For many businesses a distributed workforce has been in place for a while.

However, for some, the idea of a distributed workforce model has all of a sudden come to the forefront. COVID-19 has created an urgent need for remote working.

Office spaces are being closed around the globe and workers are having to juggle both home and work life in a single space. The desire for flexibility in order to promote productivity has increased ten-fold as a result.

Companies are now having to adapt to remote working and doing business via video conference instead of face-to-face. We wanted to give you a breakdown of what a distributed workforce is, how it affects communications, and how your business could benefit from it.

By the end of this article you might think that it’s time for your business to consider this model. If so, try implementing a premium communication tool such as a telephone answering service. You can contact an experienced member of the Cymphony team today to see how they can help.

What is a Distributed Workforce?

Quite simply, a distributed workforce is one that is not concentrated in a single physical space. Often this happens quite naturally, with home working in recent years becoming a big selling point for prospective employees.

However, in the last few months, thousands of businesses that may not have thought a distributed workforce was feasible, have been forced into trialing the model in order to stay afloat.

This has been found to be hugely successful for many businesses that plan to continue to develop ways in which they can distribute their workforce beyond pandemic restrictions.

A distributed workforce offers staff the flexibility to work wherever they want, with compressed or extended hours.

With the COVID-19 pandemic proving that many businesses can function productively without an office, it’s a popular model of working that is likely to continue beyond this current crisis.

The Future of Communication

In order for a distributed workforce to run effectively, businesses need to ensure that their IT infrastructure is cloud based. This allows employees to have access to whatever they need regardless of their physical location.

This can be a huge project for companies still relying on hardware.

Similarly, removing face-to-face interaction and physical meeting spaces means businesses must prioritise other methods of communication in order to maintain productivity and customer service levels.

The use of ‘soft’ phones provides huge advantages in terms of availability, accessibility to information, and personalisation of calls.

Use of platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Skype have skyrocketed as much as 900% since the start of the pandemic. This not only shows that businesses can adapt to a different way of working, but also that the need for in-person communication is growing, not fading, with the digital age.

Just as internal processes such as messaging solutions are becoming cloud-based, so are customer relationships and buying journeys.

A communication tool such as live chat is a way in which your business can communicate in real time with a website user. It can help them with a query and direct them to the right place or person to answer it.

Businesses, for this reason, are adopting live chat. Due to the pandemic, businesses have closed their brick and mortar doors and are now operating digitally with a distributed workforce.

If you’re interested to see how live chat can help your business, whether your business is operating on a distributed workforce or not, you can read ‘5 ways live chat is improving is improving businesses customer service‘. It will give you some tips on why it can be a great communication tool to implement.

Missed Calls

However, when it comes to ensuring a consistent response to a customer mainline, it’s hard to match the effectiveness of the traditional office-based model.

In a standard office, if someone’s handset rings the whole office can hear it. Managers can monitor phone calls and ensure that inbound calls, regardless of their subject matter, are consistently answered professionally.

With remote working, this is not always the case.

Calls can be ignored in favour of more pressing tasks, without anyone else knowing. Similarly, without an intelligent call routing system in place, if someone is away from their laptop and the phone rings a potential lead can be lost.

With instant, verbal communication more important than ever, it is vital for every single call to be answered in a timely, appropriate and consistent manner.

Premium communication providers like Cymphony offer a tailored telephone answering service, which is an efficient way to ensure every call is answered no matter where in the world your workforce is.

Through having a trusted communications provider on board your business can build relationships with customers, making them feel valued, and not lose its reputation.

Whilst a distributed workforce reduces opportunities to micromanage aspects of your business communication, it shouldn’t cause customer relationships to suffer as a result.

A telephone answering service is, therefore, a great way to stay in control, focus on what’s important and maintain exceptional levels of customer service. 

A distributed workforce that combines both remote and in-office working will likely be the future of SMEs. This indicates the importance of getting your business ready to adopt the new practices and processes coming into place. This will ensure that you can keep adding happy customers to your client roster.

Read the article ‘How a telephone answering service can get you leads 24/7‘ to find out in more detail how a telephone answering service can help your business. It won’t affect your brand or the reputation of your communications.

Does Your Distributed Workforce Need a Premium Communication Tool?

You should now have a better understanding of what a distributed workforce is and how it can help your business to excel during the pandemic. You should also be aware of the tools available that help you to keep growing your business in the long term, while not affecting your customer service.

Are you now wondering how a premium communication tool such as a telephone answering service, managed live chat, or a virtual personal assistant can help your specific business?

We’re here to help you and we encourage you to contact an experienced Cymphony team member today to discuss your business needs and create a tailored plan for you.

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