The COVID-19 pandemic has forced organizational leaders to revise their operations significantly over the past year. Conducting business without any major disruptions or just keeping the financials on the positive side of the ledger have been major goals for most owners and managers. Many remain hopeful for a brighter future with the vaccines beginning to roll out across the country.
Will the world suddenly return to normal at some point this year? While not all the pandemic-related workplace changes will stay in place, the situation will have a lasting impact on most businesses and employees, including the transition to remote work.
Before 2020, a relatively small number of US workers toiled away from home every day, but that has become a way of life for significantly more people over the past year. The technical changes certainly did not happen overnight, and MSPs are still implanting many of those remote systems. In their quest to address local government mandates and protect their employees, businesses had to find new ways to operate, and MSPs figured out how to support and enhance the technologies that make that possible.
Expanding the Lines of Communication
These WFH transitions are not likely to reverse anytime soon. Many companies are rethinking their work environments and may allow employees to continue working remotely or consider the hybrid (part-time) option. Those decisions mean IT services providers and the clients need to maintain and strengthen their current technologies, including their communications systems.
Collaboration is one of the largest adjustments. The solutions companies are employing to ensure their team members can strategize and work on projects from any location may need tweaking. From a host of instant messaging applications to cloud-based platforms that host teamwork-related activities, MSPs continue to adapt communications systems to boost end-users’ capabilities.
The benefits of collaboration solutions are numerous. In particular, video conferencing allows co-workers, business partners, and customers to get as close to true face-to-face meetings as possible, providing a more personal experience for everyone. Thanks to the pandemic, these solutions are now essential to most businesses’ operations. Let’s take a closer look at some of the other benefits your customers need in this new environment.
Enabling a Remote Workforce
Video conferencing is important for connecting with remote workforces. The new mobility and flexibility that employees gain when working from home will be difficult for most to give up after the pandemic. Rather than forcing those in-person meetings, the virtual options provide team members with more control over their schedules and work routines.
Humans are naturally social. We need to connect and interact with other people to remain productive (and sane). When employees work in remote locations and cannot meet face-to-face, it can inhibit collaboration and negatively affect their well being.
Video can help maintain these critical relationships. The visual effect stimulates the conversations and boosts employee happiness, teamwork, and productivity. Also, people process video more accurately and far quicker than audio or text, improving key information retention and stimulating collaboration among remote work teams.
While phone, email, and instant messaging are key aspects of organizational communications today, each has a lesser level of interaction than video. Unlike the alternatives, a user’s facial expressions, physical cues, and tones are all on display. Video conferencing helps circumvent some of the more common errors people make with messaging, such as misconstruing the meaning of words, phrases, and emoticons.
Virtually everyone has sent information that did not properly convey the intended communication. Those “translative” misunderstandings may lead to delayed responses, hurt feelings, or even worse outcomes.
Similarly, email collaboration can take hours, if not days, as the team waits for each party to reply to each message. Rather than waiting for an answer to a difficult or hard to explain question, it may be easier to create and jump on an online meeting to speed up the process and ensure everyone is on the same page. Video eliminates the big communications issues and helps teams collaborate more effectively and with greater speed.
Save Time & Money
Some people will return to traditional offices and in-person gatherings, training sessions, and conferences. However, with the pandemic’s economic challenges, spending money for travel may be difficult for a while. Thankfully, long-distant interactions are easy with video.
These communications platforms create more wiggle room for the financial teams and save employees a lot of time. Team members also benefit personally, getting the opportunity to stay home and come into the office less regularly, saving them money on gas (or electric) and tolls, reducing vehicle wear, and eliminating other costs associated with commuting.
The Value of Video, And More
Video conferencing has proven to be essential during the pandemic, and those benefits will carry over into the future. MSPs can take advantage of the demand for these thriving platforms.
Of course, video cannot be the only form of collaboration for businesses (remember the new term, ‘Zoom Burnout’). However, service providers can deliver a variety of enablement solutions for their clients, becoming the go-to experts for all things communications.
Providing video capabilities in conjunction with hosted VoIP, productivity tracking tools, messaging applications, and other solutions can help MSPs attain that status.
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