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Hybrid working is dead says AV professionals

Over half (51%) of AV professionals believe it’s time to drop the ‘hybrid’ from ‘hybrid work’ and just call it ‘work’. That’s according to Kinly’s ‘Trusted Connections 2023’ report, which surveyed 150 UK-based AV professionals working at high trust industries like banking, finance, healthcare, energy, and the public sectors.

The study also revealed that nearly all high-trust organisations (97%) have switched to some form of remote working. And nearly two-thirds (59%) of AV professionals in these industries do the majority of their work from home, with one in ten (12%) being fully remote.

Supporting the call to drop the term ‘hybrid’ from ‘hybrid work’ is the shift in technology priorities for AV professionals. In previous years, over half (54%) considered office audio equipment their top priority, a figure that dropped to just a third (33%) in 2023.

In fact, high-trust brands are now focussing all their AV technology choices on enabling effective work from anywhere. Remote encryption tech is the top priority for nearly half (47%) of those surveyed, closely followed by remote meeting rooms (45%), and enabling comms workflows (44%).

Recent announcements from high-profile companies asking their staff to return to the office for part of the week have further demonstrated the need for AV technology to enable effective work from home as well as the office. No longer a one-or-the-other choice, hybrid work has positioned itself as the norm between what are now viewed as two extremes, fully remote work, and full-time office work. Despite the acceptance of hybrid work as the new norm, the terminology ‘hybrid’ still persists.

Tom Martin, Kinly’s CEO said, “with the exception of industries where the physical presence of the workforce is needed: healthcare workers, firefighters, police officers, retail staff, etc. the majority of industries are offering a hybrid approach to work. So, why not simply call it ‘work’?

“Realistically, the world won’t revert to the pre-pandemic days of 9-5 office hours, five days a week. The benefits of hybrid working are too evident for employees to ignore.

“The real question is: when does the new norm become the norm? It’s an interesting conundrum and one I don’t claim to have a complete answer to. But what I can say is that when as an AV company we are building meeting rooms with the person joining remotely in mind more than we are the person sitting in the room, the new normal is swiftly becoming the standard, outpacing our perceptions and terminology.”

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