The world has changed dramatically in 2020, with people being forced to work in ways they never imagined this time in 2019. While many people have looked at working from home as an option over the years – and companies examined the practicalities – only a small percentage of the total workforce was working remotely at the beginning of the year. However, no one foresaw the rapid move to home or remote working that would result from Covid-19 restrictions across the world.
Challenges for companies and employees
The ‘new normal’ created by these restrictions – along with the virus itself – have presented organizations and their workforces with a range of challenges. Top of many lists was communications, and how they would underpin the continuation of business, despite the unprecedented conditions.
For those new to working remotely, the Covid-19 pandemic has presented a real challenge. In business, the question was how to communicate effectively with colleagues, customers and partners; in the education sector, it was how to keep in touch with pupils and other members of staff, and in healthcare, it was about running remote consultations with patients. No sector has been immune to the impact of the virus.
Once over the initial shock of what was happening, many organizations have turned to online channels to help ensure they were able to communicate effectively with everyone they needed to.
We saw spikes in email traffic across our platforms during periods of lockdown, but as an organization, we also had to switch to online channels to replace face-to-face meetings – whether in the office or internationally (for one-to-one sessions, conference calls and even company-wide Town Hall meetings with hundreds of participants).
This behaviour has been replicated across all markets and, as a result, the adoption of online communication technologies, such as voice and video conferencing, has grown exponentially and accelerated mainstream adoption – particularly video – by around a decade.
Using OX as a flexible platform for communication
With online voice and video calls now mainstream across all sectors, tightly integrating these capabilities, along with chat, into OX App Suite allows end-users to choose the best mode of communication for them – moving seamlessly between video, voice and text.
It also allows video or voice chats to be started from appointments, contacts or email, and gives users the ability to schedule video calls and manage group chats from OX Calendar, as well as view and edit documents together with OX Documents.
Working with the best messaging providers and integrating them into OX Cloud provides a powerful, flexible communication platform, especially for smaller businesses and organizations – and allows them to communicate in the best way for them and whoever they’re communicating with.
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Jan is working as a Senior Product Manager for OX Cloud at Open-Xchange.