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21 Mar, 2022
by Marco Castillo, M.S.

Working Hybrid – Taking Lessons Learned from Remote-Work Back to the Office

After two long years, a sense of normalcy is returning to the market as mask mandates lift and workers start to return to the office.

According to a recent Harvard Business Review article on hybrid work, the return to the office, after years of being away, can be difficult for both employers and employees.

Customer feedback seems to reflect this sentiment.

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Both employers and employees have spent years adjusting to working remotely, discovering benefits, and experiencing consequences along the way.

Read the original HBR article here

Often frustrated, employers wish they could better manage their teams to optimize the work done from home, never quite sure of individuals’ actual productivity.  

Employees, on the other hand, did their best to manage both work and their families, with kids staying home from school.

Harvesting the Lessons Learned From Remote Work

With the return to work, customers are asking what they can do to take advantage of the benefits of remote work while working to bring their teams back to the office.  

While on the other hand, employees are hoping to maintain a certain level of flexibility in choosing where and when they work.

A hybrid, middle ground, is possible if we reflect on the lessons learned along the way.

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Lesson 1: Productivity Is Possible

Employee productivity has been at the forefront for all employers managing remote teams. Never quite sure if time is being spent appropriately, employers have turned to management tools to help measure productivity.

Technologies such as Microsoft Teams and Slack have helped teams stay connected and have helped employers gauge productivity.

ZTelco’s Unified Communication Solution Helps Employers Measure Productivity

In order to measure accordingly, ZTelco’s RingPlan Phone System gives employers access to employee call stats while helping employees stay productive when working from home, or from just about anywhere.

With RingPlan’s advanced integrations, users were able to add a phone dialer to their existing management software, giving tools like M.S. Teams and Salesforce the ability to make and receive business calls.

By integrating with many existing and popular work tools, RingPlan keeps businesses moving without the need to replace existing software. 

Make a phone call on Microsoft Teams. Speak with a Representative

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Lesson 2: Employees Want Flexibility

With two long years that affected both work and personal lives, employees agree, there is no going back.

Expectations have changed and employees want to keep some of the flexible options gained by working at home, according to the latest Microsoft Work Trend Index (HBR).

Employees know what is expected of them and want to meet their goals, but recognize that home and work-life balance is important. Consistently, they are choosing family and their personal health over work.

When one is working from home, does one ever really get off from work?

Employees want to be trusted to get the work done, at the time and place that suits them best.

RingPlan Gives Employees Flexibility with Unified Communication

RingPlan has helped employees find flexibility in how they work. With RingPlan’s mobile phone app feature, users are able to make business calls, send text messages, digital fax, and make video calls from their mobile devices.

Not having to use cellular minutes to make business calls not only helps users, but it helps businesses protect their brand, as calls are made using the same business lines and extensions used when working in the office.

The need for flexibility is clear as more employees are choosing a blended (hybrid) workstyle where they can take advantage of working from the office and from home when they see necessary.

Employers are finding this flexibility with RingPlan’s Unified Communication solution, bringing together multiple work tools under one app.

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Lesson 3: Culture is More Important Than Ever Before

With remote work, culture becomes more important than ever. The Microsoft Work Trends reports cites 46% of the 31,000 respondents as placing a positive culture as the most important aspect of choosing a new job. (HBR

Employees want to feel connected, especially when new to the company. These employees may have never met their colleagues, so having a sense of belonging is very important to them.

How does one manage company culture with a team working so far away?

RingPlan answers this need with a video conferencing app that allows users to easily stay connected face-to-face.

Only second to in-person communication, video conferencing has helped bridge the gap created by teams working off-site.

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RingPlan is More Inclusive.

RingPlan integrates phone communications with live video calls. Easily invite others to join a meeting in progress, even those without a computer.

Users can be invited via phone number to join a call when a computer is not available. This is a perfect solution for team members in the field or those working with a slow internet connection. 

Conclusion:
With two years working from home, going back to the office can be difficult. Establishing a hybrid work environment can be achieved by paying attention to what employers and employees are saying they’ve learned from the remote-work experience. The lessons that ZTelco has learned include:

  1. Employees can be and want to be productive, regardless of where they work, whether working from home or the office.
  2. Employees want flexibility so they can better manage their personal lives, work lives, and personal health.
  3. Employees want a positive work culture and cite it as one of the most important things for them when searching for a job. 

ZTelco is putting these lessons in practice by launching the RingPlan Business Suite with tools that help address Productivity, Flexibility, and Culture. Tools include Business PhoneVideo ConferencingText Messaging, and Digital Fax.


Written by: Marco Castillo, MSGL

This article is written by Marco Castillo, Marketing Director of ZTelco Communications. Marco is a strategic content development expert and is a regular contributor to this blog. If you would like to become a guest contributor, please reach out to sales@ringplan.com with your contact information. Be sure to follow us on FacebookInstagram, and LinkedIn to get regular updates.

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