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The Future of Digital Transformation

Let’s start with a definition. For us, digital transformation means using IT and technology to dramatically change your business for the better.

That may mean a custom or bespoke software product. Or it may mean integrating your systems on the back end, or a complete overhaul of your IT systems and suppliers. Whatever the tech issues, it means focusing on your customers, your market, and your risks. Every choice is to ensure that the internal operation of your company is not limiting its growth.

Another important point is that the transformation is individual to your company. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, and anyone telling you so is after your wallet.

That doesn’t mean we won’t see big changes in the next few years. Again and again we’ve watched as what used to seem like extraordinary technologies—such as voice recognition, complex mapping and routing, and software robots—quietly become a part of the everyday life of a mid-market company.

Similarly, though the excitement about drone deliveries and artificial intelligence seems to have faded, we still think they’re coming. Whenever I see such innovations being tested, I think they’re important guides to what will gradually come to our sector, the mid-market.

How the Pandemic Transformed Digital Transformation

Before we get into what’s coming, it’s useful to look back. The pandemic changed digital transformation in two fundamental ways.

First, everything went online, and faster than we had thought possible. Everyone now expects online sales, service, and support. Business and domestic consumers rapidly adopted online channels for finding and buying a wide range of products and services. This also extended to after-sales and re-ordering, which are online now in a way that seemed unlikely in 2019.

Similarly, paper is on its way out. Cash has been side-lined by electronic payment. Printed brochures and catalogues have disappeared from many sectors. (In fact, if your business is still reliant on paper, that would be the place to start a digital transformation of your company. More ideas here.).

Second, we saw a rapid shift to remote work. Not that it was a simple process: we saw business struggle when their systems and processes were badly integrated and ill-defined. But everyone, whether they liked it or not, quickly got used to collaborating online.

In every situation above, old-fashioned managers were saying, “It will never work.” Which leads me to conclude that often digital transformation is driven by attitude rather than what is technically possible. And attitudes have changed irreversibly.

What’s Coming to the Mid-Market

In the near future, for many mid-market businesses the next phase of digital transformation will focus on the following:

  1. Data, data, data. It’s never been easier to accumulate data. Companies will leverage these new assets for smarter use by humans and AI. Combining data from different sources is now far easier, and cloud-based processing allows for rapid insights that would have been unthinkable even quite recently. The businesses that adopt data visualisation technologies, simple machine learning, and process automation will have a competitive advantage.
  2. External integration. Internal integration and adoption of the cloud should be in the rear-view mirror. (If that doesn’t describe your situation, that’s the first step to transforming your company.) Businesses should only select tech products that support integration and should gravitate towards suppliers, customers, and partners who form integrated communities. Because integrated communities will out-perform those that are not.
  3. Points of difference. As cutting-edge technology becomes more widely available, companies will have to work harder to distinguish themselves by their actual product or service. Their brand really must mean something, and they really do need a competitive edge. For example, now any company can stream movies like Netflix; Disney+ has surged ahead on the strength of its content.
  4. Environmental, social, and governance concerns. Both regulators and consumers will insist upon more transparency when it comes to data use and environmental sustainability. Traceability of products, optimisation of materials and energy consumption, privacy, security, and justifiable decision-making will all become part of the digital transformation agenda.
  5. Virtual currency. Products and services will be increasingly virtual and paid for with virtual currency. It remains to be seen which form of digital currency will prevail. But mid-market companies need to tune into this accelerating change and invest in new types of virtual storefronts and virtual branding. Though I hate to use the term, this is the metaverse.

What Hasn’t Changed—and Likely Never Will?

Most mid-market businesses are deeply concerned about supply chain issues, recruitment, and energy costs. New technologies—and the judicious application of existing solutions—can ease all these issues, but only if you successfully meet human needs at the same time.

