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During the peak of the pandemic, many wondered if hybrid and remote work models would continue as we slowly returned to normal; now that we are on the other side, it’s clear that they are, in fact, here to stay. According to an executive survey by McKinsey & Company, 38 percent of respondents expected to work two or more days per week away from the office — up from 22 percent pre-pandemic. Even industries like manufacturing, which previously believed that it would be impossible to implement remote work, are realizing that the future of work looks very different now.

Redefining Remote and Hybrid Work Models in Manufacturing with UC

A hybrid work model may seem like a lost cause for manufacturing businesses because of the physical requirements, but the McKinsey & Company survey revealed that this is not the case: nearly one in four manufacturing jobs have the potential to be remote. In addition, a study by Manufacturers Alliance claims that hybrid work models, which were used in only 12 percent of departments pre-pandemic, are expected to surge upwards of 80 percent. Based on this data, we can anticipate a significant cultural shift in the manufacturing industry.

Given the variety of positions within the manufacturing industry — everything from jobs on the production floor to employees in sales, accounting, HR, and product development — employers need communications technologies that enable employees to work anywhere. A feature-rich unified communications as a service (UCaaS) platform like Broadvoice b-hive allows remote and on-site employees to communicate and collaborate effectively by providing benefits such as:

  • Simplicity. Teams can call, text, chat, video conference, and file share on one app.
  • Mobility. With unified communications (UC), you have one number to use on any internet-enabled device from anywhere, even the shop floor or home office.
  • Reliability. Cloud based delivery allows UCaaS to provide service that is immune to local hiccups, disasters, or outages.
  • Accessibility. Teams can collaborate in the cloud to share files from anywhere, on any internet-enabled device.
  • Visibility. Administrators have access to a simple dashboard to manage phone settings and view analytics.
  • Scalability. Broadvoice allows you to add seats as your company grows or to accommodate seasonal demands.

UC Can Help Address the Labor Shortage

UCaaS platforms can help manufacturing companies in other areas as well. A survey conducted by Deloitte in late 2021 revealed that 83 percent of manufacturers considered talent recruitment and retention their top challenge. In the same survey, 45 percent of manufacturers admitted to turning down business because of staffing shortages.

Not only are manufacturers competing with other industries for skilled labor, but they also face changing workforce expectations, including an increased focus on well-being and purpose, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), and flexible schedules. The Deloitte survey found that 18 to 24-year-olds are less excited about careers in manufacturing, but increased flexibility and a focus on digital and technical skills may make the industry more attractive to them.

UCaaS can help attract new employees by enabling modern communications and hybrid work options, giving manufacturers a chance to recruit much-needed talent. Deloitte’s Perceptions of Manufacturing Survey showed that candidates’ perceptions of manufacturing careers don’t reflect the current level of technological advancement, benefits, and salary levels offered. Candidates aren’t aware of the increasingly high-tech nature of manufacturing, which is improving employee productivity and providing cutting-edge, transferable skills.

UCaaS is another way for manufacturers to prove to prospective and current employees that they’re forward-thinking and tech-driven.

The Future of Work is Flexible for Manufacturers

As the manufacturing industry sees record levels of job openings, they’re redefining the workplace by providing flexible work models to attract and retain talent. Thirty-three percent of manufacturing employers already have these models in place, while 47 percent have plans to adopt them. Investing in technologies like UCaaS will help create more efficient and profitable businesses while also enabling flexible work models in the manufacturing industry.

Register for our Hybrid Workforce webinar to learn more about how Broadvoice can help your business implement a hybrid work model.

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