Presented by Centracom

This is what the post-lockdown office will look like

The office of the future has become a key industry talking point as experts realise that the COVID-19 pandemic is transforming the future of working.

Businesses have undergone tremendous change over the past year, and those which were the least open to change suffered the most.

60% of employees in the business sector were working from home at the beginning of lockdown, with many businesses now adopting a hybrid model where employees working at the office for 2 days of a week, and the other 3 days at home.

Additionally, what were initially perceived to be short-term changes to the way we do business have now become part of our long-term strategies.

The Rise of Hosted PBX

As a result of the rise in remote working, businesses had to find ways to transition from legacy systems to more flexible alternatives.

For example, many South African businesses have switched from traditional call-centre and PBX models to Hosted PBX, as this has enabled them to keep their contact centres and phone lines running smoothly.

Tier 1 VoIP provider Centracom has approximately 15,000 Hosted PBX extensions and carries nearly 1 million minutes per day, with Managing Director Michael Aitken attributing this to the lockdown, as well as people looking for technologies that just work.

“COVID-19 has seen a huge demand for services like our Cloudcall Hosted PBX, with businesses not wanting to be restricted to just an IP phone, desktop or mobile phone app. They expect the solution to be rolled out within 24-48 hours and delivered at a high quality across a range of connectivity mediums, all at an affordable price.”

Centracom experienced a surge in Hosted PBX projects across life, business, agents, and mobile licences.

The spike in licences which were activated was high at the beginning of the lockdown, and based on this data Centracom estimated that 60% of employees were working from home.

Centracom has also noticed that most call centre customers have since returned to the office, with some working from home permanently.

Interestingly, however, many call centre agents are now working a mixed schedule – some days they work from home, and on other days they work from the office.

Aramex Case Study

The power of Hosted PBX was experienced by Aramex, which documented how it was able to transition to remote working through the technology.

“From the moment that lockdown was introduced we were able to move call centre staff, and others, to their homes without a single glitch,” said Hein Bruyns, Communication and Customer Experience Executive at Aramex.

“This allowed our essential staff to operate from the safety their homes, while continuing to deliver a world-class service to our customers. This simply would not have been possible with a traditional hardware PABX solution.”

Aramex said the “plug and play” service that Centracom provides has become an essential business tool.

Employee monitoring

The next step to consider for businesses is to implement employee monitoring solutions.

“These enable organisations to get greater insight into how productively your employees are working remotely. We’ve implemented this internally at Centracom with great success, and a number of our customers have seen the benefit immediately,” said Michael.

While remote working does not appear to negatively affect productivity overall, there are always individuals who may take a gap.

As businesses transition to long-term hybrid working arrangements, it is going to be important that management can track the productivity levels of their staff.

These insights can help you optimise your processes and amplify the benefits of remote or hybrid working.

Contact Centracom to learn more.

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This is what the post-lockdown office will look like