As the country slowly edges back to normal, it’s becoming increasingly clear that not everything will go back to the way things were prior to 2020. In particular, when it comes to the world of work, the traditional office-based nine-to-five will no longer be satisfactory for a lot of employees.
Many people have discovered the benefits of remote working, and businesses have also been able to see that when done properly, this does not mean any loss of productivity. In fact, a more agile, hybrid form of working, where people’s time is split between home and the office, will become the norm for many enterprises.
But whether you’re responding to employee demands or building greater resiliency to better prepare your firm for any future shocks, your communications and telephony systems need to be a top priority if you’re developing a hybrid workplace.
If these aren’t capable of supporting a more flexible way of doing business, your firm will quickly be left behind by more agile competitors, and employees and customers alike will be frustrated.
Ensuring you’re ready for future disruption
For many firms, it was only when the first lockdown hit that they realised just how inflexible their existing solutions were. When it came to phone systems in particular, getting these set up for a more remote way of working proved difficult or even impossible.
For some, this meant they had to manually divert calls and have employees take physical handsets home with them. Others, however, found themselves facing even more difficulties.
The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), for instance, found itself having to direct inbound calls to a voicemail service, where callers could leave a message and wait for an agent to pick it up and get back to them.
This had a major effect on productivity, so when the first lockdown lifted, the organisation turned to Arrow for help ensuring that in the future, they would have a system that allowed them to continue working remotely without disruption.
Work anywhere, move anywhere – The REC’s Case Study
We were able to quickly deploy Swift, a system that meant all 70 of the REC’s users could pick up calls wherever they were via a browser-based softphone service. This means all they need is a laptop with a mic or headset and an internet connection, and they’re able to connect with colleagues and REC members just as easily as they would in the office, no matter where they are.
However, such solutions don’t just enable people to work from home easily. These tools also make it much more straightforward to reimagine the office space for the world of hybrid working, which in many cases will be smaller and more flexible than in the past.
In this environment, fixed desks with physical handsets attached may be less common, while spaces such as hotdesks and meeting rooms will become more important as the office becomes more of a social space and collaboration hub, rather than a location for solo activities.
Having solutions like Swift softphones means businesses do not have to worry about setting up communications systems if they move to new premises or rearrange older spaces.
This is another advantage for the REC, with the firm’s chief operating officer Richard Charnock explaining: “The only thing we need to think about is broadband speed rather than telephony because we just take it with us.”