This article was published on LinkedIn – July 13, 2020 –
When we decided on our tagline, we never envisaged that it would become so relevant as in the current times!
A recent Ofcom report reveals that we spent an average of 4 hours a day online in April 2020, quite a surge compared with a few months ago as indicated by this chart from the Ofcom survey:
As well as spending more time online, the COVID-19 lockdown also meant that we found new ways of communicating with colleagues, clients, and networking contacts, with 70% of us taking part in a video call once a week. Zoom, which many business owners had never heard of at the beginning of the year, saw its usage grow exponentially, and people started experimenting with the likes of Teams, Remo and other similar Apps.
Smartphones and other mobile devices (tablets) have continued to drive online usage compared with traditional devices such as desktops. The Ofcom report also shows the increase in popularity of platforms such as YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram and TikTok, encouraging the creation of video content and video streaming. These seem to be the domain of the younger generations; however, they put pressure on home broadband bandwidth and security, and have been creating problems for adult homeworkers. Having said this, the business world has been encouraged to post videos of all sorts, including customer testimonials and YouTube videos promoting their services.
As the lockdown eases and people start returning to the office, a new way of working will become the new norm, with a stronger balance between office and home working. A survey conducted by Halifax among 3,000 adults suggests that almost one in three employees are planning to keep working from home after the coronavirus restrictions end (see https://bit.ly/32bztYb). According to the survey ‘many saw the new lifestyle as an “environmental wake-up call” and a chance to do something about climate change’.
This new working reality has strong implications for the way companies motivate and engage their employees, manage their office space, and develop telecom strategies. The future may look very different post-coronavirus and businesses of all sizes will be faced with the following telecom challenges:
- What is the most professional way to handle calls if people work from home some/most of the time?
- What equipment is required?
- What is the most professional, secure, and easy-to-use video conferencing platform for clients?
- How should we ensure that employees have the right broadband service and that it is secure?
- Should we insist on separate broadband at home for bandwidth and security, especially in households with children?
- How do we get round those in areas where the signal network is poor or intermittent?
We can help you navigate some of these issues. We have been helping small and medium size companies with Connectivity, Hosted Voice and Remote Working Solutions since 2012 and can make sure you are ready to face the future, post COVID-19 world.