Communication in the working world has changed massively over the last decade or so. This change has been accelerated over the last year, with the emergence of the current Coronavirus pandemic, as more and more people have been forced to socially distance themselves from their work colleagues, working in smaller groups, or from their own homes.
One industry has thrived in recent times, however, and that is the communications industry. When workers are far apart, the need to communicate becomes more important than ever. So what particular services have seen an increase in use, and just how have they developed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic?
Conference Calling Application
Video calling has become an intrinsic part of many people’s working lives now. Some of us have video meetings in the morning before starting our day, some of us have them periodically through the day, while others leave them on constantly from the minute they ‘clock on’ to the minute they finish work. Whatever your style, conference call companies are likely to play a large role in your working life these days.
Choosing your platform comes down to a multitude of factors. From the number or maximum participants to the ease of use, and third-party integrations, the platform of choice for many workers will come down to the level of suitability for their company. There has been a significant increase in functionality over the last few months regarding many services, each eager to capitalize on the number of people needing these services.
Without the ability to meet up in person, these conference calling services have taken over the role of group discussions, one on one collaborations, as well helping to replicate the lunchtime chat around the cafeteria table in some instances, allowing workers to continue feeling like part of a team, at a time when isolation can not only slow down productivity but also lower morale within a company.
Team Collaboration Tools
Team collaborations tools are equally being used in ever-increasing numbers of late. These services have taken over the mantle from the older IM (instant messaging) platforms but folding in many other facets alongside the simple messaging platform. The two biggest names right now, Slack and Microsoft Teams offer workers the ability to chat via text, voice, or even video calls. Throw in the ability to share files, and work on documents together, and you have a powerful combination of facets that will allow many workers to never touch another communication tool at all.
The beauty of these all-encompassing communication services is their use of channels. These channels allow different areas of work chat to be cordoned off from each other. For example, you can have a channel devoted to the current project, a separate one for discussing lead generation, and another for general office chit-chat. This separation and organization of topics makes it easier to focus on the task at hand and makes searching for the information needed at any given time vastly easier.
External VOIP Solutions
When it comes to external communication, the tech world has again come on leaps and bounds in recent years. If a business deals with calling customers on a regular basis and in high volumes, simple analogue telephone calls will not suffice. Instead, powerful VOIP solutions now provide analytics that allows companies to see where a lead generation has succeeded, where time was wasted, and just what techniques work best for creating those ever-important connections.
Since the pandemic began earlier this year, the need for flexible VOIP solutions has increased at a rate like the demand for internal communication solutions. This demand has seen services that route calls to smartphones, tablets, or sometimes dedicated pieces of hardware (such as the HiHi hub,) giving users all the functionality, they are used to having in an office. From transferring calls to other team members, to having powerful analytics being recorded while each call is being made, these VOIP solutions are making working life easier at a time when the distance between a colleague and a central office could be troublesome for many teams.
As the worldwide situation continues to remain uncertain, office communications will lean ever more heavily on the digital infrastructure available to bridge the gap, until workplaces return to normal. The reality of the situation is that we are lucky to have these solutions available at a time when they are needed most, and as we use them more and more, improvements to functionality and form will continue to increase. While there is little to smile about during such times, our communication needs in the world of business are being met admirably by the services we use daily. At a time when so many of us are working from home, that is at least something to be grateful for right now.