Blog | 04.11.2022

Embracing The New Rules of Return to Office

Recovery Time Objective vs. Return to the Office

At an IT company I worked at years ago, since acquired by Google, RTO meant Recovery Time Objective. It was a metric that helped organizations plan their people and processes to bring business technologies back online after a natural disaster, cyber-attack or other catastrophic event. We helped companies recover instantly vs. legacy approaches that took days, or even weeks. Today, RTO has a new meaning – Return to Office.

“Employees feel you need to provide them with a compelling reason to bring them back to the office. What we do well at NWN Carousel is help you adopt integrated technology to drive better outcomes.”

Alvaro Riera, VP, Unified Communications, NWN Carousel

It has long been an axiom of business that the customer comes first. While this still holds true, in today’s environment the employee enjoys an equal priority. We are, after all, in a time that is being characterized as The Great Resignation, with workers being far more demanding about the quality of the technology and experiences their organizations provide. Organizations that allow workers to be more flexible, productive, and capable of achieving a better life/work balance, are already experiencing a competitive advantage in 2022. That edge will only increase in the future as hybrid work becomes a must-have rather than a nice-to-have. Hybrid work is now essential to a company’s HR strategy for hiring, retaining, training and inspiring all employees, especially young professionals. So, what are the new rules? What are the new priorities? How can your organization ensure success in a hybrid work environment? 

Most importantly, are organizations ready for the Great Return?

Enabling a Powerful Return to Office Experience

As organizations return to office work, many are repurposing their spaces and creating new ones. Today’s office is being transformed to support new methods of collaboration that delivers a powerful experience for team-members wherever they’re located. While some repurpose existing conference rooms by reducing the max number of participants, others are creating new spaces. The need for large in-person meeting has slowed. New or repurposed spaces require digital displays, room controls, and built-in audio for Unified Communications platforms.

SVB’s Connected Workspace is Here!

In this spirit, Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) is embarking on a significant update to flexible, seamless conference rooms and meeting spaces to support Return to Office. Together with NWN Carousel, SVB has designed and upgraded 91 conference rooms deployed around the world with next-generation collaboration spaces such as training rooms, auditoriums and other specialty workspaces. In preparation for SVB’s Return to Work in early April, NWN Carousel’s Visual Collaboration and Workspace experts refreshed the hardware and software in meeting spaces and provided support services to enable a frictionless employee experience.

“We partnered with NWN Carousel to transform our physical offices with integrated collaboration spaces that help enable our teams to have a consistent, secure, and productive work experience as they collaborate with internal teams and clients.”  

David Wilson, Head of Digital Workplace Services, Silicon Valley Bank

New Challenges, New Ways to Rise Up

It is important to recognize that hybrid work is here to stay.  According to a recent Boston Globe article, “Making that back-to-the-office hybrid actually work won’t be easy. Sure, some people can’t wait to return to their cubicles or windowed offices. Others would prefer to work from home every day forever. But many of us are demanding the best of both worlds — the much-hyped hybrid model, which might be the hardest one for employers to pull off.”

Agreed! It’s important for organizations to provide an equally good, if not better, visual collaboration experience as they have at home to bring folks back in a safe and productive manner. According to a survey of IT professionals conducted by Enterprise Strategy Group, more than three quarters of organizations will provide hybrid work options for employees who worked in offices or at other on-site facilities before the pandemic. 

Recognizing the new reality of hybrid work is the first step. Beyond that, each organization must make a commitment to deliver a secure, simple, resilient, and rich experience to all employees wherever they may be working. Hybrid work creates a new set of challenges for IT teams and new rules for how to operate and empower the workforce.

What do we mean by “new rules?” For one, it means focusing on the business functions that are most critical to the employee experience—specifically, the platform they use for communication and collaboration. In today’s environment, organizations need a flexible, cloud-native, unified communication platform in order to deliver the breadth and richness of experience required to keep hybrid workers productive and enthused. 

When it comes to using a cloud communications and collaboration platform designed for the hybrid work era, it is necessary to look for specific functions and capabilities. Embracing the new rules of hybrid work means focusing on key deliverables, such as: 

  • Simplicity, automation and intelligence
  • A unified platform for communication and collaboration
  • Built-in security with end-to-end connectivity
  • Immersive employee experience—remotely and in the physical office
  • User flexibility and confidence in the devices and tools used to communicate and collaborate

A Roadmap for Hybrid Work Success

The research provides a roadmap for these new rules of hybrid work, drawn from the perspective of IT decision-makers at the front lines of driving digital transformation. As such, it is extremely relevant for business decision makers as well. It stresses the importance of aligning business objectives with the direct benefits in IT process improvements, risk reduction, and automation. The focus on IT operational efficiency, along with employee experience, communication and collaboration, improved security, and hybrid work are reflected in the respondents’ answers to questions about top priorities for the end user computing environment as shown below. 

ESG Survey

When it comes to meeting these new rules for the hybrid workplace, NWN Carousel offers an unparalleled portfolio of cloud communications services that no other service provider can match. Our offerings are differentiated from competitors because it is unified, integrated, cloud-native and singularly able to deliver on the top priorities identified by leading IT decision makers. 

We have enabled commercial, and public sector, organizations across the country to bring workers back to the office with the best experience and with a predictable cost model (as-a-service).  

Our cloud communications service portfolio consists of Device-as-a-Service (DaaS), Unified Communications, Contact Center, Security, Visual Collaboration & Workspace and Advanced Technology Solutions. All services are unified and supported by a proprietary Experience Management Platform (EMP) that delivers a unified view into your environment – from core to cloud.  

When it comes to addressing the new rules of Return to Office, this is no time to be complacent. It is time to take the steps necessary to make hybrid work a competitive asset for your organization, your employees and, ultimately, your customers.