Hybrid work in a Wi-Fi imperfect world

At-home workers are desperate for better connectivity and communications performance. Here’s what you can do about it.

The global shift to hybrid working has redefined our relationship with what we knew as ‘the office’. For starters, on the occasions you make it there … where is everyone?

Contact center (CC) and unified communications (UC) cloud-based platforms have played a major part in enabling the change. They’ve also helped businesses to up their game in the process.

New research has found that organizations using management platforms focussing on customer and user experience have made huge gains, as per Metrigy’s 2022 study. On average:

  • Customer ratings improved 16.9%
  • Agent efficiency improved 15.3%
  • Revenue jumped 14.7%
  • Costs fell 9%

It’s a good story that could be so much better if companies invested in management tools to deal with technology-related issues plaguing at-home workers.

No Wi-Fi – that’s weird.

Strangely or not, Metrigy found that more than half (54%) of at-home workers suffer from a spotty internet connection. Poor video performance (46%) and poor voice performance (29%) were also troubling.   

First-world problems, sure, but maddening for your employees working from home.

Employers seem to recognize the problem – though not in the same numbers as their workers. Over a third (37%) identified variable Wi-Fi as a major challenge for at-home workers, with variable video quality (21%) and voice quality (14%) also presenting potential problems.

And yet less than one-third of organizations surveyed (30%) had invested in new management tools to support a shift to cloud communications.

Just how desperate are at-home workers?

No one enjoys lousy internet freeze-framing in a Zoom meeting. But what might surprise head office is that more than a few at-home workers are prepared to reach into their own pockets to fix the problem. After all, Metrigy found that 52% of WFH workers are spending time trying to fix the problem themselves, ahead of calling IT. Beyond the frustration, just how much of this time is on the company dime?

Metrigy also asked survey respondents: If there were a management tool that provided you insight or troubleshooting tips for performance problems in your home office, would your company pay for it? More than one in three respondents (34%) thought they would. Hopeful thinking?

Reframing the question to ask respondents if they were willing to pay out of their own pocket for such a tool – more than a quarter (26%) said they would.

Most said paying $5-$10 per month was entirely reasonable.

You can’t fix what you can’t see.

Working from home (WFH) has shifted the marker for true end-to-end management of CC and UC platforms.

You’ve got to see beyond the XCaaS provider’s network all the way to 'unmanaged' WFH environments, including data on headsets, room noise levels – and yes, Wi-Fi.

But it requires a unique combination of technical, WFH network, and room analytics to get the full picture of disturbances impacting individual workstations and overall user experience in the home.

When the tech works, people thrive.

Maintaining the right conditions for your at-home workers to thrive is easier than you think.

Learn how VSM Everywhere full-stack AI diagnostics extracts and analyzes critical performance and inventory data from user workstations and 'unmanaged' WFH environments to support flawless enterprise communications.

Download our Free Guide to Hybrid Workforce Management with XCaas Analytics.

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