How the COVID-19 pandemic has changed business communications
The world was in turmoil during the peak of the pandemic, with businesses closing and employees having to work from home or be put on furlough during this time. Now that the COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted, how has the pandemic transformed the way businesses operate? In particular, how have business communications been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Remote working was the norm during lockdowns, and so businesses had to transform the way their employees communicate, meaning employees could clearly and effectively talk with each other remotely.
This meant that instant messaging apps like Microsoft Teams were increasingly used, as well as video and call conferencing features that enabled virtual meetings, so that employees could also see and speak to each other, even if it was through a digital screen.
How employees collaborate had to be purely online since they could not work together face-to-face, so project management apps like Asana or Trello became very useful and popular in this regard.
The utilisation of features like screen sharing and document editing in real-time were also important during this time when employees could not work in the office.
Although emails are still fairly used within the workplace, instant messaging arguably dominated, and still continues to dominate, business communication between employees. Especially for remote workers, instant messaging apps are extremely beneficial in communicating with their other colleagues.
This is what is commonly known as a unified communications approach – and this concept has been prevalent pre-COVID, but its uses and advantages became really transparent during the height of the pandemic when businesses closed offices and employees were forced to work from home.
Since the lifting of restrictions, many employees have gone back to in-office work. However, there are still many businesses that offer flexible or hybrid working arrangements, meaning that employees can both work from home and go into the office when needed.
One survey actually found that 62% of employees who choose to work from home in any capacity revealed that they do so because working from home became a normal routine for them. This shows that remote working has become an ordinary aspect in their working lives, thus they are willing to continue it even after restrictions have been lifted.
What post-COVID 19 means for business communications
Whilst it is possible that a unified communications approach was already in place before the pandemic hit, it is more likely now that it has been implemented since the end of lockdowns and restrictions. It is a concept that is applicable to all businesses of any size and purpose. You can find out more about unified communications here.
With hybrid working still commonplace, and likely to continue well into the future, it is clear that the pandemic has changed business communications permanently.
Unified communications are likely to become commonplace both in old and new businesses going forward in the post-COVID era – but this should not be surprising, nor should it be daunting. In fact, it is a step in the right direction to future proofing businesses and lengthening the longevity of businesses.
And there you have it – a rundown of how the pandemic changed the way businesses communicate, both during the lockdowns themselves, and the changes sticking around for good.