Although the world is hopefully on its way back to normality, a lot has changed in the past year. One of these changes is the arrival of remote working. A recent survey of just under 1,000 firms undertaken by the Institute of Directors showed that 74% of organisations plan to maintain homeworking. More than half plan on reducing their long-term use of workplaces. This change of scene has created a lot of new challenges for businesses. One of the greatest is how we keep connected with our remote colleagues.
Remote workers are at risk of being isolated if the right technology and practices are not used. If communication is not prioritised, then remote staff can end up working to a different tune to the rest of your team. For many this can be an annoyance, but for high stakes sectors such as finance, logistics or healthcare a breakdown in communication can have disastrous consequences.
Thankfully, there has been a huge amount of innovation in the past few years designed to get remote staff back in the loop. Whether it is new technology or helpful new practices, teams are getting back on track no matter where they work. At Chrome we have been supporting businesses with remote working solutions for a long time now. This puts in a great position where we can advise teams on how they can make the most of their technology and we can also recommend new services that can make a difference for them.
Here are a few of our favourite pieces of new technology that we think can make a real difference to home working teams in a wide range of sectors.
Access Video Conferencing
The technology that has defined the past year more than any other has been video conferencing. So much so that the “you’re on mute” symbol appeared in London’s New Year firework celebrations. Video conferencing goes a huge way to replacing the face-to-face connection we have with staff. Businesses need to be able to access this service reliably though and there are practices to follow if you want to make the most of it.
Video conferencing can be accessed via a variety of different services, but they aren’t all created equal. Consumer-grade services don’t offer businesses the full range of versatility they need and are at risk of some severe security issues. For businesses, video conferencing is best accessed by a unified communications service.
Unified communications combines your audio calls, instant messaging and video calls into one platform. This allows you to seamlessly communicate with staff and customers. As opposed to consumer grade services, UC allows you to switch from a text-based conversation to a video call at the push of a button, while still allowing you to access data from your CRM.
At Chrome we recommend regular video calls to help staff to stay connected. Whether this is once a day or once a week is up to you, but this allows your staff to always understand what their colleagues are up to.
Provide a Platform for Collaboration
Collaboration is one of the first aspects of business life that suffers when staff aren’t in the same office. Providing your team with a method to stay in touch consistently is essential.
If your staff’s home WiFi is letting them down, then consider a business-grade connection. This connection can be accessed by your staff no matter where they are working. Take away the stress of making your staff rely on unstable and potentially insecure home networks and gain consistent access to the communication and productivity services that they need.
Another great way to keep staff connected is with a communication service that works from any location. This sounds like a no-brainer. There are a huge number of businesses whose on-premise systems stop them from communicating effectively from home. Our cloud solutions are completely portable, allowing you to access the full functionality of your phone system from anywhere with an internet connection.
Enhance Your Work with Productivity Tools
Keeping productive in a remote environment is another big challenge for businesses. This is especially true when your team is working with a wide range of devices. Thankfully there are a variety of call statistics and management services available that allow you to make sure that everything is running smoothly.
Through these services you can guarantee that your team are handling the calls and customer enquires that are most pressing. It shows which teams or individual users are handling the most calls and if any have slipped through the cracks. It’s very difficult to replicate the productivity you can have in the office. But our call management suite goes a long way to bringing back that sense of cohesion that you’d expect.
We hope that this guide has given you a few new ideas when it comes to creating a productive and rewarding home-working environment. Roles that offer flexible working are 68% more likely to retain staff in the long term. This shows just how crucial it is that businesses provide the option.
There are even more services such as call recording that can improve your remote experience. If you’d like to find out more about these or any of our solutions get in touch at 03333 212 707