According to the latest UK government report, 46.6% of those in employment worked from home in April. In the short term, working remotely is keeping employees safe amid the coronavirus pandemic, but there’s growing evidence to suggest that companies will benefit from remote working after the Covid risk has subsided.
Though lockdowns have been a challenge for some, research suggests that the average worker saves £44.78 per week by working from home, while two-thirds believe they’re more productive. In Northern Ireland, a recent survey revealed that over 40% of employers expect to be using a hybrid work model in six months.
Most importantly, employees seem to support a more flexible model. A survey from HubbleHQ in June found that 61% of workers have changed their view on remote working since the pandemic, with 86% wanting to work at least one day a week from home in the future.
An evolving workforce requires evolving technology
With this heavy trend towards flexible working, unified communications are being recognised as the way forward. The sudden switch to home working back in March caused many businesses to realise gaps in their efficiency as they suddenly require an abundance of video call, file-sharing, and collaboration tools.
Solutions like Wavenet’s Teamslink let employees communicate and collaborate effectively from any location within the familiar interface of Microsoft Teams. Rather than fracturing the workforce into different solutions, it lets organisations better unlock the benefits of Microsoft 365. Tight integration with Teams allows for inbound and outbound external calls without added complexity.
Whether the receiver is in the UK or abroad and is a Teams contact or not, users benefit from direct dialing, with support for 127 countries. Through additions like unlimited minutes, it provides greater flexibility than 365 Business Voice when demand fluctuates.
Still, while these are major benefits, perhaps more vital is the sustainability cloud telephony solutions can provide. As the second wave of Covid-19 rises and concerns of a third, fourth and so on are persistent, strong remote working tools like Teamslink can provide resilience today and in the future.
Given the country’s situation right now, the short-term benefits of a good cloud telephony system are obvious. Employees can make and take calls from their home in a way that’s integrated with existing software. However, there are also benefits in the long-term; businesses don’t have to rely on unreliable hardware and its upkeep cost, nor do they need an office space from which employees can use physical desk phones. Furthermore, while traditional telephony has remained static for many years, cloud-based solutions tend to evolve with the times.
This means that businesses can adapt more easily to changes in the economy, workplace culture, and future health crises. With features like Teamslink Call Recording, for example, legal and financial departments can continue their work remotely while still meeting MiFID II compliance standards. Organisations can capture and record all communications Microsoft Teams with no need for additional, time consuming, third-party software.
At the same time, businesses can reduce call costs, optimise bandwidth, and scale infinitely while keeping their existing numbers. Thanks to hybrid platforms, you can migrate smoothly from your existing phone system but also integrate it where it makes sense.
The bottom line
The Covid-19 pandemic has placed great stress on businesses, but it also represents an opportunity to innovate and modernise. By taking advantage of feature-rich unified communications solutions, companies can increase their chances of weathering any storm even as competitors are blown away.