If your company is like most in Santa Clara and around the country, the way you operate now looks a bit different than it did pre-pandemic.
Video conferencing has become the new way to conduct nearly all meetings and backgrounds and get rated on Twitter through RoomRater. There are also more employees working remotely than ever before.
Pre-pandemic, approximately 24% of U.S. workers were working remotely between 3-5 days per week. Post-pandemic, that number more than doubled to 53%.
The necessity of cloud services was another big story of the pandemic. While the cloud transition was already happening, it was accelerated during the lockdowns because cloud tools offered the only way to keep businesses running when it couldn’t be done from the physical office.
There’s a famous quote from Charles Darwin that goes like this, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”
The same is true of businesses. Those that can adjust and adapt with the times are better positioned to grow and remain resilient into the future. Part of that process is learning lessons from challenges and using those as catalysts for transformation.
We’ve learned a lot about people and technology over the past year. Here are several of those lessons and how to incorporate them into your business strategy going forward.
Everything That Can Be, Should Be Cloud Based
Any companies still hanging onto old landline-based phone systems when the pandemic hit, immediately saw the benefit of cloud-based VoIP phone setups. It became apparent that on a dime, the way we do business can get completely upended, and companies need to be able to run their operations from more than just a single physical space.
Companies need to begin thinking about all their technology tools in a cloud lens and push cloud adoption for everything they can. This includes phone systems, on-premises servers, and even computers (which can migrate now to virtual desktops).
Technology Can Directly Impact the Customer Experience
Contactless solutions became the buzzword of the pandemic when it came to customer service. Companies that were used to doing business in person, had to come up with creative ways to adapt and still reach their customers who were also under lockdown restrictions just like them.
Some savvy business owners took to online outlets like TikTok to promote delivery and curbside pickups to potential customers, who were now spending even more time online. Others got creative when they had to close their doors, such as a SC pizza restaurant called Wild Ace that began packaging up their pizza ingredients and selling “make your own” pizza kits online.
Technology is not only about getting documents created and keeping everyone connected to their cloud apps, it can also be a powerful way to improve the customer experience, which in turn, directly impacts your bottom line.
Remote Teams Need to Be Fully Supported
Companies had to transition to remote teams pretty quickly and without any planning when the first lockdown orders hit early in 2020. This led to even larger corporations having trouble making the transition.
Employees felt cut off from their colleagues, managers weren’t sure how to measure work-from-home employee productivity, and security became a big problem with less secure home networks.
20% of surveyed organizations reported experiencing a security incident caused by a remote worker during the pandemic.
It’s vital that companies treat remote teams just like they do in-office teams as far as support and connection. This means providing the same level of IT support, in addition to cloud communication tools.
Successful remote teams are facilitated by:
- Remote managed IT support
- Network monitoring for threats
- Team communication tools
- Cloud storage and sharing
- Virtual private network (VPN)
- Ongoing cybersecurity awareness training
- Employee wellness and productivity tools
Fostering Teams Means a Balance Between Remote & In-Person
While video conferencing has gotten us through the pandemic, we’ve also learned that video can’t replace every in-person connection. People still crave that personal face-to-face connection and the experience of being in the same physical space as their colleagues from time to time.
There are already studies coming out about “Zoom Fatigue” and how it’s impacting people. For example, it was found that the same reward mechanism people get during meetings is lessened when they’re held over video. And if you have a problem with your audio cutting out during the meeting, the other person may not even realize it, but it can breed a feeling of distrust (even if it’s not your fault!).
What this lesson means is that post-pandemic when it’s safe to have in-person meetings again, that companies using mostly or fully remote teams should still plan in-person meetings from time to time to help foster stronger connections and experiences for their employees.
Get Help Creating a Great Remote Team Infrastructure!
GEEK911 can help your Silicon Valley business put the technology pieces in place to foster a great remote team and improve your customer experience.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation! Call 1-866-433-5411 or reach us online.