Businesses everywhere are struggling with the same question: Is it safe to resume office operations?
At this point, all 50 states have partially reopened. However, many companies — especially those in heavily populated metropolitan areas — are hesitant to take the plunge and move back into office environments, out of fear that they will put workers in danger, and contribute to the spread of COVID-19.
Unfortunately, there is no clear answer when it comes to reopening. Each organization needs to assess the situation, and decide what is best for the company and its employees. For some organizations, this may mean continuing to operate remotely. Other companies may decide to reopen slowly, and deploy limited on-site teams while following strict health and safety guidelines.
One technology that can help all organizations right now, regardless of their situation, is unified communications as a service (UCaaS) — a methodology that involves consolidating numerous communications technologies into a single platform that can be easily accessed through the cloud.
UCaaS & The New Normal
Here are some of the top ways that UCaaS can help businesses navigate the difficult months ahead:
Coordinate With On-site Workers
Most people imagine deploying UCaaS in traditional office settings. However, UCaaS can be used in any type of organization — including organizations like brick and mortar retailers, or restaurants.
Many of these facilities are now operating with skeleton crews. Managers and business owners can use UCaaS to communicate with on-site crews, staying in the loop and helping oversee operations using voice, video, and text. It’s a great way for team members to exchange information throughout the day.
Provide Customer Support
Now more than ever, companies need to provide omnichannel support for customers, remaining accessible with updates and information at every touchpoint. UCaaS is an excellent way to provide seamless service, helping customers whenever they have questions about hours, curbside pickup, product availability, health and safety specifications, and so on. Companies that can’t immediately provide customer service during this time stand a good chance of being replaced by competitors.
Enable Work From Anywhere
Companies are encouraged to continue offering flexible remote work policies if possible, giving workers the freedom to choose whether to work from home, remain on-site, or go back and forth as needed. Asking workers to remain on-site full time could result in pushback, and even contribute to turnover. By leveraging UCaaS, teams can follow the “work from anywhere” trend and show they are committed to employee safety and happiness.
Provide An Environment For Collaboration
Many organizations are now in the difficult position of having to pivot, and embrace new business models and strategies. Survival in this current landscape depends on creativity, and above all else, communication and collaboration.
UCaaS can provide a central hub where employees can exchange ideas, from a secure and convenient location. It can be used for brainstorming and strategizing together as a team.
Just about every company is in the same boat right now regarding travel. It’s hard to know for certain what the next few months will bring, making it impossible to plan meetings and events.
With the help of UCaaS, teams can reduce or even eliminate travel — replacing in-person events with digital voice and video meetings. It requires embracing a digital mindset, but UCaaS can be a tremendous asset.
Reduce Telecom Costs
Companies are also actively trying to reduce costs right now, as they deal with reduced revenue and budget cuts.
By using UCaaS, companies can leverage cost-effective VoIP — reducing their reliance on costly analog lines, and migrating to flexible and affordable IP service plans.