Is your company ready for the transformation to hybrid working? Many organizations are ‘re-inventing’ their business practices for the ‘post COVID’ period. They try to find the perfect blend between remote working from home and real-live meetings at the office? And what tools are required to support this. We discuss this in this blog and show some of our hybrid working solutions.
From ‘working at home’ to hybrid working
Populations get vaccinated and countries plan their return to normality. However, many companies already concluded that it will not be a full ‘back to normal’. Although in a recent BBC article some business leaders – like Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon and Jes Staley (CEO Barclays) – promoted a real ‘back to the office’, many others expect a significant change in working methods. From a complete ‘virtual first’ model (like Dropbox) to hybrid working models with greater flexibility and independence for workers while maintaining certain structures (like insurance company Aviva). And already in an earlier RSconnect blog we discussed a Deloitte Middle East analysis in which 75% of the respondents confirmed that their company is expected to have some form of Work From Home (WFH) policy in the next 12 months. While before COVID-19 only 20% of the respondents had such a policy in place.
How to support hybrid working models
It goes without saying that Unified Communications technology plays a key role to facilitate the different hybrid working concepts. Organizations look for a smooth co-operation between people working at home and colleagues at the office. Below we list a few of our RSconnect solutions to support hybrid working:
User friendly Extension Mobility
If organizations increase their use of flex desks and want to provide their staff with desktop telephones and personal telephone numbers, Cisco Extension Mobility is key. With Extension Mobility people can login to any desktop telephone with their own telephone number. However, this typically requires a cumbersome login procedure. Each working session the employee must type a userID and PIN code. RSconnect Active Login Manager (ALM) automates this login procedure. As soon as people start their computer, the associated desktop telephone automatically assigns someone’s personal phone number and settings.
If people frequently work remotely, it is also important that calls to fixed-line business telephone extension are automatically forwarded to the right employee and destination number based on someone’s availability. RSconnect Forwarding Assistant complements the default Cisco call forwarding with automatic and remote call forwarding functionality. The Forwarding Assistant also supports Jabber Follow-me. In case people use Jabber and leave their desk, calls can automatically be forwarded to their mobile phone or another preconfigured destination number.
Hybrid working planning and scheduling.
In any hybrid working scenario, in-depth insights about the use of office workspace facilities are key. Actual usage data and trends are required to forecast future workspace. How are your flex desks used during the working week? Do we have to prepare for specific peak periods, for example at the end of each quarter? What are the most popular office locations and how develops the demand for meeting rooms? Using our Analytics and Reporting Manager organizations can actively monitor the use our office flex desk and meeting rooms inventory and effectively plan their office space.
We also see an increased need for planning and scheduling applications where people can schedule online flexible desk space and meeting rooms. The scheduling process is fully automated, including the remote configuration of the desktop business telephones. Our RSconnect Business Connector takes care of all the interfacing complexity between these business applications and the technical resources (call manager, devices etc.) within the CUCM domain.