What We've Learned From Half A Year Of Working From Home

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Posted by Philip Hesketh, Head of Channels EMEA

September 29, 2020

If you are in sales or business development like me, then working from home is really nothing new. I've been doing it for most of my career.

Happy man sitting on couch phoning and using laptop at home in the living room

I recently joined Tango Networks, and instead of what I have always had, a desk phone and mobile with two separate numbers, they simply provided me with a SIM card to slot into my mobile phone.  

Immediately this provided me with both a mobile number and a landline extension on my mobile phone ... no need for a big lump of plastic on my desk. I just use my mobile. What’s more, no need to expense any usage, and my personal surfing remains discrete from work activity! ( just as well!) 

But if you are part of the vast majority of workers who began teleworking for the first time, we are quickly nearing the half-year mark of the "new normal.”

A number of employees have embraced the change with creativity, configuring home offices and remote working environments that blend their workstyles and lifestyles, as the BBC found in its exploration of the new “DIY Office.”

Many companies have learned that business can proceed without disruption even if employees are working from their spare bedrooms.

A host of employers are making plans for teleworking to be the norm for at least part of the time for their employees.

Earlier this month, I read that The Telegraph highlighted a new study that concludes we’re witnessing “possibly the biggest long-term shift in working patterns directly attributable” to a crisis.

The Shift

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) survey of more than 1,000 employers found many were planning additional measures or investments to enable more home-working in the future. 

The CIPD study reported that regular working from home is expected to nearly double to 37 percent from pandemic figures. And employers expect full-time stay-at-home workers to leap from 9 percent to 22 percent post-crisis. 

Additionally, the number of employers expecting more than half their workforces to work regularly from home has shot from 15 percent pre-crisis to 40 percent post-crisis. 

Fifty-nine percent of the employers indicated they plan to invest in new and updated technology to support remote working.

Still, a lot of us thought this crisis would be a short-term problem and planned accordingly, Christian Brady, partner at IT services provider Netcompany, said in ITProPortal.

Therefore, short-term decisions were made. But as the “new normal” evolves and many remote working and virtual teams become permanent, it’s vital that organisations review their remote working models and strategies to ensure that corporate control over communications and IT tools remains a top priority, Brady indicated. 

Organisations need to think more about connecting the office with those still working at home through the right technology, he said, adding that single-solution communication implementation is essential as well as more cost-effective.

The Mobile Phone Factor

Chief among the technology concerns in the new world of home working has been how to use business-quality communications whilst working remotely.

As a result, mobile phones have become essential tools for large numbers of these workers.

The goal for many companies is to use the Unified Communications platforms that have been deployed in recent years and extend them to mobile devices, to create Mobile Unified Communications (Mobile UC).

In the past I’ve used a vendor-provided phone app to make my business calls, which I always found clunky, and with spotty quality since it relied on a data connection.  I noted some recent research from Nemertes Research.

The research firm surveyed 525 organizations and found that 94% of users refuse to use the official Mobile UC apps designated by their IT teams for making phone calls. 

Like me, they strongly prefer to use the native dialer and native phone interface for making calls.  It’s the user experience that matters a lot. They found the Mobile UC apps are hard to use and deliver low call quality.

I’ve been there, where my colleagues are using their personal phones, with differing identities, with a risk that clients and partner call you on a private number.

Standard business communications practices like transferring calls or conferencing or short-code in-office dialing are impractical if not impossible in such a scenario.

What I have benefited from over the time I have spent working with Tango Networks is the simplicity of the setup, the natural way to use a phone wherever I am, with my business identity and usage kept entirely separate even on the same device.  

If you’d like to learn more about how our service can benefit your business then give me a call - mobile-first of course! +44 7458 650455.

Tagged : mobile UC, fixed mobile convergence, remote workers, telecommuting, teleworker, teleworking

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