Technology and remote-working decisions made by public and private sector organisations during the coronavirus lockdown should be revisited to maximise potential opportunities, now that more business premises are beginning to re-open.
That’s the advice from award-winning cloud and managed services provider, FourNet, which has today published a new study that analyses what the ‘new normal’ will mean for organisations across Britain.
FourNet – previously 4net Technologies – has examined how companies and public sector organisations have acted during the coronavirus lockdown and how they should prepare for the future.
FourNet – a member of South West Contact Centre Forum – concludes that remote working will become the new normal for tens of thousands of people across Britain.
Richard Pennington, managing director at FourNet, said: “The rapid nature of the lockdown in Britain turned normal boardroom decision-making on its head. These decisions could have crucial consequences for business outcomes and security in the future.”
During one week in the lockdown period around 49% of the UK workforce was working from home. That compares to around 5% for the whole of 2019.
The study, Remote Working: The New Normal, notes that with the dust settling and businesses getting used to the new landscape, organisations up and down the country would be wise to set aside time to review their lockdown decisions as part of a joined-up digital transformation strategy.
The paper states: “Growing numbers of organisations and contact centre operators may find, as they crunch the numbers in the coming weeks and months, that remote working offers opportunities for growth which their rivals have already seized. This may provoke a broader shift in corporate thinking.
“Others, rather than pressing ahead with a planned move to larger premises in a costly new office block, might discover savings can be made by turning this unexpected foray into home working into a long-term strategic shift.”
FourNet says some organisations may be further along the technology curve than others, but all should be considering whether they have made the correct calls and have robust systems, legally compliant processes and best-in-class platforms to weather the worst storms in future.
FourNet helped dozens of customers to embrace remote working when the coronavirus pandemic hit Britain and lockdown was announced. That included assisting South East Coast Ambulance Service to switch its 111 call centre agents to remote working when call volumes soared during the pandemic and enabling 2,000 employees of energy giant npower to work from home within days of lockdown beginning.
The FourNet paper poses questions for organisations of all shapes and sizes across the UK to ensure they are best placed to embrace the ‘new normal’ as more employees continue to, or request, home-working.
Pennington added: “Working from home is here to stay. It will become a regular feature of weekly life for more employees and contact centre agents than ever before. That means businesses, public sector organisations and contact centres need to be better prepared, utilising technology to bridge the gaps.”