Around the world, the pandemic created an entirely new way to conduct business that allowed for remote work and flexible schedules. But before the pandemic, working from home was not as common. In fact, before the pandemic only about 6% of the working population worked primarily from home and about 75% of workers had never worked from home.
When the pandemic occurred in 2020 businesses were forced to get creative and implement work from home and hybrid work strategies to keep everyone safe and ensure business continuity.
By May 2020, over a third of employed workers (approximately 48.7 million people) worked from home; the majority working in office-based business and professional occupations. Within the management and professional occupations, 57% of workers worked from home.
Interestingly, remote work was more common for women (40%) versus men (30%) (but this was not attributed to childcare responsibilities). Regardless, both men and women suddenly became aware of the need to set up a home office. With this new workforce operating from virtually everywhere BUT the office, companies had to find a way to ensure that remote workers could communicate effectively and clearly with management and collaborate with coworkers despite being dispersed over a larger geographic area.
Maintaining professional communication relied heavily on collaboration tools such as video conferencing, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom, and these platforms relied even more on sound and audio quality to keep conversations clearly understood.
This created a tremendous need for professional, flexible, and customizable audio tools that could deliver – such as Clockaudio’s remote USB microphone solutions – the CUI-2 and the CUB-33.
Hybrid Work is Here to Stay
Post pandemic companies continue to embrace ideas like the partial work week, flex schedules, hoteling, and remote working. For most, the concerns over productivity that were initially raised, have been put to rest, and many businesses now enjoy operating equally effectively from home or the office.
About 29% of work in the US has been able to be done remotely with zero productivity loss.
When polled, employees who experienced the mandated “work from home period” during the pandemic actually favored a hybrid schedule over full-time remote work.
Studies show that 83% of employees are in favor of a hybrid work schedule where they can work from home at least one day a week. Only about 32% favor a full-time remote schedule.
Lessons learned from the pandemic were that a hybrid work schedule could offer employees flexibility in scheduling and assist with prioritizing the ever-elusive work/life balance. As most companies know, a healthy and productive workforce leads to a better bottom line. Armed with this knowledge, many businesses have continued to allow employees the flexibility of working in and out of the office.
For employers maintaining a hybrid schedule means they can still have face to face time with employees for important meetings but can trust that productivity and workflow will still be accomplished on remote workdays. Currently a hybrid work model is used by 63% of high growth companies with no sign of reverting back.
The Importance of Technology for A Hybrid Work Force
One concern business owners still have about hybrid work is the consistency of the technology their employees are using to work remotely.
Integrated audio tools on platforms like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, desktops, and cell phones have their limitations when used to speak with co-workers, clients, and vendors.
This is one reason why the C-Suite sees the importance of creating standards for audio quality for employees in and out of their offices. Creating a technology standard for home office set ups is one way employers can ensure that no matter who you talk to in their organization, and no matter where they are working from, you will have a quality audio experience.
Commercial-grade microphones, such as the aforementioned CUI-2 and CUB-33 provide the convenience of a USB microphone with stellar performance and sound while reducing any chance of brain fatigue or miscommunication.
Clockaudio’s USB Tabletop Mic, the CUB-33 is an excellent choice for companies in need of remote videoconferencing.
The CUB-33 microphone is designed for professionals working from home or at the office, as well as for streamers, gamers, and podcasters.
This tabletop microphone comes with the popular C3 series Gooseneck and a capacitive touch screen with an integrated VU meter. This distinctive feature will display the microphone levels to indicate if the mic is clipping or if the microphone levels are too low. The mute button can also be configured as push to mute or latch.
Bottom heavy for added stability, the CUB-33 is robust, and easy to set up. Forward thinking, it was built to have ‘’mute-sync’’ compatibility with the Zoom meeting app. Using technology that is both easy to install and operate is key for work from office setups.
Embracing the new reality and normalcy of working hybrid or remotely, companies and employees also understand that their technology needs to evolve and stay flexible.
With Clockaudio’s CUI-2, you can now maintain the highest degree of sound integrity while configuring your own microphone solution, customized to specifically suit your needs and your work environment, wherever that may be.
Choose your microphone, choose your application, and plug and play into the CUI-2 for sound quality that is guaranteed to be "clearly different". With the CUI-2 USB Stereo Mic Preamp Interface, there is nearly endless microphone configurability, perfect for any home office setup.
When planned properly and used as part of an overall strategy, the hybrid work model can contribute to more positive corporate culture, organizational improvements, and an increase in company productivity. Worker benefits include greater satisfaction, collaboration and improved mental health.
To be successful, companies must ensure their workflow and work process remains consistent despite where an employee works from. Implementing standards for home offices and for technical equipment, including audio equipment such as microphones, can go a long way in providing reliable communication and business continuity.
Today, professionals everywhere trust Clockaudio for quality audio microphone solutions for video conferencing and other hybrid work demands.