Zoom and shared docs are no substitute for real face-to-face collaboration. You cannot have a real creative discussion, shift entrenched opinions, or lift someone’s spirits online. Digital transformation can drive everyday productivity. But for most people, an enjoyable job also means human contact.

Most people also want their company to have a vision beyond profit. They want to draw more from their work than just their salary. Digital transformation can absolutely make a difference in a mid-market business—but only when you include the human factor.

No matter what your sector or the size of your business, a digital transformation won’t take unless your staff feel included and valued.

With all that in mind, now it’s time to think about your company. If you redo your IT and technology with a magic wand, how would you do things differently? What barriers to growth would you remove?

Here are 10 ideas to start your Digital Transformation Journey

For more guidance on digital transformation, see our free, plain-English guides here. And for a no-strings, no-pressure conversation about the digital transformation opportunities within your own business, get in touch.



Do I need a CISO?

A Chief Information Security Officer is a senior-level executive responsible for protecting your data and intellectual property, and your information systems and processes. They understand your business strategy, your legal and market requirements, and your business’s risk appetite, and they ensure that these are all met.

They are also responsible for planning and implementing a business’s IT security strategy to make security decisions, to assess risk, and to keep the C-suite apprised of risk and risk management.

More broadly, they provide leadership and management throughout the business at an IT, process, and cultural level.

The fact is that security has become an enormous concern in our lives, and we need to keep our eyes open.

In a business the problem is magnified ten- or a hundred-fold. Aside from email and phone scams, which target businesses as well as individuals, there is a security risk every time your business hires a new employee or vendor, inks a new contract, connects your network to a new device, outsources any task, even makes a simple financial transaction. The risk is bigger when you take on investors or merge with or acquire another company.

This is why many companies hire a CISO. This is not the person who will help your company streamline its systems and processes or guide it through an ERP project. Nor is it the person who will set up the firewalls or install anti-virus software. Instead, a CISO is a strategic hire to put security at the heart of your business systems and processes.

CISOs become especially valuable as businesses become larger and more established. The job of security and risk management will simply become too big for the CIO or CTO. Another way to look at it is that the CISO frees up the CIO to implement the IT and technology that will help the business grow.

In the meantime, you can read CIO vs CTO: What’s the difference?

Why does it need to be someone in the C-suite? Because security is not simply a tech matter. Many of the highest-profile hacks have affected companies with highly expert teams and the most sophisticated security technology. Good security requires a commercially-minded leader who fully understands the detailed technical issues rather than just a technical expert.

A serious security lapse could cause your business catastrophic financial and reputational damage. A minor security lapse will cost you time and money. Any kind of lapse may have legal implications, resulting in lawsuits and fines.

On the other hand, addressing security concerns can provide a marketing advantage. In many industries, companies select suppliers who have impressive cybersecurity and compliance certifications. Thus having a credible leader like a CISO enables you to gain new clients, or secure funding, or generally raise your business’s profile.

CISOs are highly specialized and in-demand, so they command high salaries. Many mid-market businesses simply can’t afford to pay another executive’s full salary. Or they may be in an in-between stage where the security concerns are too time-consuming for a CIO but don’t yet merit a full-time salary. That’s why we often suggest a “fractional” or part-time CISO.

If you have questions about CISOs — or any other aspect of IT and technology, feel free to get in touch. We’re always up for a no-strings conversation about cybersecurity or any other aspect of running a mid-market business.

Visit our CIOs, CTOs & CISOs Knowledge Center which includes all content related to this topic.

6 Reasons You Can’t Find Workers (and What to Do About It)

For mid-market businesses, hiring the right people is always a challenge. In today’s employment market, it can be near-impossible.

Not so long ago we thought it would be the opposite. Most pundits were warning that mass unemployment would follow in the wake of the pandemic. And yet many countries now have record employment rates. US unemployment has fallen from almost 15% in 2020 to 3.6% in April 2022. In the UK, the unemployment rate is 3.7%, and in many wealthy areas real unemployment is close to zero.

