As hybrid and remote working (opens in new tab) take hold, many businesses are turning towards new digital tools and services to help maximise productivity (opens in new tab).
This is according to a new report from Virgin Media O2 and the Centre for Economics and Business Research, which states that almost half of firms (46%) believe investing in the right gear is the best way to guarantee the long-term success of flexible working policies.
Business leaders are expected to spend 18% more money on technology this year, compared to pre-pandemic spending. Among other services, they will spend significant sums on collaboration tools (opens in new tab) (14%), cloud (opens in new tab)services (11%), and analytics and insight tools (10%). Besides software, they will also spend roughly 10% more money on on IT equipment.
In all, the Covid-19 pandemic is said to have accelerated the use of technology in a business context by an average of three years.
Remote working benefits
According to Virgin, both decision-makers and employees believe leaning into cultural change is vital for long-term success.
Over the next two years, most leaders believe tech changes will “significantly” alter the way their business works, with the majority (63%) thinking the impact will be positive.
Meanwhile, more than a third of employees (36%) feel more productive working remotely, and just 7% feel the opposite. The figures are pretty much the same when it comes to feeling more in control, more trusted, and empowered.
The report’s authors also argue that investing in technologies that facilitate hybrid working (opens in new tab) and digital innovation could add as much as $103.59 billion to UK GDP within the next four years.
Surprisingly, the government has adopted tech investment quicker than the private sector, with 78% of decision-makers in the public sector saying they accelerated their adoption, compared to the UK average of 68%.
Looking to improve your remote working setup? Here are our lists of the best collaboration tools (opens in new tab), best business headsets (opens in new tab) and best business webcams (opens in new tab).