Matt Dykes, COO at Abzorb, explains how resellers can support their customers to achieve long-term hybrid working success.
There has never been a point in time where customers have needed the channel’s service more than now. The workplace will most probably never be the same again after 40 per cent of the global workforce worked from home during lockdown in the Covid pandemic. Now is the time for resellers to harness the workplace revolution and capitalise on the opportunities in the market.
Employers want their teams to return to the office but after experiencing the benefits of working at home some still want to remain working from home, others want to return to the office, and some want the benefits of both. Companies are having to implement a hybrid working policy to meet the new expectations of employees and changing processes accordingly.
This new way of working will revolutionise the workplace but bring about challenges particularly as we enter the unknown. This is where the technology gap exists and the channel should seize every opportunity to work with their customers to support hybrid working, consulting them on how to attract and retain talent, and welcome a new culture and re-design the office space.
Businesses will have to evaluate their strategies for this new world and to meet the expectations of employees. It is key to involve employees in the decision-making process, asking them how and where they want to work and the technology, they require to do their jobs more effectively. By involving them you demonstrate that their opinions matter which in turn will empower them and create a greater sense of belonging to the company, and that you have used the conditions of the pandemic to learn, grow and improve.
Since the world has changed, every business will need to construct a new plan, whether that’s reviewing the products and services that they offer or reviewing their communications and the operational processes. The plan should be flexible enough to accommodate the required changes to hybrid working practices.
Businesses have spent the last two years ensuring that their employees are able to work from home, using existing technology and or deploying new technology to ensure business continuity. It is no longer just about technology and what is required to do your job, it is about transformation and how technology can be deployed to transform communications, business processes and customer experience.
Resellers should work closely with customers to fully understand their business, their objectives, and the challenges they face to ascertain what technology they require to benefit their business. They should dispel the fear factor that they require all new technology and inform them that they can protect their existing investments and demonstrate how new technology can integrate with their existing infrastructure and applications.
During the pandemic with everyone working at home the broadband networks have been operating to full capacity and for many, particularly those based in rural areas have experienced poor connectivity. To boost mobile coverage resellers can advise customers what network coverage is the strongest in the area and use the one to access the internet, whether it is O2, Vodafone, EE. This is a reliable and cost-effective back-up solution for employees that don’t have a fixed line option.
A hybrid workforce will present challenges to the IT department, and mobile and UC solutions need to be integrated into both front and back-office systems to ensure that operations and processes work seamlessly. This way you ensure that technology works in an integrated and unified manner and not in isolation where it will reap less benefits.
Here resellers can advise customers on a technology roadmap that will help them select and implement technology to achieve their objectives. This will ensure that customers understand that technology is about transformation and is an evolving process that grows with the business and its needs, rather than deploying a one-off quick fix solution.
Keeping it simple
One of the key elements that resellers can do in the new world of hybrid working is to ‘keep it simple’ and demystify the complexities of mobile and unified communications to customers.
After the last 18 months we have all had it tough, and customers will be grateful if resellers simplify their technology requirements and demonstrate through pilots that the technology works and integrates with their existing systems and can also articulate the benefits and use case studies to prove it.
The pandemic was unthinkable but out of it there have been some major changes that maybe advantageous and we believe the world of hybrid working will be a good thing for many businesses. It will enable employees to have a true work life balance and companies to save money on office workspace and change the way they have previously managed their staff and now will be more empathetic and flexible to employees’ new expectations.
The time for resellers is now, so without delay seize the opportunities and help educate your customers on the advantages of hybrid working and the required technology to support this new way of working.