During the 2020 pandemic, many employees worked from home for the first time in their careers. Many were excited to let their suits hang in the closet and avoid the daily commute, but challenges emerged. Employees had to learn how to balance family, their new work environment, and other distractions that accompanied remote work. They also needed to create and maintain new work routines while learning how to work from afar.
Cisco and Intrado hosted a series of three webinars to discuss the transition from in-office work to fully remote work and now to a hybrid workplace. The hosts reviewed how quick technology deployment met the needs of a remote workforce in 2020, and how it’s now evolving to support a hybrid workforce. Here’s a recap of those webinars and links to each.
Listen to Cisco’s Vaughan Klein, Senior Director of Collaboration, and Intrado's Andy Nolan, Vice President Commercial, EMEA, discuss how Intrado's cloud voice and managed services complement Cisco’s transformative office and collaboration technology to deliver safe, secure, and inclusive work environments.
The Evolving Workplace
In 2020, companies discovered new ways to collaborate on projects, connect people, create human bonds, foster culture, and humanize the work experience. Unified communications tools brought all of that together. These tools had to be deployed quickly and effectively, but many companies considered them a temporary solution.
Work From Home: Not 100% Permanent
Some larger organizations were better equipped or already set up to transition to a remote workforce, while many smaller to mid-size organizations were “making do” with what they had. Employees went home with a company laptop and headset and not much else because business continuity was the most critical objective.
As time passed and remote work persisted, it became even more crucial to ensure that employees could remain productive with access to the right equipment, along with the appropriate training and support. Webex and Intrado connected those pieces with a suite of products and services.
How Does Webex Fit In?
Webex is an instrumental video conferencing and cloud collaboration solution that keeps people connected. Webex usage grew immensely from 7.3B meeting minutes in February 2020 to 26.7B meeting minutes in April 2021.
Since 2020, Cisco has updated Webex with more than 400 new features to improve the employee experience. Using Artificial Intelligence, Webex is now more robust than ever, with distraction management for external/background noises, immersive share experiences, and language transcription and translation services for more than 120 languages.
Listen to Cisco’s Justin Woolen, Head of Collaboration and Contact Center, UKI, and Intrado’s Danny Steventon, Director Strategic Vendor Management, as they explore how the combination of the latest devices, streamlining collaboration tools, and a focus on user adoption will transform your workplace.
The Emerging Hybrid Workplace
As employees begin returning to the office, a hybrid workplace is emerging that combines on-location and remote work. There is a shift in thinking that work isn’t just a location—it’s what you do and how you do it. With the right tools and connections, workers now have the flexibility to work from nearly anywhere. They can engage with their colleagues at the workplace and easily transition to a remote location the following day without sacrificing productivity.
For employers, this means not only equipping employees with remote hardware and solutions, but also adding hardware and connectivity to their conference and meetings rooms to provide remote video capabilities. With 80% of current meeting spaces not having video capabilities, remote workers are excluded from joining a spur-of-the-moment meeting with onsite colleagues. To solve this, companies are deploying unified communications applications like Webex. A collaborative communications system enables employees to share information and ask questions more naturally in real time—and it’s more easily deployed with Intrado as your partner!
Letting Go of the Permanent Desk
Moving forward, the new office will look different in many companies. Traditional offices, meeting rooms, and cubicles designed for one employee are being dismantled and redesigned into collaborative, shared workspaces and meeting areas. This change allows for real-time office use with less overall real estate investment.
Webinar #3: Discover Your Flexible Path to Cloud Voice
Listen to Cisco's Jeff Boslem, Head of SP & Partner Collaboration, EMEAR, and Intrado's Paresh Chopdekar, Director Sales Engineering, EMEA, as they explore the features that will bring your workforce together, no matter where employees choose to work.
Employee Engagement and Unstructured Collaboration
People need a people connection—that’s why they come into the office. They are looking for a serendipitous connection with others to get commitment, support, and cooperation from their co-workers. These moments of unstructured collaboration are missing in a remote workplace where employees can be anywhere at any time.
Remote workers have become fatigued being tethered to technology all day and often struggle to make them connect and work properly. This leads to declining engagement and morale levels. Turning this around requires employers prioritizing employees’ needs and investing in technology solutions that connect them seamlessly. For example, providing a remote worker with the right tools such as noise-canceling headphones/ headsets, desk cameras, or desk devices can improve their online experience tremendously.
Adoption of collaboration tools along with VoIP calling services is crucial in building a hybrid workplace. If you don’t get it right, employees will be less productive and less connected to their colleagues. The pressure lies on IT to create an easy-to-use unified communications system that employees will quickly adopt and use. When you get it right, you’ll have an engaged workforce and lower monthly telephony costs, especially when partnering with Intrado.
Contact us to explore more on how the Webex solution and Cisco hardware options can create a hybrid workplace for your business.