This is a truly remarkable transformation in the employment market. So what’s behind it?

We see six factors that have dramatically choked off the supply of workers:

  1. Older workers left the workforce earlier than expected due to age, lifestyle choices, illness, or fear of illness.
  2. Reduced immigration and increased emigration as many decided to hunker down in their home countries.
  3. People switched jobs, especially from services closed during lockdowns — which then created shortages when those sectors re-opened.
  4. Career-switchers reduced the available skills capital (such as an experienced chef who is now a delivery driver).
  5. Large numbers of people who wanted to change jobs postponed due to uncertainty, so many positions that might have opened stayed filled.
  6. And, of course, dynamism in the market reduces its short-term elasticity, because people who change jobs aren’t normally looking to change again for a couple of years.

All these factors are creating an entirely new, unwelcome challenge for mid-market businesses. In response, many companies are taking extraordinary steps to beef up pay and benefits packages and improve working conditions.

But to really emerge from this revolution ready for the next 20 years, mid-market companies should look seriously at how effectively they are using this most precious of resources, their people.

Of all our resources, people are often what really make the difference. So now is the time make the best use of your best assets. This means peeling back frustrating layers of complexity, reorganizing, and re-designing systems and processes.

In the meantime, watch our video Hybrid Working Is the Strategic Challenge of the Decade. Why?

The goal is to create a lean and efficient business that’s able to meet increased demand without the need to recruit. That’s why we’re currently working with our clients to reduce waste and friction and to automate and integrate wherever possible.

There will of course be times when you have to hire new people. But you can minimize turnover when you give your people fewer reasons to look elsewhere.

Visit our Technology Roadmap for Growth Knowledge Center which includes all content related to this topic.

5 Steps to ERP Implementation

An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) project is when you integrate all your company’s core processes into a single system—finance, HR, manufacturing, supply chain, services, procurement, whatever else you need to run your business, back-end and front.

ERP can transform your company. When it’s done right, a new ERP system will deliver savings and service improvements, strengthen compliance, and provide a solid platform for digital expansion and future growth.

But ERP projects are large and expensive. They are a major exercise for the entire organization and will consume the attention of key personnel for months. So before you start your ERP journey, read our 5 steps to implementing an ERP.

You may also be interested in our blog post Do You Actually Need an ERP Project?

1. Have clear and specific business objectives.

Many ERP projects derail because the company never worked out the key priorities. When the inevitable glitches arrive, they don’t know where to compromise. So, your very first step must be an honest C-suite discussion about business objectives. What
are the outcomes that you’re looking for? Some examples:

• Redeploy four FTEs by avoiding any rekeying between the ERP and website
• Eliminate orders from customers on credit stop by eliminating the lag between finance and order processing
• Integrate with a new customer’s ordering systems within about two weeks of contract signing

Of course, your own needs will differ. Just notice that the objectives above are (a) measurable and (b) can be readily assigned a monetary value.

An ERP project typically has twenty or more such key objectives, and it’s crucial that the board have consensus on each of them. Because then there will be far less room for argument when the road gets bumpy. And later you’ll be able to point back to your
requirements document and show that it was all there in black and white from the start, avoiding disputes internally and with suppliers.

2. Assign clear ownership of the project.

Too often ERP projects are run by a gaggle of people with vague roles. Instead, the CEO must absolutely appoint someone with the necessary technical know-how, business experience, people skills, and leadership qualities to run a complex project. (We would, of course, suggest one of our fractional IT leaders join your team.)

The CEO and this leader must then be clear on who is accountable for which aspects of the project. These people must have the space to do their jobs—avoid interrupting them with day-to-day issues so they can focus on the ERP project.

This can be uncomfortable for mid-market companies with ingrained ways of working. But a combination of flexibility and accountability is critical to success—plus you can see it as opportunity to develop people for the long-term.

To continue reading, download the article above.

Visit our  ERP and Integration Issues Knowledge Center which includes all content related to this topic.

