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One third of employees feel their company technology is stuck in the 1980s – so how do we get back to the future?

Internet running slow? Phone signal dropping out? People who insist on printing emails? These out-of-date approaches to working should be a thing of the past, but new survey data from Enreach shows that technology is still playing catch up in companies, as is the shift towards hybrid, flexible, and remote working patterns.

In the heyday of the office in the 1980s, the phrase ‘hybrid working’ didn’t exist. At most, hybrid working might have been a trip to the pub at lunch, networking on a company weekend away, or having the latest car telephone installed, complete with ultra-modern fax machine at home.

When we think of hybrid working these days, we commonly think of being able to work either in the office, or from home. In truth, hybrid working should be the ability to work from anywhere – at home, in the office, in hotels, while travelling, or any other place in the world, without any compromise in productivity, performance, or communication.

True hybrid working like this is only possible with up-to-date technology that is created with the needs of modern businesses and employees in mind. A recent study, commissioned by Enreach, has shown that over a third of those surveyed (36%) felt their company was stuck in the past when it comes to technology. Perhaps even more telling was that 66% of employees have never spoken up about their outdated tech issues or working practices to their management.

People may feel restricted by current ways of working and communicating, but the data from this survey suggests there is a real desire for change. However, employees lack the ability to create the working environment they want – one that embraces hybrid working practices, as well as improved technology and communication means.

Survey data also revealed that slow internet was the number one thing people felt showed a company that was behind the times (31%). Closely following this was having a fixed working hour day such as a 9-5, of which 29% of respondents rated as their biggest hindrance.

Similarly, 47% of people felt that flexible working was a sign of a modern company. 43% felt being able to work from home and 34% said being able to work remotely also indicated a forward-thinking company.

Duncan Ward, Chief Executive Officer of Enreach UK, said ‘Hybrid working isn’t a fad in the workplace, it’s something that people are ready for in their working lives and it’s the job of communication technology companies like Enreach to help make it an accessible reality.

‘Employees should be given the autonomy, trust, and technology to conduct their work when and where they see fit. If that means a working parent takes a break to do the school run, they have the confidence to jump back online later or take calls on the go knowing there will be no issues with delivering their work. If a person wants to go abroad for a month, and work remotely for part of that, there’s no reason why they can’t do that with the right technology to make it possible.’

Facilitating hybrid working is a two-pronged approach. First, the technology needs to be accessible and easy to implement. This is where an expert unified communications company such as Enreach can make a transformative difference to companies. With a dedicated customer experience approach and completely tailored packages for technology (including telephony, broadband, mobile, video calling, integrated app software and more), businesses can experience the best in class for hybrid and remote working solutions.

The second part is leaving the 1980s attitudes of presenteeism, fixed hours, and limited flexibility behind. Creating a fundamental shift in the working patterns that have been present for more than 40 years is no easy task, but regardless, the change is coming. It’s time to stop living in the past and for companies to get back to the future, with new, modern ways of working that will ensure success for years to come.

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