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This blog is part four of our Building Better Meetings blog series. To learn more about how organizations can host better meetings check out the other installments:

Part 1: 4 Types of Meetings to Avoid in 2022

Part 2: Why Your Meetings Should Be More Like Power Naps

Part 3: Pro Tips - Do’s and Don’ts for Hosting Large Meetings

Over the past two years, many businesses have experienced growing pains as they shifted from the office to remote work and then back to somewhere in between. It’s becoming increasingly clear: the hybrid workplace is here to stay.

With 53 percent of employees preferring a hybrid model and an additional 24 percent wanting to be fully remote, it’s clear there’s no going back to the traditional office environment, according to a study by Gallup.

But while hybrid work comes with its perks – coffee in pajama pants, anyone? – it can also bring feelings of isolation and detachment from company culture. There’s a risk some workers will feel “peripheral and disconnected” to work and the social life that helps them bond with other employees, writes Martine Haas in Harvard Business Review. Of the people who preferred hybrid work over being fully remote in the Gallup poll, they cited the option to connect with coworkers as the top reason to go into the office.

As a leader trying to find the balance between remote and in-person interactions, you may be asking yourself some difficult questions. How can you foster an inclusive corporate environment when colleagues are spread across the map? Do you have the tools to lead meetings with employees who are both in the boardroom and in their home offices? Are you prepared to manage complex projects and geographically diverse teams?

The best tech provider can answer any questions you have now and will continue to work with you to solve any problems that may arise as the workplace continues to change. How can you know when you’ve found your unified communications and collaborations match? Here are four signs to look for.

4 Signs You’ve Found the Right Tech Partner

  1. They add value to the employee experience. With hybrid working comes an unprecedented diversification of employee journeys. Someone coming to the office every day may never physically cross paths with a colleague who chooses to work from home, but it’s important both feel like they equally belong in the company culture.

    Employers are figuring out ways to host hybrid meetings that bring together remote and in-person attendees by establishing huddle rooms with dedicated video conferencing, but there’s still room to improve. The ability to meet organizational goals depends on the ability to foster open and easy communication between coworkers, no matter where they are.

    Workers who feel like they’re a part of something bigger provide better service to customers, so any investment in improving employee experience is worthwhile. The best unified communications and collaboration providers don’t just stop at hardware or software – they give you the tools you need to bring employees and customers closer together. Integrated features like video messaging and group chat make sharing ideas flow naturally, removing the barrier of distance.

  2. They mesh with your tech, but bring more to the table. Many companies have found themselves operating with an ad-hoc mix of hardware and software as workers report in from multiple locations. Even as business leaders make efforts to adapt the workplace to hybrid work, remote employees are still at risk of feeling left out of the loop. In the coming year, it will be vital to integrate everyday collaboration tools such as progress tracking or file sharing to help remote and in-office colleagues work together seamlessly.

    A good tech provider will evaluate your needs and determine the best way to implement solutions that work the way you do. From apps that integrate with the devices your employees are already familiar with to dynamic cloud infrastructures that grow with you, your communications partner will have the tools to streamline your systems and save time and money.

  3. They provide flexible solutions that grow with you every step of the way. Your business needs will evolve, so your communications services will have to do the same. Whether you just need a few hard lines at a single site or a whole suite of cloud-based collaboration tools across multiple locations, your provider should be able to give you what you need, when you need it. 

    Subscription-model services
    provide access to the technology you require without having to pay for anything you don’t – but you always have the option to add more when you’re ready. Subscription plans also put communications tools at your fingertips with the latest updates for maximum security and compliance so they can be implemented when it’s time to grow.

    A flexible solution allows you to create a customized communications environment in which you have total control over upgrade and maintenance windows. Plus, with no big upfront capital investment requirements, a subscription model is often easier to budget.

    A trustworthy technology provider will help you make important decisions about your communications services: what products work best for your current situation, when to implement changes so your services are uninterrupted, what solution packages suit your individualized needs. The best unified communications and collaboration provider is more than just a vendor – they’re your long-term communications partner.

  4. They live in the present but innovate for the future. It’s been an eventful few years, and many companies have been forced to make rapid changes to keep pace, sometimes making do with outdated practices designed for a different time. The way we work is always evolving, and technologies like press-to-connect video chat, integrated messaging and live collaboration are now considered essential for everyday life.

    Your technology partner should be able to set you up with the solutions you need to stay on top of today’s challenges, but also must be constantly innovating and preparing for whatever may come next. Cloud-based and UC subscription platforms allow providers to continuously roll out new updates and enhance existing software to provide the best experience for their partners. They’ll have options that scale with your business, so you know you’re always getting the best value for your needs.

The Future is Calling. Discover how to strategically upgrade your communications systems to benefit your workforce, your customers, and ultimately your business.

An Industry Leader with a Personal Touch

While it’s important that any unified communications and collaboration provider be able to support their partners with all of the capabilities mentioned above, the most notable feature they should have is trust. How can you be sure your provider is reliable, supportive, and proven? Take the time to learn about your technology vendor’s reputation and relationship with other partners before determining whether they’re the right match for you.

For Minnie’s Food Pantry, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing healthy meals and resources to those in need, finding the right communications provider was crucial. Minnie’s had achieved immense growth after its founding in 2008 and needed better ways to personally connect with staff, clients and donors as its purview expanded. In 2019, Minnie’s and Mitel began working together to figure out the best ways to communicate and provided a cloud-based solution designed to support their important mission. 

“In the future, we’re becoming a resource center and we’re going to be successful because we have the communication element in process, and in place to help us do that,” said Cheryl Jackson, founder of Minnie’s Food Pantry. “It’s going to be amazing.”

Similarly, AllSaints, an international fashion brand, was looking to unify the communication experience for customers around the world. With operations in 27 countries, AllSaints needed to seamlessly migrate to the cloud with minimal impact on users. Receiving round-the-clock support from Mitel and partner Opus Technology, AllSaints gained the ability to scale requirements during peak times, optimizing resources and charting a course for growth. 

“The move to the cloud has provided enhanced stability and reliability, with global functionality,” noted Andy Dean, Technical Operations Manager at AllSaints.

Are you ready to unite your team and develop better hybrid strategies? Whether your business is a growing non-profit or an established, multinational corporation, learn how Mitel can help modernize your way of working so you can focus on your future.

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