Five Stages of Working From Home – Customer Feedback
Working from home (WFH) has caused a number of challenges for businesses throughout 2020. Telecommunications should remove friction and allow people to do their jobs, while enabling and enhancing the process. This means ensuring a culture of connectivity and the ability to collaborate seamlessly. 3CX has enabled all of our customers to tackle these telecommunications challenges with aplomb.
At C2 Communications, we are constantly seeking our customer’s feedback on the current working climate, as it shapes to be just as important moving into the future. As such, we have surveyed a number of our customers on what we consider to be ‘Five Stages’ of working from home, and their associated challenges/benefits.
1. Initial Difficulties
Migrating to working from home did raise some difficulties with businesses telecommunications setups.
Most businesses worried they couldn’t connect with customers or colleagues. Managers fretted on their workers output and efficiency due to possible distractions. Commonly saying “If I can’t see them, they probably aren’t working”.
Utilising 3CX, Managers can see their worker’s availability, status for taking calls, and even call history. They can schedule Video Conference (VC) catch ups, listen to calls, or even barge in if necessary. All of these tools ensure employees continue to work at a desirable level.
Whilst daunting initially, setting up 3CX at home is exactly the same as setting it up in the office. The provisioning of desk phones, softphones and the mobile app, all require two things; an internet connection and a welcome email from 3CX.
“A few things that we found challenging was around trying to set up the Yealink phones, as most houses don’t have POE. So, I asked C2 if a power pack could be posted to me at home. I called Craig and he provisioned my desk phone and I was up and running. It is exactly like sitting in the office”
2. External Problems
Where to begin and where to end? The internet.
Working from home with VoIP and virtual conferencing has proven challenging at times due to inconsistencies with Australian internet. Australia’s average fixed broadband speed of 42 MBPS falls well below the world average (74 Mbps), and even further below the USA (124 Mbps). On top of this, many residential users have well below 42 Mbps, from old ADSL connections, to low speed NBN connections. It was only in June 2020, that the Australian Government passed a legislation entitling all homes and businesses in Australia to a broadband connection with a minimum peak speed of 25 Mbps.
What was the solution? Australia’s mobile network (4G) is significantly faster at 67 Mbps. Combining your home broadband and a mobile network, has allowed WFH conferencing solutions to operate at a necessary quality whilst avoiding dropouts. In cases where the NBN speeds have not been at a sufficient level, users have also been able to upgrade up to a better plan at a low cost.
“Some staff have problems with their internet connections which has caused headaches with call quality, but also their Remote Desktop connections dropping out. Overall, Australia’s infrastructure appears to be coping, but I suspect just barely at times.”
3. Pivoting from the Normal
A ‘normal’ office environment probably consists of a large desk, dual computer screens, a slick PC, a desk phone, super-fast business grade internet and an on-site IT team. The new ‘normal’ is often a dining room table, a small screen on a small laptop, a mobile phone, disappointing home internet and no IT team.
Taking your ‘work phone’ home with you was difficult for some users that rely heavily on proximate support. Troubleshooting IT issues by yourself is not conducive to efficient WFH practices. Thankfully the ease to which 3CX can be installed at home is incredible.
Installing the mobile app and web client on your laptop is as simple as getting sent a welcome email. The web client plugin or desktop application presents other running applications to notify you of a call, so the need for 2 screens is not essential. Your off-site IT team is only a phone call away and at C2 Communications we have been supporting businesses function from home successfully since March.
“It was incredibly easy, a non-event. 3CX already does exactly what we need, and we already had the 3CX client on laptops, home PCs and mobile phones. So, reorganising the phone system actually cost us nothing, not in money, nor in training.”
4. Benefits at Home
After the shock of moving to a WFH model, many found no decrease in business capacity. In fact, workers became more agile and flexible. By unifying all communications with 3CX, it was easier to stay connected with colleagues and customers.
3CX’s flexibility has allowed businesses to operate in ways they haven’t been before. Users can be set up at home, on the road, interstate, and in the office at the same time. These changes to the working environment have given businesses better understanding of the systems at their disposal.
All employees are accessible for calls, chat and meetings at the click of a button. Staff availability is always visible and productivity actually increased for many businesses.
“The benefits are that we have every single staff member (40+) working from home. It has proven that we haven’t had to close our operation down and that we can run at 100% capacity during the lockdown events.”
5. Return to the Office?
This pandemic has forced businesses to evolve. Communications were thrust into the future and our customers are thriving because of it.
Customers have said they will be maintaining more VC solutions rather than standard calls. They will be offering afterhours support due to the ease of WFH. Further to that, flexible working hours for employees to maximise productivity.
Being shackled to a desk is so 2019. In 2020 we are about having the freedom of using apps on mobile devices. The 3CX app will allow you to take your calls, meetings and chats with you wherever you go.
“Definitely the use of the 3CX mobile app instead of desk phones. This has allowed us to work anywhere without limitations. We have also loved the direct communication using chat on the 3CX app.”
Ultimately, the benchmark for successful technology comes down to whether it’s helping the humans in an organization do what they need to do. As you can see, our customer testimonials illustrate the success of the 3CX system when WFH. They have managed to maintain business output during this uncertain time.
If you have had any worries, challenges or concerns whilst working from home please don’t hesitate to contact our support team to find a solution!