Small Biz Story 3 – Working from Home Culture and Your Telephony

Huge shifts in work/life balance for most people around the world have highlighted the need for people to be closer to home than ever before. Businesses need not fear this shift but should embrace it with the right technology to offer that option to those wanting to be a part of their team & growing company. This is an opportunity, not a pain-point. Telephony and unified comms play a huge part within this culture shift and making sure you have the right systems in-place will not only make it easy to facilitate that change in the company but also keep it running smoothly and growing because of it. Keep your most valuable team members and attracting new talent by embracing the working from home culture is a must for businesses of the now and future.  

What is a working from home culture? 

Since the pandemic, the light has been beaming on the possibility of working from home for many employees around the world. Wintercomms was born out of this desire, to not only supply the communication technology to achieve a working from home culture, but to also practise what we preach in offering the opportunity to our team. People grow and companies need to embrace change from all angles and working from home is a key feature to employee wellbeing.  

We understand it is not for every industry, or perhaps every role in an industry, but with a growing interest in wellbeing, greener technology & increased efficiency, it has a really strong argument to suggest it should be considered for every business and every role they offer. 

Who uses cloud telephony and unified comms? 

The longer a team member is with a company, the more effective they are in their role, the more valuable they become. As time moves on, their personal lives will change. Perhaps they want to travel, have children, dedicate time to a hobby or move to higher education. If you can accommodate some of these things, have empathy for them wanting to build their life alongside employment, you are far more likely to keep your most experience staff.  

With the internet being the perfect facilitator for cloud-based applications; improvements in connectivity around the UK (fixed and wireless data services) and systems and software moving away from being on-site and moving to the cloud – companies can now operate from anywhere. Employees can log onto a smartphone, laptop or desktop & access the systems vital to the operations of any business. Sales calls, customer services calls, engineer booking etc can all be done with a simple cloud-based application and calling technology that all run over an internet connection. Travel times reduced, paper costs reduced, reduced cost for employees for food and drink; all without sacrificing their ability to communicate both internally and externally.  

Microsoft Teams spiked from 35M daily uses to over 45M on the day of the first lockdown in March 2022. At the time of writing this article, they are hitting 95M+ daily users. This shows that companies are embracing the technology to allow employees to use a unified cloud software platform like Teams, to communicate both internally and externally with voice calls, instant messaging & video. Our systems integrate with Teams to give the product a far more robust telephony proposition and analytics, something Microsoft themselves have embraced by allowing third party products to integrate with their software – they know it can be greatly improved and want the best experience possible for their users.  

When is the best time to look at cloud-based telephony? 

Allowing staff to communicate from home is vital to keeping the best talent. Otherwise, it will not only be the constant pressure to make sure you are competitive in your salaries, but also to be offering the best work/life balance to your teams as they pursue goals and comforts outside of the 9-5. The sooner a company embraces this shift in acceptable or desired working conditions, the quicker they can attract and keep talent in their business. Cloud based telephony and app-based phone systems are nothing new but is has finally been given the attention it deserves. It is not some fancy wizardry that only the corporate business can utilise. It is an application and a way of working that even a start-ups can use and build within their company, and most importantly, scale.  

What are the things we need to look at for when deploying unified comms solutions? 

An internet connection & a supported device, those are the two key ingredients to moving to working from home ASAP. Most homes around the UK now have fibre, which is preferable to the type of applications users are likely to access. Wi-Fi will work as an access to the internet on a smartphone, desktop, or laptop – a preferred connection method would be an ethernet connection from the router to the device (obviously not on a smartphone, Wi-Fi will likely be the only method of connection). If you can achieve the desired effect using only a smartphone, it will ideally need to be Android or iOS based – those are the two most likely to be supported by your cloud telephony or unified comms vendor. If employees already have a laptop, perhaps this would be best tool to use for the service, rather than the added expense of a mobile contract, if you do not already utilise such services in the company. Software can be simply installed on the computer & accessed with a unique or shared login – provide the adequate training, and off they go.  

Voice over data is something that needs to be seamless but completely achievable with even the most basic of internet setups. Most unified comms services will give you a connection status, so if you do some across hiccups with voice quality, the analytics will be in-place to best identify how to remedy the problem – from a simple reboot of the device, all the way to checking the internet connection to the property with the service provider, to looking at the WIFI access around the property and finding ways to improve that, which most ISP’s will do. However, you may want to rely on your own IT talent in the business to fix this – or outsource it.  

“We do not work from home, but we would like to explore the possibility – where do we start?” 

The best thing to do is to contact your existing system providers to see if they can accommodate a cloud-based version of your software – be it accounting, customer record systems, bespoke & specialist applications that help deliver your product or service. Once you have the thumbs up on that side of things, you can easily look at the unified comms market and decide what type of features your employees need to successfully deliver a high standard of their work, perhaps they need; call technology for inbound and outbound dialling, instant messaging, email, and video conferencing for any training or customer contact – some businesses may prefer this to the traditional face to face review, so it is worth seeing if they have an appetite for this way of having future meetings – it will help reduce fuel and vehicle maintenance costs, and give the employee a chance to book more of them! 

We offer a comprehensive review of any existing telephone systems, all we need is some time in the diary for a short consultation & a copy of your existing providers invoice – to make sure we capture exactly what you are paying for now, and how much of that service would need to move across to the new platform.  

If you would like to find out more, why not call our system & see for yourself! 

Our team will be glad to help answer your queries and to put you on the road to making a smarter telephony operation for your business. 

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