Coronavirus - What can your business do to prepare?
Coronavirus (COVID-19) has become one of the most important topics of our day. The CDC along with our Federal & Local Government have offered many recommendations to reduce the spread of the virus. One of their top recommendations is for businesses to have employees work remotely or from home.
Catherine Thornebeck of ABC News reported on March 3rd that selected companies have shown dramatic increases in their stock as a result of the COVID-19 concerns. A handful of major companies including Twitter have asked employees to work from home amid the outbreak, stocks of collaboration or teleconferencing tools, such as Slack and Zoom, have also soared over the past month.
At Simplify My Communications we work with businesses daily to help them determine the right collaboration tools for their business. Zoom and Slack are collaboration software companies that provide organizations the capability to allow employees to work remotely and securely (both are HIPAA compliant). These applications allow users to conduct web conferencing and desktop sharing applications among other functions that are necessary to perform all the communications that face-to-face office or customer meetings do.
Unfortunately, many businesses are not aware or nor do they have the capability to allow their employees to be mobile and work remotely because they don’t have the right technology in place. Remote work doesn’t just mean working at home, it can be working from anywhere there is an internet network available. It incorporates mobile workers that can access all their business applications and communications so they can collaborate, conduct web conferencing, desktop sharing and business texting - among other significant capabilities. This blog is intended to educate those businesses how quickly they can deploy a Cloud Telephone System that not only allows workers to perform their jobs remotely but provide many other benefits that will:
Increase employee productivity
Improve Customer Satisfaction
Provides greater flexibility to grow & change
More adaptive and nimble
Delivers greater Reliability and Security
We'll explain how you can position your business to become nimbler and more adaptive to address market changes or in the event of disasters or health alerts like the Coronavirus and achieve significant benefits by doing so.
Employees working from home or remotely log four more hours per week than their colleagues in the office (source Gallup). Because of the flexibility that working from a distance allows employees, they are also more likely to spread their work throughout the day in different ways. For example, they are more likely to work after business hours. The same Gallup study also found that remote workers appear to be more engaged with their work than office employees – 32% vs. 28%. Some of the reasons pointed out by the Harvard Business Review include the fact that proximity does not always lead to quality conversations and that when people are absent from the office, they put more effort in reconnecting with the rest of the team when they are back.
Related Blog Post: What Makes Remote Workers More Productive?
They are also better at Collaboration:
A Cloud Phone System is today’s most modern way to harness your Phone/Voice and Data functions. Everything is hosted and managed by a Cloud Service Provider. This includes all hardware, software, and business applications. All costs to support, install/implement, maintenance upgrades, failover and security are included for one monthly expense.
It is quick and easy to grow and change, make additions and integrate new applications as well as move or add new locations. Adapting to market changes allows your business to be nimbler and greatly reduces the labor and real estate costs necessary to house and maintain the hardware and software on your business premise – this means less, or possibly no IT staff required. With the rapid advances in technology, it becomes very expensive, time consuming and capital investment intensive to remain competitive and meet customers’ demands.
A Cloud Phone system is also more reliable, simple to use, and reduces your operating costs dramatically. Many studies have found Cloud Phone Systems increase revenues and employee productivity. It is far more adaptable to meet competitive changes and best meet the customer’s requirements and preferences to engage with your business. It provides your business continuity, especially when teamed with an SD-WAN. Knowing your business is supported by a Cloud Computing Platform allows you to free up cashflow to invest in other important strategic business initiatives.
Increased revenues can be realized in several ways. The key is to have a Communications Platform that is flexible, adaptive, reliable with great uptime. A solution that will grow and change to address customer demands, along with market or competitive changes, and unanticipated events like the Coronavirus. Some of the ways to experience increased revenues are:
To integrate Smartphones and Mobile Devices into a Cloud Phone System. Most businesses haven’t integrated their employee’s smartphone and mobile devices into their business phone system, and they are losing business opportunities. By bringing those devices into a Cloud Phone System architecture, any device from anywhere can take any customer calls, access all business applications, browse the internet for important information, participate in company web conferences. All from anywhere, at any time, on any device.
It opens all the ways your customers and prospects prefer to engage with your business. Most businesses aren’t aware their business phone system doesn’t allow SMS/Text messages to be accepted and that means many lost opportunities and revenue. Today, 97% of mobile users prefer text messaging over any other way to contact a business – more than phone, email, fax, chat, or social media. However, it is advantageous to allow all the other choices as well, so your customers or prospects can engage with your organization the way they want. This improves your customer’s experience and improves the efficiency of your business operations.
Other significant benefits include increased employee Collaboration, increased flexibility to grow and change, adding multiple locations, increased system Uptime and Reliability, and provides for automatic software updates, which are all important contributors that help increase revenue.
To receive guidance and expertise from a Technology Advisor that has relationships with best-of-breed companies (including over 175 suppliers) with no consultation fee, please contact Simplify My Communications at 713.910.1401.