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BlackCSI Helps Businesses Shift from “Survival Mode” to “Strategic Growth Mode” in 2021
While business owners may have been astonished that their employees actually kept working while remote, the next area of concern is that that technology works, too. In 2020, many businesses were using “workarounds” to solve communication breakdowns, but by now, there’s no reason for lapses in productivity. In fact, there are plenty of technology tools at our fingertips that businesses are utilizing successfully to keep team members engaged, productive and efficient, regardless of physical limitations imposed by the pandemic.
“Successful small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) are well aware of the benefits of strategic planning and even though the pandemic has been an unforeseen variable for many of us, we now have enough information to build workplace interaction strategies that will support revenue growth in 2021,” stated Ruthann Black, President of BlackCSI. “Although businesses may consider themselves to be lucky to have survived, they need to expand their thinking in terms of setting new goals, instead of being caught in reaction mode, once more.”
COVID-19 has forced companies to adapt and at this point every business owner essentially needs 3 strategic plans for workplace interaction. The most sophisticated businesses are creating contingency plans for these three different potential environments. BlackCSI is consulting with CEOs and CFOs individually because each business will have its own unique variables to consider when formulating their workplace interaction plan that may include the following in 2021:
- Fully-Remote Workplace – Organizations that were flexible enough to sustain a fully-remote workforce have opted to keep everyone remote, until further notice. A fully-remote work environment presents its own unique set of challenges but it also offers new opportunities to be taken advantage of. For this workplace interaction strategy to be successful, employees must be backed with technology tools that support key functions. For example, employees need to be empowered to remain in constant communication with other team members. Additionally, business owners need to provide them central access to data, with responsible levels of cybersecurity on the network. A remote team means more exposure to the network, but it also brings more flexibility than ever before. A full transition to this means that the business won’t be interrupted further by additional restrictions/lockdowns.
- Hybrid Workplace – The majority of businesses believe that this will be the most likely scenario in 2021. Over the past year, companies have cycled through lockdowns, partial openings and full reopenings depending on health risk factors. If a business owner wants to plan for this they will need to consider ways to secure entrances/exits/access points with things like body temperature scanners or touchless door access controls. They also benefit significantly from tools like cloud voice with call forwarding, to make transitions seamless when staff migrate from the office to remote work environments. In order for hybrid to work, remote technology needs to be secure and seamless, while workers/customers need to feel safe in-person.
- In-Person (w/Social Distancing) Workplace – For a minority of businesses, all activities are dependent on the physical location remaining open. For these businesses, owners need to consider how to adhere and accommodate various safety measures to ensure compliance and worker safety.
Regardless of which workplace environment is most likely, there are three critical aspects that must be addressed within any workplace interaction strategy to ensure success. The first is that employees need access to cloud voice to keep team members in constant communication and to ensure that office calls are properly routed to cell phones when team members are out-of-the-office. Secondly, no matter which workplace environment an SMB finds themself operating from, the team needs to be able to collaborate effectively. Businesses are well aware that solutions like Microsoft Teams exist, but they need to maximize these tools by customizing them to achieve business outcomes. Lastly, every single workplace environment needs to be kept secure. For in-person strategies, this means secure access points, with tech like body temperature scanners to ensure illnesses cannot spread. For remote workplaces, this means that the cybersecurity precautions have to be considered because generally speaking, home networks pose much higher risks than office environments.
“We are currently meeting with customers and depending on what they want to achieve in 2021, we are devising custom technology plans to help them accomplish their strategic goals,” added Black. “This is what leaders do, they step up and lead in times of uncertainty. We are using our expertise to provide structure and clarity so that businesses can continue to thrive. Technology just happens to be our particular expertise but this effort is about honoring our responsibility to the business community at large.”