s led to a happier and more productive team.

If you want to find out more about anything I’ve mentioned here, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 0345 136 60 60

Need more information or advice? Call us now 0345 136 60 60

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