Is it just a matter of time, Corona?
The first cases of Covid-19, the disease formerly known as coronavirus, were reported in Wuhan, China on 31st December 2019.
Since then, over 91,000 cases have been reported worldwide, with China bearing the brunt of infections so far with approximately 80,000 cases in mainland China alone. In mid-February the first cases were reported in the UK, with 85 cases confirmed by 4th March. Health officials are warning the widespread transmission of the virus across the UK is becoming increasingly likely with the government forecasting up to a fifth of the UK workforce could be off sick during the peak of a coronavirus epidemic.
Italy have recently seen a sharp increase in Covid-19 cases, resulting in a country-wide closure of schools and colleges, whilst other European countries have taken measures to ban all public and private gatherings of over 1,000 people.
Withœself-isolation€ becoming the latest buzzword to sweep the country, many UK firms are now advising staff to work remotely as a preventative measure rather than just a precautionary action should you be worried you may already be infected. For many businesses this is no big deal, however if you are not prepared for such measures then your productivity could be hugely affected.
Unified Communications: Working From Home Made Easy
If the thought of your workforce all working from home leaves you in a cold sweat, then now would be a good time to remind you how a Berry business telephone system can help an organisation facilitate remote working for its employees. Berry’s leading business telephone systems work across multiple devices to ensure all your staff are linked up and working together seamlessly regardless of their device.
With Berry’s Unified Communications application, available for iPhone and Android, your staff’s mobile phones will work through your main phone system. This enables seamless communication between your workforce. Most importantly, your staff will have the same control and features available to them as they would sat at their office desk. Using the app you can easily see who is available at any given time allowing calls to be transferred and diverted to other extensions. Video calling, instant messaging and conferencing are all available meaning there really is no difference to the service your customers receive whether your staff are in the office or working remotely.
Screen sharing is also available for collaborative projects meaning even those in self-isolation can work with your team without the need for hazmat suits.
The Unified Communications app is all part of your Berry business phone system. This means not only do your staff have the control and features of being in the office when they’re working remotely, but you also have the control and visibility needed to effectively manage and run your business. Real-time, in-depth analytics are available at all times allowing a fully transparent view of your business operations. Detailed call reporting empowers you to increase productivity and make informed decisions about your business.
The UC app also offers the same call recording quality as you receive on your office phones allowing you to monitor call quality, protect your staff from abuse, train staff and resolve any trickyœwho said what€ disputes.
Forget Coronavirus, Flexible Working Is Good For Business!
Productivity is always a key worry with the looming threat of prolonged staff absence. By giving staff the freedom to work remotely, however, productivity can be expected to increase.
A recent study conducted by Connect Solutions reported that among those working remotely, 77% reported increased productivity. One 2015 based study found that when call-center employees switched to working from
home, their productivity increased by an average of 13%. One of the main reasons attributed to the increase in productivity of remote workers is that off-site working was found to be less stressful which in turn also leads to a reduction in sick days taken.
The advantages to your business however do not stop there.
There is a 10% predicted boost in employee retention when companies support aœchoose-your-own-work-style€ culture, whilst 76% of workers said they would be more loyal to their employer if they had flexible work options. If you’re worried you’re on your own, fear not. In 2018 over 1.54 million people worked from home in the UK, compared to 884,000 ten years prior, seeing a huge increase of 74%.
Unfortunately, it’s likely the coronavirus is only just starting to show its teeth in the UK and there will be knock-on effects to UK business. Make sure you’re not caught out with an inflexible communications system holding back your workforce. For more information on what Berry’s Unified Communications system can do for you please contact one of the team.
For the latest advice on the Covid-19 outbreak in the UK you can find the latest information at the following links: