In the post-COVID working world, it’s clear that remote working is here to stay. After investing in and adopting Modern Work technology, Housing Associations are now looking to see how they can adapt to the next phase of working – the hybrid era.
Inside Housing reports that 99% of Housing associations are planning to move to hybrid working which allows staff to combine remote and office-based working. The National Housing Federation have also noted a significant shift towards remote working saying “Over the past few years lots of housing associations have been moving towards more flexible working, enabling teams to work remotely and from home, and a lot of those had a lot of these practices and technologies in place”.
In the height of COVID lockdowns, the priority was adapting to the unexpected upheaval of shifting operations to work remotely. However, in this next era, the focus is moving to making the most of these technologies and ensuring that organisations’ data remains secure. Housing Associations looking to benefit from the flexibility of hybrid working need to ensure their technology and digital infrastructure is optimised to support secure and productive remote working.
Hybrid and remote working for housing associations
What are the benefits of hybrid and remote working for housing associations?
Hybrid and remote working offer housing associations the opportunity to create a more flexible and inclusive working environment while reducing costs and gaining access to a wider pool of talent.
By embracing remote working options, housing associations can remove barriers and better support their staff and tenants. Not only does it widen the geographical pool of talent, but it also enables more flexible working conditions which are essential to many working parents and disabled people for example.
It’s not just greater inclusivity, housing associations can reduce overheads too. By moving to remote or hybrid working housing associations can reduce the costs associated with maintaining a large office space while making the most of the investment in technology they made early in the pandemic. Microsoft Cloud technologies like Microsoft 365 and Teams subscriptions are based on the number of licenses you need, so you only ever pay for what you’re using without the need for large up-front investment.
How can housing associations optimise their hybrid working setup?
A key aspect of remote working that may have gone overlooked is optimising your setup so that teams are not just adapting to working from home but thriving. There are two important elements to this – keeping your data secure and keeping teams connected.
Microsoft 365 and Teams not only keep your team connected and collaborative, but make securing access to your documents easy. Housing association staff can interact effortlessly with instant messaging, video calling and virtual meetings in Microsoft Teams while collaborating in real-time on files in M365. Plus, features like Endpoint Manager allow you to centrally patch and update devices from anywhere while Multifactor Authentication makes sure only authorised personnel can access documents.
With these tools, your team can operate a remote call centre, escalate maintenance requests and collaborate with other departments from anywhere. Keep up with best practice recommendations like the Hackitt Report’s digital ‘golden thread’ by keeping a digital record of maintenance and upgrades to properties.
How we can help optimise hybrid working for housing associations
We offer six Microsoft funded modern work workshops providing in-depth guidance from our modern work experts. Explore Microsoft’s modern work stack, explore the potential and get personalised advice tailored to your organisation’s needs. From useful features to keeping your infrastructure secure, our workshops will give you the knowledge and actionable next steps you need to optimise your remote working setup.
Our Microsoft funded workshops include:
- Endpoint Management
- Enable your frontline
- Hybrid Meetings
- Modernise communications
- Next-gen endpoints
We’re a Microsoft Gold Partner and hold multiple Advanced Specialisations, including:
- Calling for Microsoft Teams
- Meetings and meeting rooms for Microsoft Teams
- Identity and access management
- Teamwork deployment
Hybrid working for housing association customers
We partnered with housing association Abri to consolidate and optimise their Microsoft 365 tenant to boost productivity and improve their security posture. We deployed a ‘big bang’ migration approach over a weekend to keep the disruption to a minimum and allow their team to get back to supporting their tenants.
Since the project was completed Abri’s in-house IT team has seen a significant drop in support requests and the organisation has reported a vast increase in productivity and an elevated user experience.
“The internal Abri IT team praised the quality of support and advice given by the Transparity consultants and the task was completed on time, within budget and with very little user disruption; essential as this took place during the first Covid lockdown in April 2020.”
James Haywood, Head of IT at Abri
Next steps to optimise hybrid working for housing associations
Remote and hybrid working in housing associations is here to stay and is set to elevate both the working experience for staff and the support offered to tenants. While the benefits of hybrid working transform the industry, it’s key to ensure the technology is optimised to facilitate staff productivity and the security of your data.
To get the most out of remote working and get tailored advice from one of our modern work experts, register for a 3-day workshop below.