We’ve experienced disruption and challenges like never before in our day to day lives. The COVID 19 pandemic has made technology more critical than ever for businesses worldwide. But why? Resilience and facing challenges head on have been commonplace. We now are slowly starting to emerge from the pandemic and shift to a new way of working; hybrid work.
Hybrid work requires organisations to adopt digital solutions which empower employees to feel connected and able to collaborate effectively from wherever they are working – at home, at the office, or on the beach! This type of flexible working lets us do more, opening a world of possibilities for people everywhere.
A recent study conducted by Microsoft, Work Trend Index, reviewed responses from more than 30,000 people in 31 counties and the findings were interesting:
- 73% of workers want flexible working and remote work options
- 67% want more in person collaboration with their teams post-pandemic
- 80% of managers say they expect more flexible, work-from-home policies to be introduced post-pandemic
These results show the demand for both flexibility and collaboration in the workplace. In turn creating what is being established as the ‘hybrid working paradox’. This paradox stems from the demand for remote working but employees wanting more in person collaboration. There is a growing need to support hybrid working polices including, but not limited to:
- introducing a hybrid working policy;
- establishing technology to enable collaboration;
- ensuring employee wellbeing.
We’ve seen first-hand that hybrid working creates opportunities and creates new demands on IT departments and companies across the world. From getting remote offices set to continuing to grow businesses, owners have had to implement procedures that maximise flexibility without compromising security; all while supporting the demand for new solutions.
The hybrid working paradox has been a key generator in the increasing interest from many business owners around Cloud Productivity.
But it still poses the question, what is cloud productivity?
Cloud productivity is empowering your employees to drive business forward using cloud services and applications. This involves creating a digital workplace, communication portals, and enhancing collaboration in the cloud. The ultimate aim: to make staff more productive during the working day.
Cloud productivity is about bringing services together to give users the best tools, service and applications to be more productive and achieve more while keeping company data safe and secure. Microsoft 365 Suite excels at this with both the 365 traditional stack (SharePoint, OneDrive, Teams, Office apps, etc.), as well as Microsoft VIVA and soon Windows 365.
So what does this mean for business owners?
Cloud productivity can save businesses time and money by boosting productivity among staff, increase collaboration, empowering employees and promoting innovation from within. We look at a few key drivers that we’ve seen cloud productivity brings to businesses:
In recent years, businesses have been presented with a productivity crisis. It presented a real concern, but many businesses opted to increase collaboration through cloud systems. Systems that were once only accessible from being in a physical office space can now be accessed remotely and securely. This means staff can get their work done whenever the need to rather than being restricted to the 9-5.
For example, say you have been working on a document and your colleague needs to review and make amends. This will lead to several versions of documents often with ‘version X’ at the end of the file name and copious amounts of emails. With the cloud, real-time collaboration speeds up with process and eliminates frustrations about what version you’re working on. This leads to an increase in productivity to get the document finalised.
Inextricably linked with Cloud Productivity is automation and the redundancy of paper-based processes. By automating tasks, employees often feel more empowered to focus their attention on the tasks that are not always a high priority.
Paper-based data entry, like new start forms, require an individual to fill out a form on paper then an employee adds the data to a database. A digital form submission with the same questions with automatically uploads to the database would filter out the data input required in a paper-based system. Therefore, automating the process and increasing productivity by empowering employees to focus on meaningful tasks.
Most of all, the benefit of cloud productivity is the collaboration it enables. With a bank of data at our fingertips, there is greater transparency on key figures and data. For example, we can identify, in real time, if we’re on track to reach monthly targets. The instant accessibility to data means employees can collaborate and work to fit the team’s and business’ needs productively.
Solving the hybrid working paradox is one task that is company led. It means letting go of the ideals of the past and listening to employees. From meeting the needs of working from home/ in the office, to implementing technology such as cloud services to manage collaboration and productivity needs. In the hybrid era, employees will drive companies forward in a way we’ve never seen before and work is fast becoming something we do, rather than somewhere we go.
If you’re interested in developing a cloud strategy suited to the needs of your business, get in touch with our team: