Working remotely has become so entrenched that people would rather clean their toilets than go back to the office full-time.
According to the most deliciously clickbait-y nuggets from one global survey:
- 40% of U.S. employees would rather stay home and clean their toilet than commute to a traditional workplace
- one-third of U.S. workers are willing to quit if forced to return to the office full-time
What employees really want is hybrid work, and as that same survey reveals, companies are providing it for them:
- 68% of knowledge workers prefer a hybrid model
- 58% of them are now working in hybrid arrangements, up from 46% in May 2021
This isn’t just a temporary blip; it’s the future of work:
- 81% of executives believe hybrid will become the dominant workplace model by 2024
- 56% of all work is expected to be done off-site by 2024
Work has changed, and it’s never going back to the way it was before.
Now that the “office or remote?” debate is settled (the answer turned out to be “both, please!”), organizations are seeking technology to optimize hybrid work rather than simply enable it. Here are three reasons why UCaaS will play a starring role in enterprise strategies for the future of work.
1. UCaaS for voice and video
Employee isolation and collaboration have been huge concerns for organizations during the pandemic. But UCaaS provides the potent combination of voice and video that allows workers to collaborate and forge bonds, regardless of location:
- 69% of workers (globally) say connecting with colleagues through online voice or video calls for work-related tasks is just as good as in-person
- 62% of U.S. workers say online voice or video calls can help build personal relationships with co-workers just as effectively as in-person communication
2. UCaaS for security
Hackers are flocking to collaboration apps and platforms as the new frontier for their data breach hijinks and ransomware exploits. This is sparking concerns about collaboration security and fueling demand for integrated UCaaS solutions, especially in highly regulated sectors like healthcare.
“Incumbents of the IT and telecom industry often have to work with high-profile clients such as government departments and federal organizations, which calls for secure and efficient exchange of information,” Grandview Research stated in a recent report. “The growing need for data security and privacy protection is driving the adoption of UCaaS solutions by IT and telecom companies.”
3. UCaaS for AI and 5G
The future of work is suddenly here, and it’s unquestionably hybrid. But who knows where it’ll go next? The past two years have taught us the value of being able to switch gears on a dime. Part of the allure of cloud-based UCaaS is that it’s extremely scalable and built with future add-on capabilities in mind, including AI.
“AI is going to play a growing role in shaping the future of work, and UCaaS will evolve to support that. The longer IT stays with premises-based UC components, the more difficult it will be to support these shifts,” independent analyst Jon Arnold has argued.
Adding 5G to the UCaaS mix opens up even more possibilities.
“The continued rollout of high-speed 5G data networks bodes well for the growth of (UCaaS) … 5G networks can significantly enhance video and audio conferencing and meetings and strengthen collaboration,” Grandview adds in its UCaaS forecast.
After two years of chaotic pandemic disruptions, perhaps the least surprising thing about hybrid work is that most enterprise organizations still aren’t really set up for it:
- 72% say they lack a detailed strategy to support distributed work
- 61% say they lack the right technology infrastructure to support distributed work
UCaaS obviously isn’t the be-all and end-all of hybrid work. In the hunt for fully integrated, reliable solutions that deliver voice, video and collaboration in an agile, scalable, cloud-based environment however, it’s definitely a strong place to start.