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Does hybrid work really work?

We were living our lives, and unexpectedly the pandemic hit like an asteroid that killed the old way of living and working.

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And that’s how our lives changed professionally and personally. In this article, we’ll get deeper into the professional side of the story and why hybrid work is an irreplaceable point in discussing covid influence on business processes.

By definition, a hybrid workplace is a flexible model that allows employees to work both in the office and remotely. This type of arrangement can be beneficial for both employees and employers, as it provides a greater degree of flexibility and freedom when it comes to working hours and locations.

The hybrid workplace model has four key components:

1. Flexible work hours

2. Flexible work locations

3. A variety of work settings

4. A focus on employee well-being

The tendency is that many people had to work remotely due to covid lockdowns, and ultimately, they reviewed their opinion towards remote work and work-life balance in general.

According to the Microsoft 'Hybrid working here to stay' survey, more than 9 out of 10 leaders (97%) expect a more hybrid way of working in the long term, and a clear majority of companies (83%) now have flexible work policies. Employees also want more flexibility: on average, people would like to spend approximately two out of every five working days based outside of the office.

The results of the Hubspot survey on hybrid work are in, and they're worth attention. They questioned about 6,000 hybrid employees who chose the following work preferences in 2021: 39% at home, 18% in the office, and 43% selected the flex option, a combination of the two.

Since the topic of hybrid work has been actively researched, you may find below more curios stats from the respectful resources:

81% of people either do not want to go back to the office at all or would prefer a hybrid schedule. - Harvard Business School

64% of people say the ability to work from anywhere affects whether they stay at or leave a job. - Cisco

83% of employers now say the shift to remote work has been successful for their company, compared to 73% in our June 2020 survey. - PwC

Putting all the data together, obviously, more employees prefer hybrid work, especially compared to the previous years. Employers thereupon are ready to meet the workforce needs, but obviously, there are some challenges to meet.

1. Visibility of productivity & performance. Is hybrid work effective?

This is probably one of the first questions that come to mind if the team can cope with all the tasks on their own and how this process can be checked.

57% gaining end-to-end visibility in a hybrid work environment is even more challenging. - Aternity Hybrid Work Global Survey 2021 by Riverbed

Another challenge found in the survey is that many organizations struggle to efficiently use the data they collect, with 77% of business decision-makers and 73% of IT decision-makers agreeing that their organization works to glean actionable insights from data.

Ender Turing AI Speech Analytics processes all collected data using AI and ML to transform it into valuable data for faster decision-making and issue resolution, especially for customer service and sales teams. Implementing data analysis powered by AI allows businesses to make data-driven decisions more quickly and accurately, leading to improved efficiency and customer satisfaction.

In terms of productivity itself, the numbers look positive:

The research in the UK highlights that one of the lessons to learn after the 1st lockdown is that despite the challenges of working from home, most employees (88.4%) feel they are just as productive, if not more productive than they were in the office.

It is no wonder, very often, we are interrupted by the need to chat with colleagues and take a coffee break. No one says it is terrible, it can simply be sometimes fruitless for your work results.

In another recent study conducted by the University of New South Wales, almost three in five employees said their productivity was higher when working from home. At the same time, two-thirds of managers considered that their team's productivity was about the same, whether working from home or in the office.

To keep an eye on your team's productivity, you can always find a suitable tech solution that will analyze every employee's performance and the team's. Ender Turing Quality Assurance solution automatically generates the dashboards with overall and individual KPIs, provides 4x times faster agent onboarding and coaching as well as 20x times faster call scoring. I can talk endlessly about it but you can check it yourself here.

2. Collaboration & Connection

Working together with others and being able to communicate effectively are vital ingredients for success, whether you're part of a team or working independently. Communication misunderstandings happen even in an on-site environment, but offline work can even intensify confusion within the team due to a lack of visual cues.

After the pandemic, most employees felt more disconnected from their teams when working remotely, regardless of whether they preferred working remotely or in person.

So how can companies enable their remote workforce to feel like they are part of the team while working in a hybrid environment? The answer is technology.

58% of those working from home said they used workplace collaboration tools more than a year ago. - Forbes

Getting started with collaborative and performance tools enables your team to work seamlessly between the workplace and remote locations. Generally, such tools boost communication within the team and trust between managers and teams. Of course, smaller companies would easily cope with standard messengers or videotelephony tools, where they can keep in touch or manually go through every day or week plans.

But what about big sales and customer service teams?

Following the research by Talkdesk, the future of workforce engagement in the contact center is a hybrid model - 61%. An entirely on-site model took second place with 34% of votes, and a fully remote one got the third with only 4%.

The contact center and sales managers need to understand if their teams are doing well or need help, for example, with unsolved customer concerns. Giving feedback for their employees' calls, emails, and chats is also a significant hardship when teams work remotely. And the speed of the feedback in some cases is crucial since the recurring clients' concerns are a signal of poor customer service and who wants that.

For such purposes, there are already ready-made solutions. All you have to do is to find your one and only. Always consider the goals you want to meet when choosing software for your team. Usually, it's more cost-effective and more accessible for the teams to adopt when one tool reaches most or all of your targets.

Ender Turing software platform is one of a kind. It enables sales, customer care, contact center teams, and generally telemarketing industry to

  • easily collaborate
  • track teams' and individual performance
  • automate scoring
  • give feedback with the ability to link it to a specific part of the call, chat, or Email

3. Coaching

Along with collaboration and performance worriments, there is another one - coaching. Feeling support and assistance is essential for newbies and those who need guidance according to their results.

UNSW Canberra's 2021 survey showed that 27% of respondents said they were less able to manage, mentor, or coach other employees than in the past, compared to 24.3% who said they were less able to do these tasks. Coaching processes simply slowed down because companies were not ready to switch to a remote coaching model when the lockdown took over.

In sales and customer service departments, the process of coaching is usually ongoing since there are often new mistakes or issues to fix and work on. Sometimes it's a new product or service that the team should be informed about and then coached on how to present and sell it. Consequently, the question arises of how to train teams and be able to check their results and the effectiveness of coaching remotely?

I once said it, and I'll repeat it - technology. With the help of modern solutions, you can measure, regulate and personalize the coaching process itself. For instance, Ender Turing solution for agent coaching automatically identifies the top performers and the skills your agents need. Then use the best examples to coach others. Additionally, the system makes it possible to provide personalized support and feedback to the team inside the system to gain immediate effect.

The Ender Turing AI Speech Analytics is a magic wand to cover the main painful challenges of call center supervisors, sales managers, and customer service chiefs, especially when hybrid work prevails. It's an innovative and fast adaptive solution for teams worldwide.

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