Do You Actually Need an ERP Project?

An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) project is when you integrate all your company’s core processes into a single system—finance, HR, manufacturing, supply chain, services, procurement, whatever else you need to run your business, back-end and front.

ERP can be a launching pad for transformative growth. When it’s done right, customers are happier, employees are freed from menial tasks, and all the separate parts of your business have access to the same information in real-time. ERP becomes a launching-pad to transformative growth.

When ERP is done wrong, it gets very expensive, not to mention causing more of the stress and frustration you were hoping to alleviate by implementing the project.

So before you start pouring precious time and resources into a complicated project, ask yourself if it’s even necessary. If any of the following issues keep popping up, it’s time to get started.

Your existing solution has serious support problems.

Are you having frequent disputes with your suppliers? Are existing products no longer supported? Multiple supplier and support problems are a strong indication you need ERP.

You’re driven to distraction by rekeying, data issues, and workarounds.

Every business has its workarounds, yet yours have become a serious problem. You’re wasting money on staff who merely help you get through the day, rather than serve your customers.

Back-office systems are hindering your marketing plans.

You and your CMO have some great new ideas, but back-office solutions have become the barrier to progress.


To continue reading, download the article above.

Visit our  ERP and Integration Issues Knowledge Center which includes all content related to this topic.

Top 4 Benefits of Hiring a Digital Strategy Consultant

Many companies wonder about the benefits of using a digital strategy consultant, a role often fulfilled by an experienced CIO or CTO. We see four specific areas where digital strategy consultants bring advantages over internal staff or other experts.

1. Broader experience

Digital strategy consultants will typically work with a wider range of businesses, in both your sector and in adjacent ones.

For most companies, strategic reviews are relatively rare, whereas for consultants this is bread and butter, and they are able to bring a wide range of recent experiences to bear.

It’s important to have experiences from the same sector, but we would also point to extremely valuable experiences from adjacent or entirely different sectors. For example, B2C e-commerce has seen major innovations in recent years that have shifted people’s expectations, and these are now being reflected in changes in B2B e-commerce.

2. Methodology

Corralling a management team through a strategic review process can be a challenge.

Part of the problem is to present a simple, sensible and appropriate methodology that the leadership will be confident with. Digital strategy consultants are able to refer to a range of methodologies and established practices that they have used many times and are able to confidently follow.

The consultant’s confidence in the methodology can create momentum and enthusiasm that is transformational in itself.

3. Impartiality

Impartiality has a number of different aspects. Of course, it includes being distant from the internal politics and the competing objectives of different leaders within the organization. It also means not being tied to particular solution vendors and other external teams.

The best digital strategy consultants work through internal battles and recommend what is right for the organization, rather than receiving commissions or other incentives to sell particular products.

4. Access to a wider network and other outside experts

Digital strategy consultants often have access to networks of experts and advisors. These include specific functional experts as well as companies who can implement their recommendations.

This is obviously useful in itself but also means that they can check the achievability of their recommendations during their consultancy. They can, for example, create a vision to match a budget rather than working in a vacuum, and they can ensure that further partners are lined up to deliver the vision rather than just creating a “white elephant.”

Freeman Clarke often leads digital strategy creation and acts as a consultancy. We have unparalleled experience of devising, leading and implementing digital transformations for mid-market businesses. We bring broader experience, methodologies, impartiality and access to a wider network.

For more non-technical advice, visit our Technology Roadmap for Growth Knowledge Center, which includes all content related to this topic.

Why Freeman Clarke?

Freeman Clarke is the largest and most experienced team of part-time (we call it “fractional”) IT leaders. We work exclusively with ambitious organizations and we frequently help our clients use IT to beat their competition. Contact Us and we’ll be in touch for an informal conversation.

How Much Does a Fractional CIO Cost?

Why should your business have a Fractional CIO?

