In April 2020, statistics released by the UK's Office for National Statistics showed 49.2% of adults in employment were working from home, as a result of the social distancing measures introduced in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, as the world starts to open back up and we embrace the new normal, more businesses are embracing a ‘hybrid’ working model, combining working from home and in the office. This has forced businesses to invest more in the technology required to support remote working. In this post, we look at how businesses are prioritising their IT spending to focus on tech investments.
What is ‘hybrid’ working?
Hybrid working has always existed, but its prevalence has been turbocharged by the pandemic and subsequent remote working experiment. There isn't yet a definitive definition, but at its core, it's an arrangement in which an individual, team or organisation work part of their time at the workplace and part remotely.
How are businesses allocating their IT spend to support a new way of working?
To support a hybrid working model, businesses need to invest in cloud platforms, cybersecurity, remote IT support and IT training, all of which are crucial to supporting changing work patterns and business continuity following a highly disruptive eighteen months.
Additionally, software that supports productivity and collaboration have become, and continue to be, key tools for businesses since the start of the pandemic. When working from home, employers and employees alike need tools that help to facilitate a connection.
How can estate agents adapt to a hybrid way of working?
UK consumers are looking towards, and demanding more from, comparatively traditional industries such as retail and travel when it comes to adoption of technology. In order to adapt to a hybrid way of working, estate agents need to invest more in technology. With increased online buyer demand and many clients now choosing to shop virtually, an online portal offering 24/7 access and updates is being quickly recognized as the most efficient way to manage workloads and secure deals.
The traditional business model – fixed around bricks-and-mortar premises – hasn’t changed significantly in decades. Many have survived on reputation, providing solid customer service, and cultivating long-term relationships with families and friends over generations. However, there are some pain points felt by UK home buyers and sellers when it comes to the more traditional facets of the agent-client relationship. These include charging excessive fees; not returning calls, showing properties that do not fit their requirements; undervaluing properties; impersonal service; inflexible working hours; and not being conveniently contactable (such as via text or email). These pain points, combined with the wider shift towards online as the first port-of-call for consumers, have given rise to the online estate agent.
How can Area support a hybrid business model?
With Area, your team can easily collaborate with one another and automate applicant and vendor enquiries to make hybrid working seamless. You can automate email replies for when you're busy or closed, meaning your customer receives contact 24/7 and you never miss an opportunity.
We hope you’ve found this post on how businesses are prioritising their IT spending to focus on tech investments useful. To find out more, or to request a demo, contact us today.