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Where the UK is headed post-COVID-19 for technology in the workplace

For the first time since the industrial revolution, we’re experiencing intergenerational working, with up to five generations in the workplace.

With that in mind Windsor Telecom decided to take a look into these five generations and their working styles to discover what tools and technologies are needed to bridge the generational gap.

Windsor Telecom analysed their customer call data from 2010, 2019 and Jan – July 2020, which amounts to over 73.9 million calls.
A sample size of 7,385 companies across the UK and Ireland shows that:

  • As the UK went into lockdown in April 2020, 44% less business calls were made compared to April 2019.
  • This continues in May 2020 with 40% less business calls compared to May 2019.
  • In total, 28% less business calls are made between March and July 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.
    (Period compared – March – July 2019 vs March – July 2020)

Multi-generational Working

For many, the future of working is virtual. Companies need to invest in becoming more adaptable, focused on providing technologies that are straightforward to use and the training required for every generation to be able to use them with ease. This means rather than opting between technology tools or training, providing both.

Many technology providers are adapting to be able to suit all five generations. The adoption curve has now been turned on its head. This is amplified when new generations enter the workplace.

Mass adoption of home working has brought technology pain points and the issues surrounding connectivity and communication to the forefront of people’s minds.

With the user experience and adoption becoming far greater priorities for every technology provider, companies should make sure that they don’t compromise on these when looking for the right solution for their business.

We have devised a list of areas to consider to ensure the best efficiency at work.

A team that is aware of all the technology at their disposal, and that are confident using it are likely to be more productive and collaborative. They can also play a supporting role with team members who may be less confident using certain technologies.

Video Conferencing
Demand for video conferencing, whether it be standalone tools like Zoom or more integrated unified comms solutions like Microsoft Teams, has surged since lockdown. In fact, business-focused mobile app downloads reached 62 million during the week of March 14-21, the highest number ever seen.

While some employees are experiencing so-called ‘Zoom fatigue’, the key is to get the right balance of video and phone calls. Research suggests that the energy needed for video calls is so much more than in person so plan your meetings with that in mind to help maintain a happy, motivated workforce.

A workforce consumer survey from Gartner revealed that employees spent an average time of 11.7 hours a week in meetings. In fact, 9% of respondents spent more than 20 hours of their working week in meetings.

Instant Messaging
Instant messaging apps like Slack and Skype, or new unified comms tools like Microsoft Teams, mean that the team can be in contact with each other throughout the day, without needing to pick up the phone. However, all have the capability for video and audio calls if needed. You can send files with ease and quickly ask any burning question rather than waiting for an email reply.

VoIP Calls
VoIP cloud phone systems provide businesses with an easy way to answer calls on-the-go without being restricted to one device. The call handling features make managing calls in and out of your business responsive and straightforward and integrate with unified comms solutions

Cloud Based Storage
Cloud-based tools like Microsoft 365, Google Drive, SharePoint and Dropbox allow your team to share and collaborate in real time, from any location.

As our case studies show you can’t work effectively and use technology like the above without a reliable connection. Without that your employees are going to struggle to be productive and frustrations will rise.

In August 2020 the government reached its gigabit broadband rollout milestone, with half a million premises with access to gigabit technology. But there still fundamental improvements needed to get everyone connected and working as seamlessly as possible.

There are various options to choose from when it comes to improved connectivity, ranging from solutions like business broadband perfect for those needing a robust connection when working from home, to leased line DIA and SD-WAN for offices, businesses and people back in the office.