CBM: What has the current Covid-19 situation meant for your customers?
Mayur Pitamber (MP): 8x8 has a broad base of customers, from large multi-nationals to public sector organisations such as local councils and government. All are changing their working practices, with businesses across the board encouraging people to work in a more flexible way. While face-to-face meetings are still vital, the role of technology is becoming widely recognised. With high-quality video, audio, and screen sharing, there’s no reason remote workers can’t be as efficient as office-workers. The prices of collaboration tools are also on the decrease, making the technology as accessible as ever, which is a huge draw to businesses too.
CBM: How should businesses be approaching Remote Working with employees?
MP: Remote workers should be encouraged to interact just as they would in the office as much as possible. This means not assuming you know everything about the person you’re talking to, asking questions and not just limiting conversation to work. It’s important to build trust, and talking about personal life and showing personality is key to this. It’s easy to mute yourself, or keep the camera off when dialing into a call, but facial expression is key to relationship-building. Being camera-ready at all times is part and parcel of this. You wouldn’t walk around the office in your pyjamas, so you shouldn’t do the same if you’re working from home!
CBM: What should businesses be thinking about for the long-term right now?
MP: With widespread disruption set to continue, a solid business continuity plan will be vital. The definition of ‘business as usual’ is rapidly changing – no longer can businesses expect their employees to work the traditional 9-5 in the office. The coronavirus has accelerated this shift to a widely-adopted agile working policy as businesses recognise the power of working from anywhere, at any time and on any device.