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We Need UCaaS More Than Ever for Hybrid Work: Here’s Why
- One of the main vectors for segmenting the research data was workers and “decision-makers,” with the latter being akin to what I refer to as managers. Whatever labels you choose, the differences between these two fundamental groups are central to the workplace dynamic. As noted above, 60% overall do not feel isolated working remotely, but the level of isolation differs noticeably along these lines. While only 34% of workers feel isolated working this way, the level is higher for managers at 46%. The freedom that comes with working at home may feel great for workers, but it’s a source of anxiety for managers since this makes their job harder to do. When it comes to developing a hybrid work strategy — you must recognize that the needs and wants of workers and managers won’t always align. Another related example is a preference for working in an office setting, which is higher for managers than for workers, at 49% and 38%, respectively.
- Age-based demographics may well be the most critical factor in the success of hybrid work, requiring much further analysis beyond the scope of this article. Here’s one data set which hints at how central the generational divide is to managing today’s workplace dynamics. Regarding the issue of considering employment elsewhere if forced back to the office, that sentiment is much higher among millennials and Generation Z than among Gen X and Boomers, at 43% and 24%, respectively. To the extent your organization has a healthy mix of these demographic groupings, you’re going to need flexible hybrid work policies to keep them happy.
- A more subtle delineation arises between employees who are parents or non-parents, especially those dealing with young children and daycare. Not surprisingly, policies forcing workers back to the office will be much more likely to lead parents to consider working elsewhere than those who don’t have children — 46% versus 27%. While single-issue factors like this cannot dictate your entire hybrid work plan, they certainly must be considered, and this one is a good example of how complex workplace dynamics are.
- The pandemic has caused a greater reliance on collaboration tools. That may seem self-evident given how widely adopted UCaaS has become during this time, but the strength of support is worth noting. The research spanned five markets, but closest to home, among U.S. workers, 74% felt this way. Vendor motives aside, this finding indicates the importance of choosing the right UCaaS solution to support your hybrid work plans.
- 69% of respondents feel that connecting remotely via voice or video calling is as good as gathering in-person for their workday tasks. It may not be realistic to see this level approach 100%, but with seven in 10 people feeling this way now, that’s great validation for the value of UCaaS. Because most home spaces aren't naturally well-equipped for full-time work, UCaaS plays a critical role in bridging the gap between being in the office and making work from home viable in the long run.
- 78% who use voice communications “say they feel more connected to each other.” This data isn’t a breakthrough. But it reflects an important theme in RingCentral’s study — namely, the importance of human connection. As workplace solutions become more technology-driven, the human factor is easy to overlook. AI will inevitably automate most of our work, but that’s a long way off, and right now, businesses are just trying to make hybrid work go well. Today, work is still about people connecting with people, and at its core, UCaaS needs to provide a valuable voice experience. When planning your hybrid work strategy, IT leaders want reliable and high-quality voice service from UCaaS. But it will also be critical to recognize how that experience helps bridge the spaces of home and office to make people feel connected across all workplace settings.
This post is written on behalf of BCStrategies, an industry resource for enterprises, vendors, system integrators, and anyone interested in the growing business communications arena. A supplier of objective information on business communications, BCStrategies is supported by an alliance of leading communication industry advisors, analysts, and consultants who have worked in the various segments of the dynamic business communications market.