The State of Hybrid Working in 2024

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The landscape of work has undergone a remarkable transformation over the past few years. And as we step into 2024, the concept of hybrid working has firmly established itself as the new normal. Take the banking sector of Singapore, for example. HSBC currently offers their workers the option to work from home two days a week. They have successfully implemented flexible hybrid work as a permanent arrangement for their employees.
It’s not without its caveats, of course. The start of 2023 saw a series of layoffs from companies like Amazon, Meta, and Google. And on top of that, there were return to office orders from about 90% of companies who adopted hybrid working since the pandemic.
Despite this, however, hybrid working has evolved beyond being a temporary response to global challenges, becoming a strategic choice for companies aiming to adapt to the changing needs and expectations of their workforce. The shift towards hybrid working has not only blurred the lines between office and remote work but has also sparked a revolution in how businesses approach collaboration, communication, and employee well-being. A lot of focus has been directed toward the latter, as the demands and expectations of working have been elevated to accommodate not just company growth, but also improvements in the employee experience.
And this is where we find ourselves in the golden age of hybrid work.
Hybrid work is a kind of work arrangement where an employee can choose to work between the office, their home, or any other alternative. In modern society, this level of flexibility is well desired given that this frees workers from being confined to one place. In fact, according to a 2022 study published by Gallup, they found that 60% of workers prefer a long term hybrid work model.
The benefits, remote workers argue, far outweigh cost. With remote and flexible work models implemented during the covid 19 Pandemic, workers were happier. The time saved from commuting alone led to better work-life balance, and helped lower employee turnovers. In fact, a survey revealed that 63% of workers are willing to take a pay cut if it meant the option of working remotely.
This setup may seem like a new phenomenon, but it is not. Hybrid work can trace its roots all the way to the 1960s, with the occasional rise and decline of its implementation. It was popular for those in the creative professions like writers, artists, and newspaper columnists.
And with the rise of technology, hybrid working has grown to be adopted in more fields and expertise in 2024.

The contact center industry during the Pandemic

In 2010 I worked at a call center in the Philippines. It was my first job, and we worked graveyard shifts to cater to our American customers. Back then, working nights meant having to deal with the unforgiving traffic congestion that has become all but a norm in a city like Manila. That meant having to spend about 1-2 hours each way in hot, stifling public transit systems. Coupled with the disruption in the body’s circadian rhythm, it wasn’t the most healthy setup.
When the Pandemic hit the Philippines, roleplayers had to get creative fast. The BPO industry is quite big in the country, contributing about $30 billion to its economy every year. Moreover, call centers in the country serve major American industries like banking, e-commerce, and healthcare– industries that needed the most customer service at the time. They needed to mobilize and get back to work.
And much like nurses and retail workers, Filipinos referred to call center agents as heroes. The president himself categorised BPO workers as essential– meaning workers who despite the danger to their health had to report to work. It wouldn’t be a few months into the pandemic when companies started to implement work from home models. But the more the Pandemic ravaged worldwide, the longer the wait times became.
As a result, companies like Concentrix added thousands of new seats to accommodate the demand. They employed strategies that included providing work-dedicated wifi connections and noise-cancelling headphones for their WFH employees. Other companies housed workers in hotels and provided free shuttle service to ferry those that still had to report to the office.
But what was the one prevailing theme that helped the industry thrive during this period?

The rise of VOIP cloud calling

When everyone else was shuttered in due to social distancing mandates, work had to go on. With the rise of cloud communications, businesses found the solution to their dilemma. Voice-over-internet-protocol (VOIP) is a technology that allows users to call using a broadband internet connection instead of an analog one, with Zoom and Skype two of the most notable VOIP brands.
The pandemic highlighted just how useful and essential cloud calling is, eventually becoming the default mode of business communication. With benefits that include greater flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and data security, it isn’t hard to see why.

Hybrid working and its utilization of cloud communications

In a post-Covid 19 world, the safety and flexibility of cloud phone systems are undeniable. The traditional framework and trappings of office culture is becoming a thing of the past and the choice of where and when we work is ultimately tied to it. One can even argue that cloud communications actually paved the way for the hybrid workforce that we know today!
There’s an interesting survey published by the Work from Home Alliance and Contact Center Pipeline in 2022 that might determine the future of hybrid work. In the said study, they found that 62% of their contact center respondents are continuing to implement hybrid working for their workers. Moreover, 32% are choosing a full remote work model for their contact center agents.
Moreover, AT&T released findings on another study they conducted where 81% of respondents believe that hybrid work will be the default for the contact center industry by 2024.

How we can help

As a company, Nautilus has been providing telephony solutions since 2006. But it wasn’t until the pandemic when our cloud solutions became the choice for brands in Singapore and Malaysia. Trace Together, a digital system designed and implemented by the Singaporean government to improve contact tracing, utilised Nautilus Cloud Telephony. NTUC Fairprice, GetGo, Certis Cisco, and Doctor Anywhere are also currently employing Nautilus to handle their cloud telephony and contact center operations.
Our goal in Nautilus has always been to empower businesses with their cloud transformations. And with the continued rise of hybrid work across the globe, we find ourselves at a position to help.
So if you’re looking to embrace hybrid working and are wondering where to start, hit us up. We provide you not just with the tools necessary for success, but also the confidence to reach it. As a managed service provider, we aim to develop solutions that are the right mix of effectivity, reliability, and affordability. And because not all businesses are the same, we create custom plans for every customer. Talk to us, and let’s create a customized solution to get you where you need to be in 2024.
Welcome to the new age of working!

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