Why COVID-19 Will Forever Change the Way Businesses Communicate
I’ve worked from home for most of my career, so when Covid-19 shutdowns began, my work life hardly changed. But many of my co-workers operate out of the 8x8 corporate offices across the world, and they had to quickly rearrange their houses to build workstations, scramble to secure childcare, and upgrade their aging headsets, monitors, and wireless keyboards to maintain productivity through the disruption.
The one thing they didn’t have to worry about? Communication software. At 8x8, we leverage our own unified communications platform which combines voice, video and chat in one app, making it simple to shift from one channel to another depending on the task and conversation. Of course, many organizations still require employees to jump from phone system to chat app to video conferencing solution to communicate. It’s no wonder that over two-thirds of organizations cite either technology hurdles or process problems as their biggest challenge to moving to remote work.
In this blog, I outline Chapter 1 of our new eBook on Next Evolution of Remote Work and provide a few tips for how businesses can navigate through the new era of Operate From Anywhere.
Work-From-Home is Here to Stay
Our recent survey found that more than two-thirds of businesses are building long-term strategies for their employees to work from home. This aligns closely with Gartner’s report which found that 74% of organizations plan to permanently shift at least some employees to work from home. While Covid-19 necessitated short-term “band-aids”, we believe these will lead to long-term transformations in the way that employees collaborate with each other and interface with their customers.
How Businesses Need to Prepare
We’ve written extensively about ways to maintain productivity while working from home, but the most important variable to consider is the way you communicate. Today, employees leverage multiple channels including email, phone, video meetings, SMS, and chat. Most communications providers specialize in only one or two of these. We believe that the future of business communications is a unified platform that includes all of these channels so employees can switch seamlessly from a phone call, to a video meeting, to a chat discussion.
We also believe that business communications is no longer just an IT initiative. Boardrooms and C-suites across the globe are now focused on building work-from-home strategies, and IT has the opportunity to lead this transformation.
The Next Phase of Operate From Anywhere
As you begin your own communication transformation journey, we encourage you to ask these questions:
- How can I ensure a consistent, frictionless, and more personalized customer experience—all while call volume is increasing and budgets are shrinking?
- How effectively can I support the organization as processes previously performed face-to-face are now handled remotely?
- Which tools will best help boost productivity and bring open collaboration to the entire dispersed workforce—without adding complexity and confusion?
- How do I help provide oversight, control, and visibility into every area of the business?