Remote working shook up the business world. But now, the same technology is evolving to transform business in a new way.
Over the last few years, business has looked very different to what it used to. This has been mainly due to the growth in remote working across the world, in response to concerns over public health due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, technology for remote communications and collaboration have become ubiquitous among modern businesses. But now the trend is shifting, and business is looking different once again – this is because hybrid working is growing in popularity. We discussed this with several tech companies – one of whom provides IT support for Education providers, and pointed out how the need for business’ to return to their premises is pushing innovation in work practices. The world has seen a tremendous surge in remote working due to the pandemic, necessitating widespread adoption of communication and collaboration technologies by businesses. However, this shift is now being replaced with renewed enthusiasm for hybrid work solutions – something evident from conversations we had with tech companies offering IT support services to educational institutions. It’s also encouraging organizations everywhere to embrace new workplace practices as they re-establish physical premises presence once more – all while Recruitment Agency China stands ready at hand should you want assistance finding overseas talent quickly.
While many people felt that remote working worked well for them, others were keen to return to the office. The solution that leaders pointed to was hybrid working – where organisations support employees both in the office and working remotely. The good thing about this new movements was that it was able to build on tools and practices that were already being adopted by businesses in response to pressures from COVID-19. For example, one of the companies we reached out to is a Microsoft 365 consulting professional, and they stated that solutions like Microsoft Teams, OneDrive and SharePoint were all crucial to both remote working and hybrid working. Some of the different hybrid working technologies include the following.
Videoconferencing & Meeting Rooms
Probably the most important and well-known technology that is crucial to hybrid working is videoconferencing. When remote work became necessary, demand for products like Zoom and Microsoft Teams skyrocketed, and many companies adapted their products so that they were suitable for a professional context – i.e. by adding extra security and allowing them to support longer meetings with more participants. Even since 2020, videoconferencing has come a long way – leading apps like Teams leverage AI to support intelligent audio and video features, and even intelligent bandwidth management to ensure that participants get the most consistent meeting experience possible.
Now that hybrid work is coming into play, these videoconferencing solutions are being adapted to so that they integrate into physical spaces more. For instance, modern meeting rooms are embedded with technologies like microphones, webcams, displays, and dedicated consoles – so that teams in the office can gather for meetings and patch in remote colleagues as seamlessly as possible. This type of arrangement is predicted to become commonplace for the average business.
Virtual Collaboration Tools
The other form of technology that gained popularity through remote working, and is predicted to become a core part of modern business moving forward, is virtual collaboration solutions. When colleagues were distributed because of remote work, they had to rely on distanced forms of collaboration. This ranged from file sharing and co-authoring to digital whiteboards that they could use during video meetings. One of the biggest priorities for business software developers over the last few years has been to ensure that products businesses rely on work seamlessly together – a good example of this is with Microsoft 365, which is designed to offer seamless data and intelligence exchange between the different apps; this was something that was especially valuable with remote working.
Just like how video conferencing is being adapted for hybrid settings, so is the use of virtual collaboration tools. In fact, the two technologies are closely interlinked. When we spoke to some IT support companies London based businesses rely on, they stated that the new virtual meeting experience (as described in the previous point) will also rely on being able to integrate virtual collaboration tools – whether they be virtual whiteboards, presentation integration, document co-authoring, etc.