It’s hard to believe that six months ago we published our blog plan for success in 2020. No one then could have dreamed we’d now be experiencing the biggest change to our business and personal lives we’ve ever seen as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Before COVID, the office was a place where millions of us spent about a third of our time. However, since the lockdown, a significant number of us have been working from home every day. Now that the Government have begun to ease some of the lock-down restrictions, with a primary objective of getting our economy moving again, many businesses are now considering what the new normal office might look like.Some companies in particular financial institutions like Mastercard and tech giants like Microsoft have stated that working from home looks set to become the new normal for its staff for now.
The Government have supported this stance by saying that workers who can work from home should keep doing so “for the foreseeable future”.
Opus just like many others have been successfully working from home since lockdown was announced – so perhaps the new normal of working from home isn’t really that much of a big deal?
Or is it? One of the differences is that back two months ago, many companies set up for home-working as a temporary measure with a quick fix rapid deploy approach applied which now might not be sustainable for on-going business needs of the future.
One general theme that is emerging is a staggered return to the office, with staff coming to the office in shifts. Another approach could be allowing groups of employees to come into the office by clustering them in bubbles so if there were an infection it would be easier to quarantine just that group.
According to a recent opinion piece in Raconteur, offices will still exist, but over time employees will be less inclined to want to work there. They will become more of a base where teams meet periodically for team meetings, strategy workshop and for socialising.In our experience at Opus, working from home has been very much business as usual and we have been able to collaborate and work together collectively using the technology available. However, many of us do miss the interaction of being together in the office and would like to see this become a possibility again in the not too distant future.
So, perhaps a hybrid office solution could be the new normal office with businesses relaxing its stance on remote working and offering more flexibility to its employees?
No one truly knows what the new normal office will look like in six months-time from now, although it seems that a hybrid mix of home and office working in some shape or form is here to stay. To make homeworking work, businesses will need to adapt and ensure that they remain resilient and agile. Having the right technology in place to make communication and collaboration as connected and seamless as possible is likely to be a fundamental cornerstone to making this new normal way work.
At Opus, we offer a range of technology solutions that deliver an in-office IT and communications experience, regardless of the physical location. Enabling your staff to work effectively from home or anywhere for that matter with the same functionality they have in the office will now become a critical factor in future proofing many businesses.
Working with our best of breed technology partners such as Mitel, Gamma, 8×8, Cirrus and Microsoft we can offer an extensive portfolio of IP telephony, IT, Collaboration, Contact Centre and Mobile solutions to enable your business to succeed going forward.
Enable staff to work from home as part of the office telephone system, either by adding functionality to an existing telephone system or integrating one of our cloud telephony services. Calls to the office will be routed to wherever staff are located, as if they are sat in the office, and users will be able to hold, transfer and conference calls to and with colleagues as they would at their desk.
Alternatively we can enable mobile working, where calls to the office can be diverted to mobile phones and calls can be made from mobile phones but appear is if they are being made from the office, keeping personal mobile phone numbers private.
With our Microsoft Teams deployment your workers can enjoy seamless collaboration and a consistent user experience from any location and on any device, with access to all the familiar Microsoft applications, business grade email, shared calendars, and online meetings.
Need to give Teams a voice? No problem, using our Gamma Direct Routing Business Telephony service you can now add enterprise grade telephony to your Teams collaboration suite to make and receive calls on the same platform. For existing Mitel users, you can combine this with industry leading IP telephony from Mitel to give you a uniquely integrated enterprise communication and collaboration solution, on a single platform which can be scaled and customised to meet your organisation’s every need.
The modern contact centre now plays a critical part in a company’s ability to stay ahead of competition and keep up with customer demands. These demands have changed rapidly with customers now using an increasingly wide range of channels yet expecting ever more rapid response times.
Our Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS) solutions are designed to overlay any existing telephony system so that calls can be overflowed from your contact centre to other areas of your business if needed but still provide a consistent customer experience regardless of where the customer interacts and where your agents are located.
The adoption of video conferencing has been a huge phenomenon since the lockdown was announced and going forward this will mean businesses are no longer limited by the budget, time and physical constraints traditionally associated with face-to-face meetings.
We work with a number of leading video conferencing specialists like Mitel, 8×8, Gamma and Microsoft to deliver solutions which provide HD quality video conferencing over everyday IP networks using standard equipment. So there is no need for expensive hardware and proprietary networks.
If you are interested in finding out more about future proofing your business for the new normal way of working then download our free guide to find out five ways you can begin adapting your business communications estate now.