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Exclusive: Taking hybrid to the high-grade

The rise of hybrid workers requires truly hybrid work tools, says Bang & Olufsen’s global head of enterprise & B2B, John Howard

As a result of hybrid working and the acceleration of digital transformation, companies have started to adopt high-end consumer-grade technology and incorporate it into their enterprise environment. Covid-19, restrictions and lockdowns are going away, but the hybrid worker is here to stay, which will further accelerate the consumerism of IT. Further, the pandemic has highlighted the importance of employee well-being, and organisations are expected to prioritise this even more in the future. This may include providing mental health support, flexible work arrangements, and remote or location-independent working – and you need the right tools for this. 

For several years, many employees have brought their personal smartphones and tablets to work and use them for work-related tasks, or companies provide employees with company-owned laptops that have a consumer-grade user interface. We know that the consumerisation of IT has many benefits, including increased productivity, improved employee satisfaction, and reduced IT costs. However, it also poses some challenges for IT departments, such as maintaining security and compliance standards, managing various devices and applications, and ensuring that corporate data is protected.

One technology company from Silicon Valley turned the enterprise market for phones on its head by creating a product that employees wanted to use for both work and leisure. The next wave is coming now, and that will impact a wide variety of work tools, including headphones, earphones, and speakers. This will challenge companies to adjust to this new reality, realise the productivity potential of hybrid work and cater to their employees’ ways of working.

When work can happen from anywhere, you need tools to support that and interfaces with the IT infrastructure. And to do that you need more than a stable internet connection and a great camera. You need great audio. Clear, seamless, and secure. And it needs to be multifunctional enough for employees to use it everywhere. On the train, in the café, in the fitness centre, and in an open workspace. So, it must also be both comfortable and look great when you wear it. 

At Bang & Olufsen, we believe that providing employees with multifunctional tools is the only way forward, with one audio device for everything being our mantra. 

A headset that can be used for both work and leisure is much more convenient, as you only need to use one device for both purposes. This means you can switch seamlessly between work-related calls and personal entertainment without having to switch between different devices. 

For this you need exceptional sound quality, noise-cancelling technology, and a comfortable, lightweight and good look product that you want to wear for hours at work, when you commute or when you are just listening to music at home.