The coronavirus pandemic has affected us in lots of different ways. Lockdown restrictions, the closure of the high street and social bubbles may come and go to some extent, but the impact COVID-19 has had on our attitude towards remote, flexible working seems as though it may change the working world for good.
So what does this mean for businesses? Well with 70% of 18-34 year olds taking regular advantage of remote working pre-COVID (Polycom) and 86% of people in employment working at home as a result of COVID-19 according to The Mirror, businesses need to be prepared for their current flexible working arrangements to potentially become the “new normal”.
With office-based working the norm for many professionals in the UK pre-COVID, this translates into the technology used within businesses to communicate both internally and externally. On-site telephony systems, email and meeting rooms are the standard options for the average office worker and whilst email allows us to stay in touch with clients and colleagues, many would argue that email as a communication channel is simply not enough for day-to-day collaboration.
This article looks into the key things you should consider when reviewing your telecommunication capabilities to help you adapt to the new normal and set yourself for business success post-COVID 19.
Reduce the friction of moving between home and the office
When you have employees working between home and the office, it’s important that they are able to do their jobs just as easily as they would in the office.
Being able to communicate with customers and colleagues just like you would in the office removes the reliance on your team having to work from a set place. Having a phone system that allows handsets to be used from home or other devices such as laptops and mobiles act as a softphone heavily reduces the inconvenience of being able to make and take calls from one location.
Other communication tools such as Connexin Collaborate allow for teams to chat, meet and collaborate on projects or tasks from wherever they want, removing the friction caused by not being able to meet and discuss in person. And because they are internet based, clear communication can seamlessly continue while moving from the office to home – maintaining productivity across different working environments.
Make solutions simple and easy to use
When it comes to telecoms solutions within businesses it’s often spread over a number of different products, whether that’s Outlook for emails, Slack for messaging and collaboration, an on-site PBX for internal and external calls and Zoom for video/audio conferencing.
There’s nothing wrong with this, however, using multiple products to communicate can reduce the effectiveness of communications if different people are using different channels. Also, when you’re working away from an office environment it’s hard to keep a track of when colleagues are busy or available.
By minimising the amount of tools you use it’s easier to keep a track of all your communications both internally and externally. Products like Connexin Collaborate allow businesses to manage messaging, phone calls, video conferencing and screen sharing all on one platform as well as sync with Outlook so you can actively monitor the presence of team mates and whether they are available to take a call or respond to a message.
This in turn keeps everything simple and manageable through one platform that works seamlessly with other software in your businesses tool set.
If you’re required to work away from the office for whatever reason, it’s important that you have continuity plans in place so no matter what the situation you can continue to serve your customers. By having a disaster recovery plans you can continue business as usual – whether that’s rerouting telephone calls, access files and software and even hardware that is mobile, allowing your team to work from wherever they need to be.
Solutions like a Hosted Phone System allow businesses to manage communications even in the trickiest of circumstances and support a mobile workforce when it’s most needed.
Employee safety & wellbeing
With the health and wellbeing of people at the forefront of many Businesses concerns, being proactive in your approach to keeping people safe is of upmost importance.
By having processes set up to allow people to work from home gives businesses the flexibility to keep people safe and not risk their health by being forced to come into the office. If teams can work with the same productivity and resource as they would in the office, they are less likely to feel forced back into an office environment, protecting both themselves and their colleagues.
With controlled access to the office, businesses are better placed to manage a return-to-work strategy that benefits employees and doesn’t negatively impact business outcomes.
Improving flexibility & scalability
Throughout this period of adaption for business, many organisations are making the switch to cloud-based solutions due to their physical assets not being suitable for this new way of working, however, this doesn’t have to stop now.
Many organisations are discovering that cloud-based solutions provide greater flexibility and scalability, allowing them to save time and money on their telecommunications.
With little to no reliance on physical hardware, businesses are no longer hostage to their offices and can scale their resources up and down to better match their demand, meaning they pay for what they need when they need it. And with the right partner, they can get employees set up with phone systems in hours rather than days, meaning there’s no excuse for over reliance and overspending on solutions going forward.
How we can help?
When it comes to telecommunications, there is a whole host of information available on what business should be doing going forward. At Connexin, we want to empower businesses to make decisions that have a positive impact on their customers and employees.
If you want to know more about how we are helping businesses adapt to the new normal you can chat to a member of our team here. We’re on hand to give you the help and advice you need to make the best decision for you and your team.