Is there a future for ‘office’ culture in your remote workforce? 


  • 98% of employees prefer to work remotely.

  • Businesses need to become fully digital to maintain a culture where employees feel supported, engaged, and productive.

  • Choosing reliable technology for safe and secure remote collaboration is essential.

Could returning to the office risk employee engagement or impact talent retention?  

98% of workers have expressed their desire to work remotely¹, meaning business leaders must plan carefully for the future of their workplace.

It’s a big consideration for organisations looking to go fully remote or hybrid in their working methods. Sustaining a happy, healthy workplace culture without an ‘official office’ requires embracing true digital transformation.

How to choose the right type of technology for remote collaboration

The pandemic accelerated digital transformation for most businesses. Currently, 16% of all companies operate fully remotely.² Many businesses may have invested in temporary solutions to get them through the unprecedented period, but there’s a huge opportunity now to select the type of technology that will last.

It’s important to consider your business needs carefully and implement a strategy and timeline to guide you and your workers through change. When it comes to keeping teams productive while working remotely, the cloud is the ideal solution for workers whose location may be fluid, or who need to share work without being together in the same place.

You need to get the right unified communications solutions, embrace analytics to build on what you’ve implemented, and make sure you have the right cyber security services to protect your data.

Migrating to the cloud can massively enhance employee experience. In addition, leaders should not ignore emerging technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT), and augmented reality (AR) – all of which could help to provide a sense of ‘place’ for workers, helping them to truly connect in a virtual environment.

“One of the main benefits of remote work, as mentioned by workers, is flexible hours. The ability to organize work around personal responsibilities and needs is a huge advantage, leading to improved work-life balance and job satisfaction.”

Define a working model

Laying out your new working culture in a world still going through change requires logistics. If you opt for a hybrid model, you’ll need to know the capacity of your office and possibly implement a rota system.

Some businesses that have chosen not to downsize can continue to use their centralised offices, but others might consider implementing more regional micro hubs or flexible spaces for teams to collaborate in person on a regular basis, with most working remotely.

The future of the office 

As businesses discover the potential of remote working, which presents huge opportunities in terms of employee productivity, access to a broader talent pool, and reduced costs on maintenance and estate agency fees, the future of the office is still in debate. For example, 73% of executives believe that remote workers pose a security risk.⁴

For many, the office is still an anchor for workplace culture. To feel engaged, motivated, and included, employees need to feel a sense of unity and as though they are a part of something.

Historically this manifested itself in our physical office space during impromptu conversations or social gatherings after work. Now that the traditional office holds increasingly less gravitas, businesses will need to find ways to create an ‘outlet’ for their corporate culture.

Different businesses have attempted to tackle this problem in their own ways. While some have opted for more traditional virtual happy hours, others have been more creative and done things like invite ‘virtual comedians’ to raise morale through comedy, host remote costume parties and encourage teams to work together though virtual escape rooms.

Still more have instead focused on joining up their existing systems, using solutions like Vodafone Business UC with RingCentral to help to make communication much more seamless and collaborative across the virtual interactions and communications tools we use across the working day.

Redefine your culture strategy 

Cultivating a nurturing, inclusive and open culture in a remote workforce is more important now than ever. In a predominantly remote working environment though, it will take time to figure out how to create spaces that help people bond naturally without forced interaction.

Implementing company values into everyday operations, creating ways to uphold them, or simply encouraging spontaneous collaboration through virtual happy hours, quiz nights, or regular one-to-ones, might help to reinstate a sense of unity.

Businesses must be aware of the risk of regressing to the old ways of employees turning up to work while unwell or inadvertently rewarding those who show up at the office more often.

Implementing a remote culture means building a foundation of equality, openness and a safe ‘space’ (be that physical or virtual). Companies must change any old-school habits, allow teams to do their best work wherever they choose and be rewarded based on outcomes rather than attendance.

Remote working facts 

Employees want WFH to stay 

98% of workers want to work remotely.⁵

Some businesses are now online only 

16% of all companies are fully remote.⁶

Business leaders oppose remote work 

73% of executives believe that remote workers pose a security risk.⁷

Vodafone Business UC with RingCentral 

Unified Communications with RingCentral is a cloud-based tool that enables you to be more flexible in the way you communicate with colleagues, serve customers, manage digital transformation, and much more – all in a single, collaborative platform. 

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