Strengthen workplace culture to future-proof your business

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Half of UK employees are currently working from home, according to research, but while this has brought demonstrable benefits, business culture as we know it is suffering.

Gallup found that employees operating remotely are less likely to feel cared for, recognised for their contributions or that their opinions count. This is worrying considering most employees truly value a positive work culture, and believe that successfully fostering one can drive greater productivity for their business.

These issues must be addressed because remote working will persist well into 2021, with the Government stating that a return to normality is unlikely until at least April. This means that a key focus for customers will be sustaining and improving workplace culture as they stabilise from the second national lockdown, and look to rebound.

With collaboration and culture resting on meaningful connections, it’s important that channel companies play a critical role in providing businesses with the tools to support UK PLC and its employees in overcoming cultural barriers, keeping people motivated, energised, and engaged.

Preserving those ‘watercooler’ moments

Remote workers have no doubt experienced the pain of being on a conference call and sounding like they’re underwater - or not being able to work collectively on a document due to lack of access - or not being able to serve consumers because of network interruptions. This inhibits proper communication, and prevents a healthy culture from developing in a remote working environment. Your customers simply cannot afford to ignore this.

Bain branded COVID-19 a “moment of truth” for workplace culture, with its research finding that companies have a strong internal compass and inspire their employees more likely to generate better business performance. Of course, lightning-fast connectivity is critical to maintaining these lines of communication, underpinning collaboration and creativity - even providing those virtual ‘watercooler’ moments.

With so many networking and IT solutions out there, however, channel businesses may find helping their customers challenging. The key is to identify networking technologies that offer not just fast, reliable speeds, but lower latency and flexibility so customers can pursue a long-term hybrid working model. By adding the right platforms to their portfolio, wholesale partners will be better positioned to equip customers with the tools they need to sustain and strengthen working culture.

Diffusing the workplace culture time bomb

To help businesses build strong remote working cultures, wholesale partners must get closer to their core needs. Doing so will reveal the main demands from customers and their workers, cluing them up as to how to best answer these questions and allow them to continue doing their jobs painlessly on a remote basis.

Most workers feel it’s harder to work as a team, partly due to a feeling they’re lacking the connections they’d enjoy in the office, according to Totem research we’ve seen. This feeds into something they’ve described as a “ticking time bomb for workplace culture”. To resolve this anxiety, the channel must offer the right mix of connectivity and collaboration tools.

Technologies that can improve business elasticity and help employees maximise their impact would be a priority, especially services capable of moving massive data volumes from sites at opposite ends of the UK. This would allow workers at large organisations to collaborate seamlessly and effectively with their colleagues wherever they are in the UK.

Such systems also prime businesses for innovation - such as the imminent 5G revolution - by giving them networking infrastructure that can cope with increased data demands. This is important not just for continued digital transformation, but to keep employees motivated and engaged, and ensure the wider business culture continues to be positive.

Future-proofing for a post-COVID landscape

Simply put, better networking technologies translate to superior connectivity, which, in turn, contributes to a stronger workplace culture by establishing the foundations for instant and effective team collaboration.

The IT channel is an essential element in this formula, with a critical role to play in educating customers about the role connectivity can play as a stepping stone towards integrating advanced networking solutions. This will ensure that businesses can boost their elasticity and give employees the seamless remote working experience they need to enjoy their jobs and thrive. It’ll also give them the chance to recreate in-office moments, from casual get-togethers to the Christmas party.

Doing so won’t only help businesses boost their working culture right now, but would also put them in a strong position to rebound from COVID-19. By future-proofing organisations, too, the channel can ensure that employees across the country can benefit from forthcoming innovation. Ultimately, supporting remote work culture with reliable networking in this way will ensure the future for UK PLC is one of limitless potential.

Dale Parkinson is wholesale sales director for Virgin Media Business