FUZE FLEX SUMMIT — Workers increasingly view flexible work models as an expectation that will continue as the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.
That’s according to a new Fuze report, “Flex Study: Global Findings on the Future of Flexible Work.” It was unveiled during the first day of the 2021 Flex Summit. The weeklong virtual event brings together industry experts to discuss how enterprises are embracing flexible work.
Fuze polled 8,800 front-line and office workers globally for the report. Industries include manufacturing, retail, professional services, financial services, and software and technology.
The report reinforces that organizations and business leaders should not consider flexible work as a one-size-fits-all benefit. Instead, it should be a personalized experience tailored to an individual’s unique work preferences, their role within their team, industry practices, aligned to goals and expected outcomes, and established through a foundation of trust.
Chris Jones is Fuze‘s chief revenue officer. He said the findings will help partners navigate the nuances of return-to-office strategies. Moreover, it gives them access to the information needed to make informed decisions about how to reopen while still allowing their employees to drive business results regardless of their physical location.
3 Primary Workplace Trends
“Our Flex survey results highlighted three main workplace trends that emerged from the pandemic,” Jones said. “Large employees are more trusting of leadership, but there is still room to grow. Flexible work should be a standard practice. And companies should prioritize productivity and engagement when developing return-to-office strategies.”
Fuze’s partners face the same challenges as those companies surveyed, he said.
“Our partners have the opportunity to close the trust gap by listening to what their employees want and creating a transparent flexible work plan,” Jones said.When it comes to trust, the results showed 54% of workers think management is more trusting of remote work since teams shifted to working remotely full time in March 2020. However, 70% of senior leaders – director level and above – believe they are trustworthy, leaving a trust gap. That leads Fuze to believe there is a larger issue with communications surrounding flexible work.
Flexible work is a must have, he said. However, the survey proved it’s more than having a policy in place.
“Instead, partners need to consider a standard practice where employees can personalize their own work experiences, especially since 65% of respondents would consider changing jobs for greater long-term flexibility,” Jones said. “Understanding what flexibility means to your employees, getting the data and making decisions based on that data, is crucial for the future. Our partners and service providers need to consider how these findings will impact their operations, and provide the support and resources that employees need to succeed, whether in the office or at home.”
The most “shocking” finding was around how employees prioritized productivity and engagement while working remotely, Jones said.
“Contrary to some public perceptions, we’ve actually gained productivity throughout the last year,” he said. “Eighty-six percent of survey respondents feel as or more productive than they did before the pandemic, highlighting that even as employees balanced families, remote learning and working out of small bedrooms, they still felt empowered to drive continued business success for their organizations.”
Fuze’s Partner-First Initiative, announced last month, provides partners with the services, support and technology to meet modern customer needs and drive digital transformation efforts “as we move to the new normal,” Jones said.
“As organizations across industries continue to move away from legacy communications technologies, and shift toward the future of hybrid work, they’re looking for partners who help them more seamlessly digitally transform,” he said.
Fuze recently announced its Fuze Contact Center. It’s a standalone solution that provides customers with rapid deployment of contact center features, such as call routing and queuing, without the cost associated with traditional solutions.
“While previously, customers were automatically deployed with Fuze’s fully integrated UCaaS + CCaaS platform, this standalone offering will support call-heavy departments streamline operations for enterprise customers that are not ready to migrate all of their communications systems to UCaaS,” Jones said. “This new solution will help our partners drive revenue and increase profit margins, as they can now offer a tailored product that meets the modern needs of customers, which will strengthen relationships with their existing client base, and open them up to new customers that are looking for a standalone offering.”