The world as we know it has been drastically uplifted, uprooted, and change happened quicker than we thought it would, with that comes the need to make personal or business tweaks and edits to make the working environment that much more manageable.
We have been accustomed to the notion and actions of commuting to work, essentially clocking in and out on the timesheet, and completing the daily 9-5 hour work week, however, this is for the most part no longer the case.
People are opting to work from home more days of the week and perhaps only going into the office on a Monday or Friday to see the week’s tasks ahead or to hand in the round-up of finished actions. Then some may have a company that is just as easy to manage and run the day-to-day activities from home or anywhere that has a Wi-Fi signal as if they were in an office, and opt for the former.
No matter the decision or situation you have found yourself in, conducting business, giving presentations, or even attending classes has become an online affair, and it looks like this is the way of the future. Why do work from the office which is easily achieved from the comfort of your home office, all the while wearing joggers and flip-flops, living the good life?
At home or an office downsize.
If you have the opportunity or even what some believe to be the luxury of working from home then besides comfort which is vital, you need an operation set up that will still connect you to the outside world seamlessly.
You need to think of equipment and accessories that will add value to the workspace, allow for effortless communication, and not have to worry about why your store-bought ‘communications center’ doesn’t want to connect to the WI-FI or the router or anything for that matter.
While you may not want to think about it, it could be that you need help from professionals in the industry, experts who have years of experience in setting up home or office communication hubs so that the business day is uninterrupted. Companies such as G12 Communications who have been in the field of connecting people for decades understand the importance of quality versus quantity and can offer advice and guidance on which setup would be best suited for your needs and help get you on the right track.
Investing in the right tools for the job is a small price to pay for the optimum running of a firm, some entrepreneurs or business owners who believe it to be a waste of money thinking they can do it themselves, more than not end up having to pay again or extra to have the appropriate system fitted.
There is an old saying that rings true to this tale, ‘do it nicely or do it twice,’ and if you had made the right choice, to begin with, you wouldn’t be in the predicament of having to pay the right people for the job to do what they know best.
On the other hand, you might well still be in an office space, but simply downsizing the area to accommodate those who need to be in the building to sign papers or initial important contracts and documents. Employees who don’t have an appropriate or designated space at home to work need to be in the office and ideally a comfortable desk and personal space.
That being said, the main objective is to have everyone on the same page, easily communicating back and forth, and brainstorming on projects together although not in the same room. And this is where having a top-of-the-line program created and installed comes into play and could mean the difference between a great work practice and one that begins to deteriorate because you didn’t put in the initial work or investment.
If you have ever been on a conference call or an online international meeting or interview you will know all too well the necessity of a clear and crisp call line, zero echoes, and most importantly to ensure background noise cancellation. The people on the other end of the call certainly don’t want to hear your partner asking the kids what they would like for dinner.
The importance of communication.
You may think when you hear the word communication it is simply the act of talking to another person, and while this plays a part in the process, the aim whilst talking is to ‘be heard.’ This means that the message or information you are trying to express and explain is being understood, that they can follow the instructions you are giving or can answer with the appropriate responses.
The key to effective communication is listening which works both ways, from the employer to the employee and vice versa, and subtle (or more obvious) gestures will indicate if it is working. Staff who ask questions or seek clarification show they are listening, there should be no interruptions during explanations, and if the team is nodding their heads this is also a good sign that they are actively listening.
As an employer doing the listening take note of the person’s tone with which they are expressing themselves, be patient so they may finish what they are saying, and if need be summarize what they have said to show your interest and to be clear from your end.
If you are leading a meeting make direct eye contact, be honest and open about what you’re discussing, and most importantly choose your words carefully. Have a practice run if possible so you won’t get flustered if someone veers off-topic, you could try getting the family or your other half to ask questions during your presentation practice to get more comfortable with interruptions or clarifications.
A system that works for you and your business.
You have made the right decision in opting for a more professional and quality operation, but with the market flushed with brands and firms all claiming to be the best it can get overwhelming knowing which to choose. A few helpful points will keep you on track and if they tick all or most of the boxes you have a winner.
