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The winning combination of home and office

The winning combination of home and office

VodafoneZiggo supports businesses in hybrid working

When the pandemic is over, at least 84 percent of people working from home in the Netherlands no longer want to work five days per week at an office. "Hybrid working in a combination of home and office work is the future", says Martijn van Lieshout, Marketing Director at VodafoneZiggo.

During the online seminar, 'Working from Home Summit', van Lieshout explained how VodafoneZiggo practices this approach itself and how the company supports other organisations with advice, organisation and technology regarding connectivity and security.

Seize the moment
According to the Marketing Director, it makes sense and is also an opportunity as organisation to already consider now what 'post-Covid working' should look like. "Let us seize the moment in order to arrange work differently. With a clear role for working from home because the benefits are huge. The balance between work and personal life is better, and people are more productive. We also see that people miss certain things about working in an office. For example, meeting a colleague face-to-face and getting to know him/her better, which contributes to good cooperation."

Online working, teaching, consulting
Van Lieshout indicated that in the past, he encountered managers at companies who doubted whether employees could handle flexible working in terms of discipline. "In my opinion, in the past year, that doubt has proven to be completely unfounded. We have learned en masse how to work online and not just in offices. See how schools have all gone digital and how physicians consult with video calls. Selling a mortgage in a Teams call has also proven to work just fine."

This development has been gradual. "In particular, at the beginning of the pandemic, we helped customers get their connection up to standard, with higher capacity for cloud services, with mobile work via telephone and laptop. After a few weeks, the customer demand shifted from purely technical issues to matters such as 'how can we keep employees really connected with each other?' and 'how do we maintain real contact with our clients in digital format?'"

Physical proximity
Van Lieshout acknowledges: it is difficult to get a sense of clients through a screen, without being able to look them in the eyes. Physical proximity is important for complex issues and when a development process requires significant creativity. "The fact that 84 percent of Dutch employees no longer want to return full-time to the office is an enormous eye-opener with which we at Vodafone Business have been working. And in which we are also helping our customers. The question is how do we grow from the current online working from home during the pandemic into a hybrid form in which there is space for working from home and for meetings in an office."

How we are going to do that will result from questions that VodafoneZiggo must ask itself, just like every organisation. One: what works well in the current online manner of working, what do we want to continue doing after the pandemic? And two: what do our employees miss in the current online manner of working?

From now on, the office is a meeting place
The office is primarily a meeting place in the VodafoneZiggo view of hybrid working. "Seeing each other in real life promotes mutual working relationships. There is also work that is performed better when people are together physically, for example, more complex work such as developing a strategy or processes requiring considerable creativity. The combination of working from home and meeting at the office can be very strong."

Higher productivity and satisfaction, lower absenteeism
Hybrid working has now been established in the Connected Working Policy at VodafoneZiggo. This policy states when and how often employees work in the office and preferably what they will do there. The common theme in the Policy: everyone who wants, may work from home half-time, also when everything returns to normal. Van Lieshout: "Our yield up to this point: profit in productivity, 10 percent less absenteeism. Employee satisfaction has also increased. Therefore, every reason to elevate to standard a mix of working from home and meetings in the office."

VodafoneZiggo is not keeping these insights and this approach to itself. "We help enterprises that also want to embrace hybrid working. We offer our technology, our cloud solutions and everything that we have available in terms of connectivity and security. We can support all of that, from the organisation to the implementation of solutions. We have Home Office Consultants available who can help precisely those smaller businesses in making the step toward hybrid working."

If you would like to know more about the Working from Home Summit 2021, then go to: https://www.thuiswerksummit.nl/
(the summit is in Dutch)