With lockdown restrictions easing, businesses are facing the daunting decision of a full-time office return, a continuation of home working or a mix between the two. However, with futureproof remote working technology available at the drop of a hat, it’s beginning to look as though full-time office working is a thing of the past. Have businesses learnt the lesson that hybrid working is the way forward as we truly enter the new normal?
Having helped thousands of customers across the UK to work remotely in 2020, telecoms provider Enreach reported that the majority of their customers are choosing solutions that allow for long-term remote working, suggesting full-time returns to the office in 2021 were not on the cards for most.
The end of the office?
With employees across the globe having a newfound penchant for waking up, sipping their coffee and making their way across the landing to their home office before embarking on a day of video calls, it begs the questions whether the office is still necessary. After all, originally the office was the place where all of our technology and files were held but, with that no longer being the case, what benefits do they offer? Not very many it seems for most.
Remote workers are better equipped to work remotely than ever before, utilising cloud phone systems, mobiles, laptops, business broadband at home, WiFi dongles and much more to effectively replicate their office at home, at a coffee shop or in a hotel. The latest technology is built for moving around, making switching places so much simpler than it was in previous years.
While the thoughts of working from multiple places in a week was once daunting, that’s no longer the case. Employees are making the most of the latest technology like plug and play desk phones that mean everything they need for a working week, month or even a year (remember, 2020?!) is available on one single device that can simply be picked up and plugged in anywhere with a WiFi connection.
Why not a full time move to remote working?
While it’s not quite as simple as being sick and tired of hearing you’re on mute and missing the human connection of the office, it is a big factor. And, while video calls were the digital hero of 2020, they may not be enough to remove the need for the occasional office visit once or twice a week.
With each individual’s needs being different, Enreach have found that many of their customers don’t want to remove the option of occasional office work, to have a ‘plan b’ so to speak for those who don’t utilise business grade broadband at home meaning occasional downtime. Of course, real life comes in to play as well, some workers do prefer the hubbub of the office.
Time for hybrid working to make its mark?
While full time office working may be a thing of the past, hybrid working could be the epitome of the new normal.
With employees proving they can work effectively from home (many even more effectively at home than in the office), it would be silly to ignore the benefits that home working offers. It’s not just the fresh lunches eaten off a plate at the dining room table as opposed to warmed up in a lunch container that make working from home more appealing. Customers have suggested that there are less distractions at home, making them more productive as well as improved work/life balance.
Thus, it’s hybrid working’s time to shine. With technology now fully flexible, employers are able to offer their staff the best of both worlds with a seamless mix between office based and remote working.
Full time office working is a thing of the past
As remote working technology and home office equipment sales continue to soar, remote working is going nowhere, making the need for full time office space more and more obsolete as time goes on. Hearing barking dogs in a call or seeing someone’s child in the background of a video call are nuances set to continue and that of colleagues walking in the background are set to become a thing of the past ‘ at least for a few days a week.