Is remote work dead?


Before the pandemic, traditional office-based work models dominated the corporate landscape. Employees commuted to offices, worked at their desks, primarily interacted face-to-face and often relied on in-person meetings. This model had its limitations, including long commutes, rigid schedules, and potential constraints on work-life balance.

However, according to the UK government’s Office for National Statistics latest survey, of the employed adults who had worked between 25 January to 5 February 2023, 16 per cent indicated that they exclusively worked from home. Meanwhile 28 per cent revealed a combination of working from home and commuting to their workplace during the period spanning September 2022 to January 2023.

Although the pandemic forced a seismic shift, ushering in widespread remote work as organisations adapted to lockdowns and social distancing, the new numbers stand in opposition to numbers recorded in the previous years. The highest levels of remote work, with 49 per cent of the employed population indicating that they had engaged in remote work within the preceding week, were observed during the initial half of 2020.

The end of remote?

Two years later, following the cessation of remote work guidance, approximately 38 per cent of employed adults disclosed participation in remote work. Throughout 2022, the percentage of working adults having worked from home has fluctuated between 25 to 40 per cent. So, how will it continue and what do you need to do to keep your employees happy?

Ironically, Zoom, the remote work forerunner and enabler, has recently revealed that they are rolling out a new hybrid work approach throughout August and September, meaning employees close to an office will be asked to onsite two days a week. By doing this, Zoom hopes to strike a balance between in-person collaboration and the benefits of remote work.

The hybrid work model can be observed to be a broader trend in the corporate world with companies such as Meta, Google and Amazon on board. Companies across industries are embracing hybrid work models that combine the best of both worlds. Remote work has proven to enhance employee autonomy, reduce commutes and open opportunities for a more diverse talent pool. However, in-person interactions foster creativity, mentorship, and team cohesion, which are vital for innovation and growth.

Catering to a transgenerational workforce within a hybrid work model has its challenges. Businesses require a communication system that prioritizes adaptability, empowering employees to engage across various channels seamlessly while transitioning effortlessly between the office and their homes. Therefore, a unified communications (UC) and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) as offered by Crystaline may just be the solution you’re looking for.

UC – a hybrid tech hero

UC integrates various communication channels such as instant messaging, video conferencing and email into a cohesive platform. This technology enables seamless collaboration regardless of employees’ physical locations, promoting effective communication and teamwork.

VoIP, a cornerstone of UC, allows voice calls to be transmitted over the internet instead of traditional phone lines. This technology not only reduces communication costs but also supports mobility and flexibility, aligning with the remote and hybrid work models. This encompasses a spectrum, ranging from a single application on a computer to a sophisticated UC implementation spanning office handsets, desktop and laptop computers and mobile devices. By adopting VoIP, companies not only stay ahead of the impending Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) switch-off but also leverage its capacity to unite diverse communication tools within a cohesive platform, thereby empowering businesses to craft a comprehensive communication strategy catering to all workforce segments.

Ultimately, there is no need to follow in Zoom’s footsteps. Allow your employees to work however they prefer. After all, as businesses embrace new communication technologies, the era of UC dawns, promising a future where clarity and connectivity converge to drive productivity and growth. Its seamless integration with existing infrastructure ensures simplicity while offering a dependable service that enhances company efficiency and employee flexibility, effectively connecting the dots between the office, home and global locations. Remote will never have to become extinct if the right tools are in place.