The Chief Information Officer (CIO) is a crucial role in a business, with the ultimate responsibility for all of its IT and technology. Because CIOs tend to have decades of expertise, they command high salaries.

Your business should have a CIO because the right CIO will align your IT strategy to support your business strategy and goals. They will look beyond the day-to-day to ensure that IT not only keeps the business running smoothly but that it also drives growth. A CIO will also smooth out integration issues and take ownership of transformational projects like an ERP and cyber security.

How can a Fractional CIO help cut business costs?

Many mid-market businesses need a CIO, but they may not have the resources or the need for someone full-time. This is where a fractional CIO comes in: ‘fractional’ simply means part-time, because they work for other companies as well. A fractional CIO is still an executive, making high-level decisions in the best interests of your company—streamlining and improving IT processes to keep costs down, managing teams and suppliers, negotiating with suppliers when necessary. But as the fractional CIO only spends a portion of their time with your business, salary and benefit expenses are reduced. A fractional CIO, therefore, allows your business to have financial flexibility, to keep overheads reasonable, and to spend in other areas that need addressing.

Cost of a Fractional CIO

Full-time CIOs are expensive – according to recent surveys, up to $300,000 per year in salary alone. Of course, the experience of the CIO and where they work will affect the salary, but a full-time CIO will never come cheap. A fractional CIO, however, can be a great option because it costs a fraction of the full salary, whilst providing the services your business needs to grow. To get an idea of how much a fractional CIO may cost your company, contact us at Freeman Clarke.

‘We were looking to tap into the experience of a successful IT leader who is as comfortable having a discussion on business strategy as they are discussing IT operations, innovation and digital disruption. Freeman Clarke provided us with the perfect individual to be our CIO. He quickly connected with our high-energy culture and international footprint and helped to get colleagues excited about the possibilities of change.’ — Nicola Stott, Global Managing Director, Exigent.

For more non-technical advice, visit our Technology Roadmap for Growth Knowledge Center, which includes all content related to this topic.

Why Freeman Clarke?

Freeman Clarke is the largest and most experienced team of part-time (we call it “fractional”) IT leaders. We work exclusively with ambitious organizations and we frequently help our clients use IT to beat their competition. Contact Us and we’ll be in touch for an informal conversation.

What Does a Fractional CIO Do?

CIO stands for “Chief Information Officer.” It’s a C-suite position responsible for technology, staff, and suppliers. CIOs also oversee systems, processes, and data reporting. The term “fractional” in “fractional CIO” simply means “part-time” (they work for a portfolio of two or three other companies).

Nevertheless, a fractional CIO has a transformational role. In addition to technology delivery, they focus on:

Why should your business have a Fractional CIO?

CIOs command high salaries due to their decades of expertise in IT and technology. A fractional CIO means that your business gets the support and innovation it needs at a competitive, sustainable price. In addition, they bring in fresh skills, experiences, and perspectives.

Freeman Clarke CIOs align IT solutions to business objectives, ensuring focus and cooperation across teams and departments. In addition, our CIOs are expert strategic thinkers, guiding your business through all the necessary changes to meet well-defined commercial goals.

Due to our stringent standards, only 1% of our initial candidates become part of our team. So you can be confident that your fractional CIO has the highest technical and commercial expertise, adding benefit to your business from Day One.

What does a Fractional CIO do and how can they help your business?

Fractional CIOs ensure that the IT and technology of your business support your goals. They ensure that systems are well-integrated and that processes are efficient. Fractional CIOs take ownership of the day-to-day IT and technology, including risk management and cyber security.

Fractional CIOs will also drive transformational projects, such as automation or a new ERP system, or a complete digital transformation.

A fractional CIO will also lead teams through the inevitable business challenges and strategic obstacles — our CIOs have guided businesses through extremely challenging transformational events like COVID-19 and Brexit.

The overall goal is to create an IT and technology environment that is flexible and adaptable and provides a platform for growth.

