With the pandemic far from over, businesses are realizing that they’re in a new normal and that “business as usual” is going to be completely changed.
Consumer behaviors have been altered due to the COVID-19 outbreak and weaknesses in business continuity plans have also shown themselves during a time when those who were the most prepared for the unexpected, were the most resilient.
One of the biggest changes that happened as a result of the pandemic is the percentage of people that work at home remotely.
Prior to the pandemic, approximately 9% of UK adults worked from home, as of May, as the pandemic shutdowns were still in effect, that number jumped to 69%.
But even after the pandemic is over, 68% of UK adults expect to continue working remotely from home.
This is just one of the shifts that have caused businesses to rethink their technology infrastructure and work to overcome IT challenges to adapt to the changed environment in a post-COVID world.
How to Ensure You’re Ready for the New Normal
Here are some of the ways to adapt your business to the new version of normal in the way we will live and work after the pandemic.
Switch from Analog Phones to a UCaaS
You’ve heard of SaaS (Software as a Service), well a UCaaS is Unified Communications as a Service. This is a platform that consolidates several types of communications in one place and makes it all cloud assessable.
With more employees working remotely, one of the problems employers run into is how to handle phone calls. Some have employees use their personal mobile phones, but that has its problems. For example, customers will see the caller ID for the individual, not the company. Employees may also not appreciate getting work-related calls during odd hours on their personal phone.
A UCaaS includes a VoIP phone system, plus additional features like real-time messaging, video calling, file sharing, and more.
In a world where going to work in the morning may not mean going to a physical office any longer, you need to ensure your communication systems can offer the same level of connection and caller experience no matter where employees are located.
Use of Video for More Customer Interactions
The word “contactless service” has now entered into the mainstream lexicon as people do their best to avoid contact that would cause them to contract or spread the coronavirus.
What does this mean for your company? More use of video in various client interactions could be helpful as a way to offer the same personal service at a safe distance.
Some possibilities include:
- Use of video on mobile devices to do inspections that used to be in person
- Use of video monitors or “bots” in retail, medical, or other high customer contact places when possible to reduce contact
- Use of video instead of text chat on websites to foster a feeling of connectedness
Full Cloud Is No Longer an Option
When businesses had to shutter earlier this year with little warning, many went into a panic about how they would keep their employees connected to applications and data. This is the type of environment the cloud was made for.
For any businesses still holding onto on-premises workflows, the time has come to transition to cloud productivity solutions that not only can protect their operations, no matter what, but that also have multiple other benefits, such as:
- Reduces IT costs
- Reduces excessive onsite IT maintenance costs
- Offers enterprise-class security at a fraction of the cost of on-premises
- Ensures your business can run efficiently in a crisis or natural disaster
- Data and business applications are available where and when you need them
Reevaluate Space and Touch Services
Any business that has clients or customers coming in regularly, whether it’s a retail shop or an accounting office, needs to rethink their use of space and all those surfaces that can potentially spread germs.
Employers also have to consider the safety of their employees that are working onsite.
Spacing of chairs, tables, and workstations may require rethinking your technology layout to accommodate social distancing, and the types of surfaces and cleaning procedures you normally use will also change in this post-pandemic world.
Think of ways to accomplish what’s needed with fewer touch surfaces. For example, you may put certain things up higher and out of reach that people tend to pick up to look at and put back down.
Another consideration would be any paper files and filing cabinets you’re still using. Moving these to digital files would not only free up space, it would reduce the number of shared touch surfaces as employees accessed various file because they could easily search them from their own computer.
Get Help with a Strong Cloud Infrastructure Built for the Future
NMX IT Solutions helps businesses in the Thames Valley area prepare for anything. We’ll facilitate your migration to the cloud and ensure that no matter what, you have technology that keeps you running productively.
Contact us today to schedule your consultation! Call 01628 232300 or reach out online.