Software for Hybrid Working
Discover how bespoke software can offer greater flexible working opportunities
Discover how bespoke software can offer greater flexible working opportunities
When we were first told to work from home in March 2020, we had no idea of the lockdown lingo that would be fashioned. Words that overnight became part of our everyday vocabulary. Some of our favourites include: quaranteams, blue skype thinking, quarantini, coronacoaster to name a few.
Hybrid working is another – and one that looks set to stay. Because the events of 2020 not only changed the way we speak and socialise but also the way we work. Combining a mixture of office and home working, the adoption of hybrid working models is on the rise. Flexible working has overturned the traditional 9-5 (although there's probably still a lot of tumbling outta bed and pouring cups of ambition going on).
A 2021 report by Microsoft revealed just how dramatically the way we work has been transformed. Of the responses, 66% of businesses are considering redesigning physical spaces to better accommodate hybrid working. And with more than half (51%) of UK workers who currently have the choice to mix remote and office working considering leaving their company if the hybrid option was removed, it's evident that the future of work is leaning towards greater flexibility.
Benefits of hybrid working for employees include enjoying a better work life balance, being able to work without distraction, less time and money spent commuting. While for companies they are seeing lower absence rates, reduced carbon footprints, higher job satisfaction and being able to recruit the best people for the job, regardless of location.
However, without the right tools and technologies in place, offering hybrid working can prove futile. Investing in a bespoke software system could be the solution you need to make hybrid working truly effective for your workplace. Let’s take a look at the top gains:
During the first lockdown, the companies who were not set up for remote working leaned on quick fixes and any available tool to help their employees work from home. Two years down the line, simplifying and streamlining your systems into a centralised workspace is an all-round better solution. Bespoke software is built for your processes and can be shaped around your people too. Custom functionality can be designed that helps employees work more efficiently no matter where they’re working from. A new fluid workflow can be created which is specifically structured to keep remote workers motivated, focused and on track. Regular reminders and notifications to encourage screen breaks can also be programmed to be part of the system.
A recent survey by Finder.com showed that 75% of workers think they will be more productive working from home due to reduced distractions. Having a business management or project management system which creates a centralised digital employee experience can also help to boost productivity. When bespoke software is built from the ground up, increasing operational efficiency for all types of workers is a key consideration. Administrative tasks such as scheduling and invoice creation can be automated. Freeing up time to allow employees to revolve their day around creative and challenging tasks as well as training and upskilling activities.
Introducing a cloud-based centralised software system can offer greater transparency. The same Finder.com research study also revealed that 62% of remote workers want employers to provide better technology that helps them stay connected. The beauty of bespoke software is that it can be built to work on a variety of different devices. Offering the same experience on different devices can be instrumental in providing more flexible working opportunities; allowing employees to perform from their home desk exactly as they would from their office desk. Being able to have access to an information flow exactly as you would in the office, no matter the PC, laptop or tablet, ensures that teams can work closely and collaboratively.
With project and data visibility available on a central dashboard, no one has to miss out. Access to time logging, finance reports and progress insights is instant allowing transparent project and performance management. Team leaders and managers no longer need to wait for face to face meetings to be presented with results; they’re there for the taking. Allowing everyone to be on the same digital page.
Working from home can be a lonely experience. In a 2021 survey, which spoke to 2,000 US and UK office workers, it was found that over two-thirds of workers aged 18 – 34 (67%) admitted to feeling isolated when working from home. So, facilitating dialogue with employees who aren’t sat physically next to each other every day is super important to the wellbeing of each team member.
Bespoke software can create a central communication hub, sparking new and innovative ways of sharing information and news loud and clearly. Integrations with company intranets and chat apps or by creating an in-built instant messenger tool. So that virtual water cooler moments to chat about last night’s telly and what the weather's up to can continue to be an everyday event.
With bespoke software, system performance and security are top priorities. For instances when internet connection is down, offline versions of the same software application can often be used, which will sync with the online version to avoid too much disruption. Cloud based software also has access to fast and easy updates which can take place in the background to avoid downtime and ensure that the application is always working at optimal speed.
The security of business data outside of the traditional office space is often a concern for business owners. Modern software is built using the very best secure tech and hosted with reputable cloud providers who offer premium data security. With bespoke software developers, cyber-security standards are high. Implementing multi factor authentication and highly secure encryption methods ensures the protection of passwords and sensitive information.
With working hours no longer confined to 9-5, teams can no longer depend on help from their colleagues who may have already finished for the day. Software that is intuitive and provides an effortless user experience will be a breath of fresh air for home workers who work independently. Plus, if a system is easy to use, people are bound to engage with it more and get the most out of it.
In the Microsoft report, 37% of HR workers said that the challenges of virtual onboarding can be overcome with the right technology. Easy-to-use software that doesn't require qualifications or extensive training to use is imperative for onboarding new starters remotely. Cloud solutions can also easily be scaled up and down on demand depending on changes in team numbers.
One thing that the pandemic made us do is plan for uncertainties better. When building software now, we are always considering possibilities and what ifs. So that new features can be easily added and to ensure that your business software is future-proof and ready to deal with anything.
At the start of the pandemic, quick fixes were made to enable home working. Now is the time to think about business software that can make home working more enjoyable and practical on a long-term basis. Digital employee experiences can be designed with hybrid working in mind. With the right tech and software in place, the best of both worlds can absolutely be achieved. Involving employees in the process is a great place to start building a new workflow that works for everyone.
At Clever Software Group, we build software for people. Get in touch to find out how we can create software that makes hybrid working effective for your business.
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