Simon Horton, VP of Sales, Europe at Sangoma spoke to Comms Business about the mindset shift companies need for a new working from home culture.
CBM: What are we likely to see from a WFH culture moving forwards?
SH: Obviously, knowledge worker type employees not going to a building to work, and working from home instead, and not travelling to see customers in trains, planes, or automobiles is having a large impact on the environment. Companies that would have never embraced WFH before are starting to understand that WFH is possible, may not negatively impact the business, and may even have a positive long-term impact.
For instance, employees may be happier since they don’t have to commute and spend time in traffic. And companies utilising current technology available such as video, to help customers remotely, or have team collaboration meetings, obviates at least some of the need for truck rolls or plane trips to go see them, thus saving the company money. Suddenly, work from home is more interesting since there may also be a financial benefit to the company.
These companies responded to a crisis by utilising Unified Communications, which gives the ability for employees to work from home as if they are in the office, or gives employees more tools such as video to help customers remotely or do team collaboration. They did it and utilised UC because they had to. There wasn’t some altruistic reason behind these decisions. It was just figuring out how to move forward.
What is my point? Really that what we’ve been experiencing is likely to ‘stick around’ to a certain extent. We’ve had remote developers, and been successful utilising them for years. For us, this hasn’t been that large a change. But for other companies it has been. I see video collaboration tools becoming a large part of the SMB infrastructure.
CBM: How quickly do you feel the UK can recover from COVID?
SH: Let’s face it there is going to be a second wave so businesses need to be prepared to send their staff home again. Also, the UK can’t recover independently, the moment the world starts opening up borders again they’ll be an increase in cases – I think there needs to be more of a uniformed eff ort in how travel is allowed again.
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