Let’s take a look at the top 5 points CEOs and company owners expressed to be their top priorities when hiring a firm to install the latest and greatest in communications systems.
- Ease of use. This is by far the greatest element businesses look for, not only for themselves but for the staff that needs to use it. If the system is easy to navigate and operate from anywhere it provides a great scale of flexibility, staff could work in-office or remotely if need be, this way the work still gets done and there is less pressure on the employee.
When an employee is happy and comfortable work efficacy is significantly increased, read a more in-depth look on the topic here https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2017/12/13/promoting-employee-happiness-benefits-everyone/ and if some points stick out to you, it could be a great way to make some small changes around the workplace.
- Working from home so often we can forget how important social interactions can be, to have face-to-face conversations or get encouragement from managers, this motivation can be still be given with the right tools. Ensure your platform offers the ability to make video and conference calls, group meetings where the whole team can hear individual praises and strive to reach higher targets and goals together.
You want and essentially will need to be in contact with your staff at all times and they with you in case of an emergency or any queries that may pop up.
- We are all aware of how savvy and tech-smart people are getting these days and we need to have the confidence in the system that our data is protected and encrypted. Not just the online presence and communications back and forth with private information, but the voice encryptions too so that no one can eavesdrop from competitive brands or firms during calls.
- There is no getting away from it or around it and our best bet is to embrace it, we have all had some experience at one time or other where we have been greeted and chatted with an AI robot simulator. They integrate the NLP (Natural Language Processing) component of the program to assist staff with the numerous questions and queries from customers and filter them to the correct department if they are unable to help.
- Many managers have expressed the ‘need’ for this, to have an intelligent routing system in place alongside your communications hub that will seamlessly match the most qualified or experienced person in that field to answer or handle the customer complaint or question.
The plus side of having intelligent routing is that customers have the option of having a callback, this way they don’t need to sit for long periods waiting for an operator to become available but rather carry on with what they were doing and wait for the returned call. This way they also don’t lose their place in the virtual ‘queue,’ and we all know the frustration of being cut off after holding to repetitive music for the last 5-minutes, am I right
The plus side.
Now, the big question on everyone’s mind is why should you invest in a cloud-based communications system over a regular, essentially more affordable one, and the answer is simple. You believe in quality and reliability.
You may think that the lump sum you have to pay to have it installed is a lot, but if it means less unsatisfied customer comments and reviews, fewer complaints about the phone about customer service, then you are better off getting the best in the business that your budget can afford.
There are options to suit and be tailored to all businesses with a cloud system and perhaps only a handful of staff need the cheap international and free on-network calling abilities, while others need only a standard local tariff plan. You could opt for a pay-as-you payment scheme where you only pay for the minutes you use or a per-user element with unlimited calls for 2 to 3 top-tier management. There is something for everyone and chatting to industry professionals as well as doing careful research, you will find the right fit.
Then, of course, there is the mobility factor where you can work anytime and from anywhere, take a moment to check out this link to read more about this feature.
Staff can stay in the loop on ongoing projects while away on holiday or a business trip, managers can check in on task progresses after hours or when teams least expect it, and there is no miscommunication about what was said or which activities were to be completed but are still overdue.
Everything is on the platform, data is securely stored yet easily accessible, and you can add features or more services much easier than with a regular copper wire-based telephone system as your company expands and grows. With an effectively working communications system in place, there is less risk of unhappy customers and bad ratings.
A final thought.
Communication, in general, as we know dates back to at least 500,000 BCE with the technological element coming into play circa 30,000 BCE with the use of cave drawings and pictograms. As we know this evolved to writing, printing, telecommunications, and eventually what we know today as the internet and seemingly cannot live without – quote-unquote every teenager alive.
The electronic age in which we currently live has been developed and reprogrammed as time goes on to accommodate needs and to evolve businesses, services, and the way we communicate.
While telegraphs paved the way for what is effectively the mobile phone of the modern age, there is always something magical about speaking face-to-face as opposed to on a video call or landline. And besides, you may need a hug at the end of the conversation.