Fractional CIOs are accountable for technology, teams, and suppliers

Fractional CIOs have a crucial role in a business in that they have ownership of virtually every aspect of its IT and technology, including hardware and software and how staff uses the technology. They supervise the technology-related teams, taking responsibility for day-to-day operations as well as the delivery of longer-term projects.

An important part of the fractional CIO’s role is that they are accountable for suppliers. They foster sound, productive long-term relationships and ensure that all contracts and deliverables make sense for the business and will renegotiate or replace suppliers when necessary.

Fractional CIOs drive integration, automation, and transformational projects including ERP and online

A fractional CIO’s role should be transformational. Their impact should be felt positively throughout the business. The transformation could simply be a matter of making improvements in existing technology, such as improving integration – ensuring that systems communicate with a minimum of problems. Another way to make an impact is through automation: a fractional CIO will see where automation is possible and if it makes sense for the company.

A fractional CIO is responsible for larger transformational projects as well, including an ERP if needed, or when necessary deep changes and upgrades to digital platforms. This will often require changes to process, organization and culture, and a fractional CIO will take a leading role in these changes.

Fractional CIOs align IT with business strategy

Fractional CIOs are responsible for aligning the IT to the business strategy. This may mean helping to clarify the business goals first before making changes to IT and technology. Once the goals are clear, the CIO’s role is to help the business achieve its commercial goals, so they will make all IT decisions in that light.

Fractional CIOs improve systems and digital usage within a business, transforming profits

A fractional CIO looks to make improvements in how staff uses the systems and indeed all the technology. For example, systems may actually be working well, but employees have never been properly trained in their usage, leading to wasted time and money. A fractional CIO takes a hard look at how staff interacts with technology in order to exploit it to the fullest.

“Freeman Clarke have made IT a strategic enabler, aligned with our business strategy. Our systems now provide much greater support for our staff, reducing wasted time, costs, and problems. The culture and practices within our IT team have changed radically, and they are now a critical contributor to our success.” — Mike Yiannis, Chief Financial Officer, Hydrock.

For more non-technical advice, visit our Technology Roadmap for Growth Knowledge Center, which includes all content related to this topic.

Why Freeman Clarke?

Freeman Clarke is the largest and most experienced team of part-time (we call it “fractional”) IT leaders. We work exclusively with ambitious organizations and we frequently help our clients use IT to beat their competition. Contact Us and we’ll be in touch for an informal conversation.

Hybrid Working: The Challenge of the Decade

Hybrid working is the strategic challenge of the decade for mid-market business leaders. Why do I say that?

Business is all about relationships. And in-person, face-to-face contact builds relationships like nothing else. Companies selling engagement apps and collaboration tools say otherwise, but they have a vested interest in their own nonsense.

Since the “war for talent” began — the enormously competitive landscape for recruiting and retaining top talent — we’ve seen that the magic behind great companies is employee engagement. And the hybrid workplace is now a crucial part of that. The winners will be those businesses with a hybrid workplace that attracts and engages the best people.

The pandemic complicated the issue, of course. Many companies are finding that the talent they recruited during the pandemic don’t have the same connection to the company.

The challenge now is to create deep ties, rather than allow loose ties to become normalized. And all of it must be within the hybrid paradigm.

A lack of staff engagement hurts a business. Some surveys suggest 40% of staff globally are considering leaving their current job. In that environment, strategic progress is impossible — simply maintaining stable operations becomes the all-consuming focus.

But as the cliché says, every challenge is an opportunity. This is your chance to redefine where, who, and how you recruit. It’s an opportunity to reconsider which parts of your business are insourced and outsourced. It’s even an opportunity to redefine the processes and systems that your business is built on.

Read our blogpost, The three-step strategy for hybrid working.

In the meantime, you can take smaller, more immediate steps to solidify engagement — and ironically that’s by reinventing face-to-face meetings.

