Improving communication: what remote collaboration looks like in 2022.

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36% of UK employees are still working at home in 2022: Proof that remote collaboration is no longer the “new norm”, but rather a prevalent way of working in the modern age.

With remote shifts set to stay, employers must find ways to provide staff with the necessary digital tools to facilitate: particularly CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems.

CRMs are becoming increasingly important for organizations with large client bases – improving customer experiences and streamlining procedures that make up the intricate relations process. 91% of companies with over 11 employees turn to CRM systems to manage relations with their customers today – and the CRM market is expected to grow by 13% per annum from 2022 onwards.

But what else can businesses be doing to make modern working as effective and collaborative
as possible?

The changing times

The pandemic has set about a distinctive cultural shift in attitudes towards working from anywhere (WFA).

What started out as a company perk soon became a necessity, with lockdowns forcing businesses to facilitate the remote model full-time (as offices remained off limits for long periods in 2020
and 2021).

Today, remote working is not only accepted but embraced. A recent study showed that 30% of staff globally now work at exclusively remote companies – with employers and employees alike realizing the wide benefits of the hybrid model.

Companies can access global talent and new perspectives by hiring remote workers – providing a sense of flexibility that enhances work-life balance and improves company retention rates due to satisfied staff.

With the correct balance of effective technology, organization and rapport, remote working can unlock considerable potential – with a 2021 study revealing that an overwhelming majority of the workforce found hybrid working less stressful. Up to 64% actually preferred to work remotely rather than having to visit the office.

The workplace has changed since lockdown – making cloud-based CRM systems and digital tools essential in ensuring that continued remote collaboration is supported.

The virtual transition

For many organizations, the remote working model would not be possible without the development of digital platforms.

Video communication tools such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom have kept people connected effectively – reducing the overall time many people spend on completing tasks. But these big brand video calling systems are just two examples from hundreds of digital tools now available. From cloud-based storage systems to conferencing software, comms platforms are so plentiful these days that any business can access the tools they need to streamline remote working practices.

Project management software, time tracking systems and online to-do lists are all available to make communication seamless, with collaborative digital whiteboards, productivity management, virtual onboarding and customer interaction systems all emerging as invaluable assets since the pandemic.

These are tools we didn’t know we needed – but have quickly become staples in our working lives.

The new culture

According to Monster’s Future of Work report, the ability to work collaboratively is a highly desired quality for companies hiring new staff. Employees feel the same way – rating teamwork as one of the top features when searching for new opportunities.

That’s why a collaboration strategy is so integral to the modern workplace culture.

In order to work effectively, employees need to stay in constant contact with their team. Frequent communication via video software prevents a siloed approach even when staff are working in different locations all over the world. Meetings and get-togethers can be arranged at the touch of a button – with platforms even being utilized outside work for long-distance social occasions that can include everyone in the company.

Working from home is also the most productive environment for some members of staff – with 83% of employees claiming to be more productive outside the office rather than in it, according to an Intuition report.

Hybrid working is the new culture – and it’s going to play a much bigger role in the developing structure of the modern workplace moving ahead.

The future

Although it has materialized under somewhat strange circumstances – in a climate where quarantines and COVID regulations all prevented people from lawfully re-entering the workplace – the move towards home-working has gained considerable momentum since the dawn of the pandemic.

Up until 2020, hybrid shift patterns were largely regarded as an added extra or bonus offering for staff – usually among smaller agencies hoping to offer something different to prospective employees.

But today, people around the planet have warmed to the work-from-home model. Staff themselves are feeling more settled and satisfied in remote roles – saving money on commutes to the office whilst enjoying more flexibility in how they tackle various tasks across each shift.

Employers, meanwhile, have tapped into a whole new talent pool – welcoming individuals into their fold they might have never previously considered for roles purely due to their remote location.

Whilst many members of staff have returned to the office in a part-time capacity in 2022, work from home days remain part of the package – which is why the demand for quality CRM systems and efficient communication tools is only going to increase from 2022.

With the right platforms in place, firms can hire absolutely anyone in the world – and staff can work from anywhere.

Working together has never been easier. And it’s crucial for companies to adopt and apply new features to bridge the collaboration gap for a hybrid workforce.

Remote collaboration is a reality – and it is here to stay.

By: Jessica Compton, Marketing Manager at Pragmatiq.