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Managed services players expose hybrid working challenges

Research from a couple of MSPs indicates that in the financial services sector and the NHS, the technology to support remote working is not meeting employee needs

IT services player Doherty Associates has shone a light on the challenges some firms in the legal and financial services sectors are facing in unlocking the benefits of hybrid working.

The experience of the pandemic saw a sea change in the way most companies operate, with many allowing staff to work flexibly and operate remotely for some days a week.

The assumption was that with the rise in collaboration tools and the experiences of home working in the pandemic, most organisations were in a strong position when it came to delivering fresh ways of working.

The Doherty research reveals that is a myth, with many customers suffering productivity challenges, often caused ironically by an overabundance of tools.

The result is that 59% of IT teams reported stagnation or insufficient augmentation in IT budgets to handle the changes brought on by hybrid work, and the IT teams with high numbers of customers were having to put in overtime or shift the focus from other activities to try to make hybrid working function more smoothly.

Terry Doherty, founder and CEO of Doherty Associates, said its research and recent evidence from others had underlined the challenge that many financial services firms were facing in delivering and supporting hybrid working.

“As the post-pandemic debate over remote versus in-office work rages on, financial services firms are grappling with an important nuance: it’s not where you work, it’s how you work,” he said.

“Research by Doherty Associates reveals an overlooked truth. After surveying 499 UK capital markets workers, we found that although 78% had introduced new tech to support hybrid work, only 15% felt it boosted productivity. Moreover, a quarter felt burdened by too many tools, and 37% struggled to find crucial job-related information. These factors are jeopardising the anticipated productivity perks of remote work,” he added.

Doherty highlighted the benefits of hybrid working were linked to the ability to deliver them with the right IT support.

“Whilst remote work has clear advantages, such as saving 72 minutes of commuting time daily, fostering higher engagement and preventing quiet quitting, Doherty Associates’ research highlights the urgent need for streamlined, efficient technology and processes,” he added. “As we navigate this future, the focus must shift from ‘where’ to ‘how’. In this new reality, streamlined, efficient technology that meets employee needs is not just a bonus, but an absolute necessity.”

Concerns that productivity dropped outside the office was also a theme of research into the NHS from Apogee earlier this week, which found that many staff were unable to access the right tech and were using poor workplace technology at home.

“Employees are sending a clear signal on what they need and expect from their workplace. Public sector leaders must now take heed and invest in the right technology and collaborative digital tools to help their staff effortlessly connect with each other, no matter where they are working,” said Julian Broster, vice-president of strategic business development at Apogee.

“Even with a tight budget, employers can leverage cost-effective solutions to strengthen engagement and productivity across hybrid working environments – and help the sector avoid a costly exodus of talent.”


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