But, if hybrid working means the promise of universal virtual collaboration, are your networking, communications and security up to the task of delivering it reliably across all your office locations and teams? Organisations face a number of challenges:
Your customers have grown used to the upsides of collaborating virtually with your staff and want those benefits to continue as offices reopen. Your customers will expect to receive a seamless experience when collaborating with your people, whether sat at their office desk, in a meeting room or working from the kitchen table at home.
Keeping Employees Onside
Over the past year, many employees have embraced the flexibility of home working and relative ease of online meetings. Some will view a return to office commuting with mixed emotions. Employers need to ensure that office infrastructure provides them with the right support, enables hybrid working models and delivers effective virtual collaboration both on and off the premises.
Uncertainty is likely to remain for some time to come and organisations need to be ready for any eventuality.
Hybrid working is predicted to be the norm for the foreseeable future, but the threat of further restrictions and office shutdowns is never far away.
Business owners need to de-risk by optimising their people, systems and processes for easy and effective virtual collaboration.
Hybrid working brings a growth in information sharing, a more distributed workforce (both in terms of location and the mix of devices they use) and the prospect of more endpoint devices coming to and from the office more often. This creates a broader risk landscape and the need for cybersecurity measures to stay one step ahead of new potential threats.
The dawn of hybrid working will motivate many organisations to reconfigure their office layouts. While some may down-size their premises to accommodate smaller daily headcounts, others will expand into larger workspaces, repurpose premises or introduce hot-desking. New office footprints, additional huddle spaces and extra meeting areas will drive demand for higher performance WiFi that eliminates blind-spots and optimises network availability office-wide. WiFi that really works.
Whilst some organisations have recruited more staff and acquired more devices, return to the office will see employees importing virtual meeting behaviours from home. Simultaneous live video streaming and transfer of data across multiple devices and users will quickly consume available bandwidth and potentially overstretch or break networks.
Virtual Meeting Rooms
Office meeting spaces must meet the needs of virtual team working by supporting use of Microsoft Teams and other online collaboration solutions. Audio-visual hardware, WiFi and meeting control tools may need upgrading to repurpose meeting rooms for a reliable, high quality virtual meeting experience.
Recent global disruption has fragmented office teams, forcing workers to operate remotely and use a variety of devices and channels to stay in touch. Hybrid working will underscore the need for businesses to bring together all their voice and data comms under a unified communications platform for improved teamworking, management, analysis and security.
Back to the Future of Office Working: Watch Now! »
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We have produced an eBook about Teams rooms that you can download and read here: Teams Rooms »
Hybrid working combines the benefits of face-to-face and remote collaboration, helping to boost efficiency, productivity and work-life balance. But all this comes at a price and creates a raft of new challenges: Technical Overview »
See how Charterhouse has helped St Paul’s Cathedral implement hybrid working in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic: Read case study »
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