It’s so easy to communicate from home, so an in-person meeting must be something better. Treat each one as a valuable opportunity. Every face-to-face meeting should be as productive, enjoyable, and enriching as possible. A couple of suggestions:

  1. Be considerate with their time. Bear in mind the time, aggravation, and resources consumed in travel to the meeting, as well as the length of the meeting itself.
  2. Bring your A-game. When you’re leading a face-to-face meeting, give it your full effort and attention. Plan ahead. And expect the same of everyone else.
  3. Get everyone involved. Let everyone know what’s expected of them beforehand, and then ensure they all get involved.

Remote engagement requires a more strategic approach. Hybrid environments need efficient systems and operations. Effective outsourcing requires seamless systems integration. And all of the above requires a vision and world-class leadership.

If you want to discuss how this should look for your business, then please get in touch. We’ve been helping mid-market businesses create systems and work environments for new hybrid strategies — I’d be delighted to see how we can help your company.


Visit our Hybrid Working & Post-Pandemic Knowledge Center which includes all content related to this topic.


A Three-Step Strategy for Hybrid Working

The pandemic took us all by surprise, but we’ve had our eyes on hybrid working for some time.

In 2018, we noticed that while urbanization and commuting remain established “megatrends” across the world, there were signs in both the US and UK that office working was on the wane. To provide some guidance for our clients, we wrote a CEO’s Briefing: How to Make It Work When They Work from Home.

Of course, with the pandemic, this gradual trend became a sudden flip. And what a flip: a US survey from late 2020 reported that the jump in remote-working was from 20% to 71%.

For many companies there was a simple, mass evacuation from the office conducted with little time to plan, and even less time for a strategy. Nevertheless, during the months that followed, people and companies adapted to new ways of working and found ways to cope.

Unlike the rapid flip required by the pandemic, this time there is scope to plan and strategize.

As the pandemic eases, many companies are looking again at office working, home-working and hybrid arrangements. Unlike the rapid flip required by the pandemic, this time there is scope to plan and enact a thought-out strategy.

We propose that your approach should be based on the following steps.

1. Strategize.

Remind your senior leaders of your business objectives and how your business stands out in the market. What makes it special in terms of customers and value? This should drive planning for you and other decision-makers in your organization.

For example, if your market is highly commodified, then of course this is an opportunity to look again at outsourcing to lower costs (or to automate more roles and eliminate some costs altogether).

If your business thrives on creativity, however, we recommend that you bring your people together, because there is no substitute for the spark of brilliant people, in a room, face-to-face.

If you are competing to recruit rare talent, then perhaps home or hybrid working allows you to recruit more easily — to cast the net wider and to offer a better package than your competitors.

If you emphasize great service, then think about what your customers want, rather than what you want.

2. Segment.

Your plans for home, office or hybrid working should be rooted in the job profiles within your company. Not all office jobs have the same profile and needs; what makes sense for a credit control assistant may not make sense for a product designer.

Consider the job in terms of:

Your adoption of home, office or hybrid working should be based on the needs of the job rather than the department or seniority.

3. Optimize.

It’s easy to do hybrid working badly. Meetings where half the team are in the office and half are remote can easily leave the remote workers feeling excluded. Getting the best from all your people requires more deliberate communications and inclusion; even more clarity on roles, processes and controls; and investment in technology that supports hybrid working patterns.

In particular:

Need help with your hybrid working strategy? Get in touch.

One of our colleagues remarked that the pandemic was the first time that communication with his offshore providers had actually worked well, because they were equals in video meetings rather than side-lined. This anecdote shows how easily we can get it wrong and lose so much of what people have to offer.

But when done right, hybrid working offers the opportunity to attract the best, to lower costs, and to reduce the impact on the environment. We have a unique opportunity right now to improve service to our customers and increase productivity and job satisfaction. Let’s make the most of it.

Visit our Hybrid Working & Post-Pandemic Knowledge Center which includes all content related to this topic.

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Graeme Freeman
Co-Founder and Director

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