As COVID-19 vaccines continue to be rolled out, we can start to envisage a world where, once again, many of us sit side by side in brick-and-mortar offices without having to fret about potentially catching a lethal disease. Nonetheless, we won’t quite be picking up where we left off before the pandemic broke out.
One large reason why: the work-from-home (WFH) approach has cemented itself permanently among many companies’ workforces, imbuing many people with more freedom over exactly where they work. If you are considering opening a string of offices to facilitate this shift, here is how unified communications (UC) could help.
Where will many members of your staff work in the future?
For many managers reading this article, the obvious answer will be: at these workers’ own homes. Many large organisations – including Google, Microsoft, Twitter and Salesforce – have decided to let employees work from home for the foreseeable future or even permanently.
ITProPortal says that “more companies will follow suit” as 2021 unfolds – and this drive could include your own company as part of its bid to remain competitive in attracting promising candidates for job posts. However, many of your workers might not quite be able to relinquish their emotional ties to typical offices.
Could you see sense in building up a network of offices in the future?
Yes, vaccines are on the way – but many workers could still face a long wait to get vaccinated. In the meantime, many of the safety protocols that were implemented as the pandemic initially intensified are likely to be phased out, as suggested on the CMSWire website, rather than removed in one fell swoop.
Therefore, setting up a series of traditional offices could present you with the ideal compromise solution: one that lets members of your team enjoy the usual benefits of the office but without necessarily having to travel too far from their homes and so risking coming into physical contact with many strangers on the way.
UC: the system that could digitally tie all of those offices together
UC is based in the cloud and, for this reason, is readily accessible from anywhere the internet can be reached. So, in theory, a worker could start using UC at home to converse with a co-worker or client, continue the conversion on their phone as they leave the house and wrap up the conversation up at a computer in the office proper.
This flexibility of UC helps to explain why just one UC system could be implemented right across all of your company’s offices, allowing all members of your team to chat amongst themselves and with clients in the same fashion regardless of the physical location from which each addition to the conversation is sent.
Columbia Business First notes that UC systems come with a range of advanced features and can be integrated with other office applications such as email, instant messaging and conferencing. Gamma’s Horizon hosted phone system, for example, includes call transfer, call waiting, click-to-dial and group chat features ready to use across various devices.