Technology: COVID shutdowns a challenge for businesses and customers

By Mack Slaughter

Technology is constantly innovating, upgrading, and adapting. One of the greatest innovations are the options to work from anywhere. 

With local shut downs and stay at home policies, businesses had to adapt and find ways to keep working. 

Some businesses had adopted work from anywhere strategies pre-COVID such like remote desktop access, cloud-based applications, phone services, and even simple call forwarding. These services have become mainstays for some companies in a post outbreak word. The real estate industry will change due to these technological adoptions. 

During the stay-at-home order, our office went almost completely unused. Like many businesses, we began to weigh the costs of operating office space. Our decision was to keep the work place environment as it was but adding in social distancing practices. However, many businesses are choosing not to return to the office but to invest in technology that is designed to enable the work from home strategy. 

When the stay-at-home orders started to come out my company was faced with a small challenge for us but a large challenge for some of our clients. 

As a phone service and hardware company we were able to implement a work from home environment. We used our Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) enabled phone system to allow our employees to place and take calls as if they were in the same building. We accomplished this be using a Virtual Private Network, or VPN, to connect back to our office over the Internet which also allowed employees’ computers to access files remotely. In doing so, our company was able to keep working as normal and we helped our clients do the same thing. 

There are various services that make up a business’s technology needs. Phone services, collaboration tools, and file sharing and access are just a few items that are a challenge for businesses to replicate for home workers. Switching to a VoIP solution will help business maintain communication with customers over the phone, giving the same quality of services as before. Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Slack are just a couple of companies that are building collaboration software that allows employees to work together as well as communicate with each other. Finally, cloud-based file sharing like DropBox, Microsoft OneDrive, and Google Drive allow employees to save their files in the cloud and share securely with each other.

There are many factors that play into a business’s decision to operate in office space, work from home, or a hybrid design. Factors such as; cost of technology versus cost of rent, the need for face-to-face interactions, or simply the personally views of the management team all play into the decision. As technology advances the conversation will continue and increase. Shut downs and stay at home policies may go away, but the technology is here to stay.

Mack Slaughter | Trust Technology Consultants, LLC