Digital transformations have been on a steady incline long before the interruption brought about by COVID-19. As the evolution of technology continues and the digital era starts to take hold, work is no longer bound by the refinements of a specific desk or device. Professionals are now equipped with the ability to work remotely, pursuing a variety of opportunities from anywhere in the world, all with the right device and a stable cloud connection.
Although working remotely is not a new concept, the disruption of COVID-19 has forced a rapid adaptation from both companies and their employers. With being thrust into mass “WFH” never before have unified communications become so vital to a business’s operation. Like we mentioned before, mobile working has been around for some time therefore innovation within the digital communication sector has too. However, over the last year and a half, COVID-19 has acted as a catalyst in the recent surge of innovation leading to the overwhelming choice we now face… que unified communications.
From product innovations such as Switchvox Business Phone Systems and PBXact Sangoma solution advancements, let’s take a look at unified communications, their evolution, and how technology has enabled us to move forward with flexibility and ease in a post-pandemic world.
What are unified communications?
Often shortened to UC, unified communications simply refer to how we connect a multitude of communication systems and collaboration tools for digital use. Generally, such systems include messaging, video and voice calling features, team collaboration tools and file sharing capabilities – to name a few. The most integral feature of a unified communications system is it’s cloud connection enabling a secure hub of communication and file storage accessible at any time and in anyplace.
How have unified communications benefitted business during the pandemic?
Many companies were already avid users of unified communication systems before the disruption of the pandemic, making the decision to work from home much simpler, making use of solutions such as Switchvox Business Phone Systems and PBXact Sangoma systems. Others not so technologically advanced were forced to hastily deploy cloud-based solutions before sending employee’s home. In fact, a Gartner report found just 12% of businesses were capable of all employees working from home without any changes needing to be implemented. So, in aid of the world-wide haste to adopt remote working let us explore the advantages of unified communications and how these have benefitted organisations in a global pandemic:
1. Global Flexibility
To build upon the many articles already addressing whether companies will continue to operate from a designated workplace; pre-covid people rarely worked from home, statistically, just 4% of professionals regularly worked from home. However, in a post-pandemic world, 74% of companies plan to continue working remotely. The transition to flexible working may have been an incredibly long process, spread over years, potentially decades; however the pandemic forced mobile working to be successful, it was either adapt and survive or simply don’t.
For working from home and global flexibility to work whilst maintaining employee productivity, companies knew a lean model was the safest. Multiple apps, drives, software’s, and systems makes completing a simple task much more time consuming with potential for distraction and confusion. As UC is cloud delivered and acts as an umbrella for a variety of the above tools, it enables simplicity when working from anywhere in the world.
To assist in this flexibility, vendors such as Switchvox have been instrumental in ensuring that this switch-over is smooth. Integrating products such as the Switchvox Business Phone Systems has been key, and the cloud-based and on-premises nature of these products has meant that remote working and the flexibility this requires has been far easier than previous technology could have enabled.
PBXact is a highly reliable, flexible, and powerful IP PBX. Designed for advanced environments and complex deployments, PBXact is highly secure and ensures that business’ unified communications go interrupted to maintain the best performance available.
One of the beauties of unified communications is the ease of up or down scaling. On-site communications systems do not have the capacity for a large up-scale and down-scaling would mean switching out the system for a whole new cheaper option with less offerings – a hassle to say the least. A UC system is as scalable as the businesses needs, recovering from a pandemic whereby many businesses were hit extremely hard means downscaling is common, however the opportunity for regrowth is always simple with a cloud-based communications solution.
3. Employee Safety
Over the course of the pandemic, the government guidelines for working, socialising, and going about general day-to-day activities have fluctuated massively, however, the core message across all governments in every country is to protect our safety. The guidelines have been put in place to reduce to spread and protect the population, therefore any solution enabling mass working from home events to take place is championed above other communication software’s. Unified communications allow employees all over the globe to continue to work effectively individually and collaboratively in a safe location.
4. Business Safeguarding
The COVID-19 pandemic came as a huge shock, sending the economy plummeting with many businesses being forced into liquidation and others having to strip back completely. Preparation for future disruptions is key for safeguarding the future of your business and being able to have your workforce operate all over the world can be an incredibly smart preventative measure.
A post-pandemic workplace is untraditional, it challenges the need to be in a certain place to do a certain job, of course many jobs are restricted to locations, but fall-out from COVID-19 has proven this far from the case for office jobs. Strict 8-hour workdays have become laxer with employees working their hours when they feel most productive. The COVID-19 and working from home survey found 78% of respondents would prefer to work from home for at least half the week moving forward – so to be prepared for another unforeseen circumstance rendering office work a thing of the past, but also to respond to employee’s needs, utilising a UC system enables the future of businesses to be protected in every way.
If you’re struggling to adapt to a post-pandemic world, consider the addition of products such as Switchvox’s Business Phone Systems and PBXact Sangoma solutions.