Insight by Zoom

Zoom explains why the hybrid approach to work will endure

The return of federal employees to the office might be imminent, but the video communications modes required by the pandemic will remain. Why? Simply because, by all estimates a hybrid in-office/remote model is here to stay.

When it comes to interacting with the public, constituents’ expectations and the latest executive order on customer experience both favor improved online service.

Both trends mean agencies must continue to improve the technology underpinnings used to deliver communications and...

READ MORE

The return of federal employees to the office might be imminent, but the video communications modes required by the pandemic will remain. Why? Simply because, by all estimates a hybrid in-office/remote model is here to stay.

When it comes to interacting with the public, constituents’ expectations and the latest executive order on customer experience both favor improved online service.

Both trends mean agencies must continue to improve the technology underpinnings used to deliver communications and access to online resources. The commercial world has upped its game in customer experience, and so must government.

It makes the choice of platform critical, said Matt Mandrgoc, Zoom’s head of U.S. public sector, whether for public or intra-agency communications. In the latter case, Mandrgoc said, with a certain portion of the workforce in the office, people working at home “want to have that same experience and having those technologies that tie it back together.”

What is the right platform for remote communications?

There’s a significant wrinkle now because many of the government people delivering great services are themselves working remotely, said Mandrgoc.

Stephen Ellis, government solutions lead for Zoom, put it this way: “The motion within government is to bring that same level of transparency of fast and accurate results that we have as a consumer and bring that into that government experience.”

Similarly, remote people dealing with the public need access not only to other colleagues but also to data and applications necessary to complete any task. Also, accessibility accommodations available to people in the office must also be available to remote employees, Mandrgoc said.

Beyond bringing an equal experience to in-office and remote employees, platforms like Zoom can enable crafting and delivery of enhanced services that would otherwise be constrained by travel time and cost. Ellis cited the example of an agency social services campaign that brought together geographically scattered medical, social work and law enforcement teams to present information on elder abuse.

Hybrid environments help ensure competitiveness in hiring

The efficiencies of online collaboration mean agency staff and management alike are coming to prefer virtual gatherings for internal meetings, recruitment of potential new employees, training and education, and interactions with constituents. Accompanied by high-quality audio, 15- or 30-minute meetings occurring virtually dispense with travel, parking, building access routines and other time wasters.

This extends to the burgeoning telehealth and telemedicine fields, the Zoom execs said. Even the snow day phenomenon that traditionally postponed so much activity, can now be a thing of the past, Mandrgoc said.

In fact, he added, the ability to let people work at full productivity remotely will help the government keep competitive with the private sector in recruiting people.

Regardless of the particular function, thanks to new and increasingly capable and flexible options, Mandrgoc said, “it’s going to be hybrid, it’s going to be in person, and it’s going to be remote.”