Working from home is not a new development. For years people have had the option to log in from their sofas, the local cafe or airport restaurant. But when that novelty becomes a necessity, it presents us with a new dynamic that takes some major adjustment. Now months into the global pandemic of COVID-19, we're entering unknown territory within the global business market. A territory that has been coined as ‘the new normal’ by many. Mitel CHRO Billie Hartless and Josh Hortsmann, Partner at Sales Benchmark Index, discussed how HR and IT can leverage technology to support business continuity in the webinar, Powering Connections Through Crisis. This article recaps and outlines the key points from their advice, plus key additional points from us at Britannic from recent #MitelChats sessions on Twitter and notable advice.

Technology Transforms

Employees wanting more flexibility in their work arrangements has been a growing trend and happy employees are harder working employees. Technology can help to mitigate change during this crisis, both short and long-term. Yet, many companies have now found the gaps in their technology that stood between employees and effective remote working.

No one is excluded from the effects of coronavirus and many companies are struggling to survive. The crisis presented by COVID-19 has made businesses realize what changes need to be made to IT policies and communications strategies to reduce the impact of a future disaster. The beginning of the quarantine required quick fixes, but these solutions do not support effective and seamless business continuity practices. And poor communications can cost your business in the long run.

A4: Definitely collaboration technologies as it's likely some businesses will adopt working from home policies on a more 'normal' basis #MitelChats

— BritannicTech (@BritannicTech) April 30, 2020

As Britannic have previously explained, COVID-19 has three key stages for business strategies. Since we are moving to the third stage now, more businesses will take a look at how they can optimise their operations, including whilst working from home.

A1: Schools have had to adjust quickly to enable students to work from home. One of our customers, a college has recently been using MiTeam Meetings to connect with applicants for this year and their parents. #MitelChats

— BritannicTech (@BritannicTech) May 14, 2020

Teamwork is #1

Companies are inanimate objects, but people are what bring companies to life and the collaboration between those people is what keeps companies competitive. The extreme changes to the way we interact brought about by the coronavirus outbreak has shown us how we can collaborate more closely while remote.

Collaboration can take many forms, so it is important to choose a technology that facilitates teamwork with dedicated workspaces, task management and file sharing for each project. Also needed is a communications system that allows for quick response, such as SMS or messaging, as well as telephony and video to help teams have real-time interactions.

Communication is even more key than when you're in the office. It's vital for ensuring people are coping with their workload and making progress. Our team has weekly catch-ups with the whole team Monday and then regular ones one-to-one, via MiTeam Meetings of course #MitelChats

— BritannicTech (@BritannicTech) April 9, 2020

Adapting your business processes can also ensure your team is still productive, even while working from a different location. This can include educating employees on phone and virtual business practices, bolstering virtual training opportunities, or training employees on virtual tools for role efficacy.

The Time is Now

The updates and upgrades you make now will dictate how your organisation will communicate for years to come, in and beyond crisis measures. Now is the time to define a new business process and course correct, if necessary, to set the new normal as soon as possible.

Quarantine has proven to us that we can survive and be productive in a remote working environment. Embracing change now, means more certainty in the future.

Discover more about collaboration tools from Mitel that will aid you with the new normal. Whether you’re looking to work from home or within the office, these solutions are vital for connecting your teams.

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