We’ve always known it, but the thought has been that it will “never happen to me.” We put it off, give it the lowest priority in our task list. We know that we need to have a plan, but procrastinate getting it done.
Until it happens.
Natural disasters, man-made events such as terrorism, pandemics, are very real and present dangers in both our personal and professional lives. And the same way we take care of our personal health, we need to take care of our communications.
How to Take Care of your Communications
Now, more than ever, you need to address the needs of the “always-on” workforce. The trend was already moving towards this new way of working prior to the stay at home and work from home mandates that have been instituted across the country. This has further cemented the idea that work isn’t about where we sit anymore. It’s about so much more.
How can you take care of your communications? Here are a few questions to ask.
Do you have the tools to enable your employees to work from home, or anywhere, for that matter? All communications solutions are not created equal, and that’s ok. There is the right fit for every, unique business out there. But as we’ve found with the unique situation we are now in, even brick and mortar storefronts need communications that can follow their employees. Business still needs to be done – and things that need to be done have to happen at home. Even beyond the current health crisis, even though businesses will soon reopen, times will come when you will need the option again. So ask yourself, can your communications follow you, no matter the situation? And even more important, do your employees know how to use them?
Do your tools enhance your team building goals? One of the biggest objections to remote work is the inability to physically see what the worker is engaged in. Aside from the obvious trust issues, it also can sometimes be challenging to get a hold of someone over the phone. If they are on the phone with a customer, obviously they can’t take your call. But how do you know? Presence and status tools can help you tell at a glance what your colleague is engaged in before you pick up the phone. Maybe all you need is a quick question answered and you go to call them but see their presence is set to “Busy – on a call.” You can make the choice to leave them a message OR send them an instant message that they may be able to answer your question immediately, and while on the phone. Not to mention that in today’s culture, many relationships are built over text. This isn’t to diminish the value of face-to-face interactions, those are still vital, but video collaborations, instant messaging, business SMS tools and presence indicators can all help you meet your team goals and build that camaraderie needed for exceptional teamwork.
Do your tools follow you? While almost all telecom solutions include call forwarding, the question is, does it allow for you or your employees to call out from their cell phone with the caller ID and other information the same as what would appear if you were calling out from your VoIP phone? Providing personal information, such as a personal cell phone, can open up challenges with boundaries being crossed and challenges managing a true work/life balance.
Does your system have built-in business continuity and disaster recovery? What would happen to your communications if a natural disaster took out the electricity or communications networks in your area? How would you still communicate? One way would be to somehow communicate to your entire customer base to call the personal cell phone of your staff…but is that really the best option? And what if you have a huge customer base, how do you communicate that to every single customer so that they can contact you when needed and you can continue to operate and serve their needs? Now imagine that your communications system was able to seamlessly transfer the communications information from the optical cables to the cellular network and you could remotely direct your PBX to automatically forward all calls to the individual workers who could then continue to serve your customers from home….and your customers have no knowledge that your original communications system is down.
MIX Networks and UCFone Help You Maintain Reliable Communications in Good Times and Times of Crisis
Being able to stay connected is crucial to your business’s survival in a time of crisis. When nothing is guaranteed, and your customers rely on you to keep serving their needs, being able to maintain communications can make or break your ability to weather the storm. We invite you to take a good look at your current communications solution and evaluate the ability of the system to keep your employees and customers connected, regardless of if it is in the office building, or under stay at home orders.
Need more information? Download this free whitepaper on how to know if you need to upgrade your current communications solution.