As businesses continue to navigate the ‘new normal’, we have been working hard to keep companies in touch with their colleagues and customers. Throughout this process, we have noticed two opposing trends when it comes to communications technology and reachability. On the one hand, we have seen businesses that have struggled to keep their teams connected throughout lockdown, operating with outdated technology that won’t work from home the same as in the office. And then there are the businesses who have developed a culture of 24/7 availability, an expectation that employees should always be reachable and available to answer emails or pick up the phone. Of course, neither of these scenarios are healthy or sustainable for businesses who are serious about continuity and growth.
Today we talk to Duncan Ward, our Chief Executive Officer, about how businesses need to scrutinise the communications solutions they have in place and examine whether their current technology is fit for purpose. For example, does your technology allow your teams to work remotely and on the move? Does it enable you to deliver the levels of service your customers expect? Does it empower your teams to maintain a healthy work/ life balance, even when working from home? With the right solutions in place, all this and more is possible.
“The role of a communications provider has never been more important”, Ward tells me. “Our focus throughout lockdown has been to keep businesses up and running. We have worked hard to ensure that our customers have been able to pack up their desks and work from anywhere. From cloud phone systems and business mobiles, to IT solutions and reliable broadband, we have been there to make sure a business doesn’t have to close its doors unnecessarily.”
“With that said, we have seen businesses struggle”, Ward adds. “When the country was first told to work from home, many teams were using traditional, on-premise phone systems that wouldn’t work remotely. This meant that calls were missed and companies had to resort to short term fixes like mobile diverts, voicemails and recorded messages advising customers that the phone lines were closed. This simply isn’t good enough for a modern business.”
“At Network Telecom, and across the wider Enreach group, we believe in solutions that make the working day easier and offer complete flexibility. For example, our latest cloud phone system, NT Cloud PRO, is fully hosted and allows teams to log in to their phone system from their desk phone, mobile or laptop. In fact, all they need is a browser and they can start making and taking calls from anywhere across the world.”
“NT Cloud PRO offers new levels of mobility for our customers”, Ward continues. “Users can flip live calls from their mobiles to their desk phones or laptops at the touch of a button, giving employees the freedom to move and construct more flexible and healthy working environments. Features such as call recording, auto attendant and computer integration can also be easily managed on the move from the intuitive user portal, meaning any changes can be made quickly and easily.”
“However, with this increased freedom, coupled with the rise in remote working, we have to acknowledge that an ‘always on’ mentality isn’t healthy or sustainable. We’ve all been on a video call and seen that our mobile phone won’t stop buzzing, or sat with our family in the evening while replying to emails or checking messages. Just because teams are able to work anytime, anywhere, doesn’t mean that they should.”
“We feel that it is important to help our customers to maintain a healthy work/life balance and to provide them with the tools to do so. By integrating our mobile capabilities with our cloud telephony offering, we can allow customers to outline their preferred reachability. Our aim is to integrate all the necessary channels into one unified experience, painting an accurate picture of someone’s availability, regardless of the channel or device. If you are unavailable on your mobile, in an online meeting or set yourself as unavailable, then this should be mirrored across all your devices, eliminating unnecessary interruptions.”
“I see our responsibility,” Ward concludes, “as to provide our customers with the very best. That means our customer experience and our pioneering solutions that empower businesses to work their way, with features in place to allow them to do their best work from any location, but also to switch off when needed. We strive to provide technology that promotes unlimited freedom, flexibility and balance. That is what modern business should be about.”