Why Hybrid Working is critical to your Digital Transformation Strategy
Your strategy to deliver Digital Transformation, (also referred to as DT or DX), has probably centred on the automation of manual processes to deliver enhanced productivity and lower costs. Seen in this light, digital transformation is clearly an essential element of a mature business continuity program too.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s a fresh component to the digital transformation equation: business leaders realise that how we use the traditional office is obsolete. Almost overnight, our nation’s knowledge workers have decamped to the safety of their spare bedrooms, and the change will prove irreversible.
This has prompted digital transformation teams to evaluate the fundamental approaches enterprises take in order that core business processes – the workflows which drive every modern business – might continue, irrespective of the employee’s location.
Businesses remain woefully unprepared
This ‘new normal’ has revealed another truth: the majority of businesses remain woefully unprepared. Processes have floundered because of inadequate investment into proven technologies, and the shortcomings in Human Resources has resulted in a wholesale disregard for employer’s Health and Safety obligations. The result: a haemorrhaging of goodwill from customers and supply chains and, inevitably, demoralised staff.
The future requires systems which enable our ‘knowledge workers’ to be productive and safe, regardless of their location. They require access to critical data via a document management suite, process control, and essential equipment, while our organisations need total communication security and enhanced cyber security.
Employers must implement more flexibility
The Huawei Global Survey, August 2020, highlighted that sixty percent of employees would like to work remotely for at least three days per week, and this was supported also by Adecco Group UK & Ireland, August 2020, who reported that seventy nine percent of employees feel their employers must implement more flexibility in how and where staff should work. Change is inevitable!
In another major survey by Adecco Group, also conducted in August 2020, it was highlighted that employees would rather have an even split between working from home – remote working – and office, while expecting their company to require two thirds of their time to be office based.
Generation Z will soon become the largest segment of the workforce and they are interested in a hybrid approach to work – time split between home and workplace. Seventy-four percent of Gen-Z would prefer either working from home or splitting time at home and work. Thirty-seven percent of the survey respondents would like to continue to work full-time from home even after the pandemic.
Hybrid working has never been so important!
Our blue-chip leaders are seeing the advantages too: BP is merely the latest to announce they’re halving their property portfolio and shifting 50,000 staff to flexible, hybrid working. It’s a win/win for employee relations.
Offices will remain, but how and when we use them will change. Your digital transformation program to enable hybrid working has never been so important!
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6 Key Considerations to Support the Hybrid Worker
It’s one thing to have a laptop for the occasional use on the train or at home, another altogether if it’s your primary screen and keyboard. In an office environment, a quality monitor of sufficient size is essential, and so it is at home! Choose appropriate laptop computers for their work, optimally using a Device as a Service plan.
Using a Device as a Service, you eliminate the burdens and costs of internal IT support, while maximising productivity. Most importantly, you are able to protects your hybrid / remote workers from the harmful consequences of eye strain and headaches.
The correct chair and desk can make the difference between absenteeism and productivity. Equally, you want to control costs while ensuring only approved staff furnishings are selected, so look for a centrally administered Office Supplies as a Service (OSaaS) plan.
This approach simplifies administration, reduces costs, and gives you total control. Importantly, you’re also avoiding purchases being placed on staff expenses, or receiving centrally and then re-shipping to staff homes.
For so many roles, whether marketing, sales, HR, or finance, reviewing printed documents is the only sure-fire way to spot errors. The problem then becomes one of staff relying on what’s typically a budget printer designed for only occasional use. It’s not a question of print quality, but rather it’s print cost: you certainly don’t want your staff purchasing toners and inks for all manner of domestic grade printers and multifunctional devices (MFDs).
The most practical alternative is to consider a Print at your Service (PayS) to ensure your staff have the most appropriate desktop and MFD print options, regardless of their actual working location. Enhancing this with a flexible Mobile Print makes life easier still.
Don’t forget to address your staff’s telephone access. You can’t expect staff to deliver their best results if they can’t communicate with colleagues and customers as easily as in the office. A modern VOIP system solves this instantly.!
Upgrading to a Managed VOIP solution is the easiest approach. This is a hosted phone service that provides you with the equipment, call bundle, management portal and backup facilities you need to run your business successfully. From handsets with all the key business features to online portals that give you a complete overview of all call activity, to drive productivity and cost management throughout your business.
If you haven’t implemented a Document Management and Workflow solution, make it a priority. Emailing documents and tasks leads to mistakes, data breaches, and employee stress, and such regulatory breaches will always have to be handled by your Data Protection Officer, who’s more than likely an outsourced service too, typically referred to a DPO as a Service. We believe it’s easier to avoid the threat of regulatory breaches by implementing a rugged compliance solution from the outset.
Having access to the data required to function seamlessly, whether office based or remote working, is the surest way to reduce costs and enhance productivity. Document management and workflow solutions are also integral to any business continuity plan.
There’s no single digital transformation initiative more effective at supporting your hybrid worker and business continuity planning than implementing a hybrid mail solution. With Hybrid mail, simply submit outbound mail from your desktop, for automatic sorting and cleansing by Royal Mail for the maximum discount. We print fold, stuff and despatch – entirely by machine!
Your inbound post is simply redirected to our service delivery centre, where it’s opened, scanned and routed to the designated recipients. The result is plain to see: your staff manage all paper-based correspondence in a purely digital format – wherever your staff are based. It’s always been more efficient and lowers your costs, but it’s safer too, but in 2021 Hybrid Mail has become scalable to match the needs and budgets of every organisation.
In this article, we have endeavoured to introduce a logical path to merge your digital transformation initiative with business continuity. Together, these two themes may be positioned within your business as the supplementary benefits of enhancing your business processes in a time of change.
Gone are the vast IT projects which never quite deliver what was promised: the modern approach is to invest in scalable solutions which deliver a near-instantaneous return on investment (ROI).
While every organisation is unique to some degree, it’s clear that continual progress is key to future resilience, growth and success.
Humperdinck Jackman – Marketing Director
Humperdinck has a 30-year career spanning Document Management Systems (DMS), data protection, Artificial Intelligence, Data Protection and Robotic Process Automation. With many articles published in print internationally, he believes the advances in office technology are such that we’re entering the 4th Industrial Revolution. Now Director of Marketing and Consulting Services at Advanced UK, he’s as active with clients as he is in endeavouring to write original blog articles.