Written by Beth Hildreth on March 30, 2020

If yours is like many companies worldwide, you recently may have made an abrupt switch to working remotely. And while working from home under normal circumstances can have appealing advantages – no lengthy commutes, a more flexible working environment, and a potential boost to productivity and morale¹ – a sudden change to your professional routine certainly can be unsettling.

The technology you use while working remotely might not replace the in-person interactions you’re used to. But with the right tools in place, you can stay connected, focused, and ready to take on any challenge.

The Decade-Long Rise in Working Remotely

If there’s a silver lining to unexpectedly becoming a work-from-home employee, it might be that you’re probably at a good starting point in terms of your internet connection. In the US, more than 93 percent of Americans have access to broadband, compared to only approximately 75 percent in 2010². There’s also been sharp growth in remote work over the past decade. One recent analysis puts the ten-year rise at more than 90 percent, in part due to better nationwide connectivity³.

But a fast internet connection is just one piece of the work-from-home puzzle. Collaboration software – tools that make it a cinch to meet via voice and video, chat and more – is another piece. It’s now a standard tool in many businesses, with the market for these solutions expected to almost double by 2023⁴. Yet another piece is where and how your company configures these solutions so that they work best for everyone enterprise-wide.

1. On-Premise vs. Cloud

The cloud has come a long way in security and performance, in part due to sheer necessity. Many legacy on-premise systems – think local servers physically installed in your office – simply can’t keep up with the ever-evolving amount of data we depend on in a typical workday⁵. Similarly, consider on-premise phone systems, such as those where you have to call into your desk phone to retrieve voicemails when you’re out of the office. Sure, you could supplement this type of set-up with employees using their personal mobile phones for a couple weeks. But it’s not efficient in the long run.

Instead, a cloud-based voice solution solves these inefficiencies. Take, for example, Momentum Mobility or Momentum Collaborate for larger conference calls and video meetings. Both are easy to implement – no need to rip-and-rebuild – and deliver features that equal or surpass a traditional legacy system. Plus, anyone in the company with a Mobility or Collaborate seat can talk, chat, video or meet regardless their location. All that’s required is an internet connection and a supported device.

2. Improved Visibility for Better Performance

Visibility is an evergreen concern for many remote employees. After all, when you’re not physically in an office, you may miss out on informal and non-verbal communication and information that you’d otherwise pick up from your coworkers⁶. UCaaS platforms like Momentum Mobility answer this part of the visibility question. But what if you need data-driven insight into your team or overall organization?

Enter call reporting, such as with Momentum Voice Analytics. More than just simply tracking the number of inbound and outbound calls, a SaaS call reporting tool like Momentum Voice Analytics lets you view a broad spectrum of metrics. The total and average talk time, percentage of inbound abandoned calls, or even data for internal extensions – the more insight you have, the clearer you can see where and how your team performs, no matter where they’re working.

3. Work with Who Makes the Best Fit

In March 2020, collaboration platforms like Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, Slack and Zoom saw a significant jump in new users due to the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic⁷. As a result of the increased demand for audio and video conferencing capabilities, some customers with free or introductory accounts were notified that these features could be moving to other premium account tiers⁸. Meanwhile, Microsoft announced that it would prioritize its cloud infrastructure and resources to support the communication needs of first responders, emergency management and governments⁹.

As large technology companies pivot toward the global pandemic response, businesses may want to explore alternatives to native licenses for these popular collaboration platforms. Microsoft Teams on the Momentum network is one such option. Instead of directly relying on Microsoft, you have access to Momentum’s white-glove implementation and support. Plus, you can configure Microsoft Teams with additional Momentum services that you aren’t available natively from Microsoft. (Check out our post “The Dynamic Duo of Momentum Microsoft Teams”, where we share more about these additional exclusive services and why Momentum’s failover capabilities are key to making sure you stay connected.)

Keep an Eye on the Long Run

Many of us are still adjusting to working remotely over these next weeks due to unusual and unprecedented circumstances. When you’re ready to explore how Momentum’s UCaaS and reporting solutions could work for your business in both the short term and the long run, give us a call at 877-251-5554. We’d love to hear from you.

¹State of Remote Work 2019, https://www.owllabs.com/state-of-remote-work/2019

²The Decade in Broadband: 2020 Statistics & Predictions, https://broadbandnow.com/research/broadband-2020

³Remote Work Statistics: Shifting Norms and Expectations, https://www.flexjobs.com/blog/post/remote-work-statistics/

⁴Gartner forecasts massive growth in collaboration software spending, https://siliconangle.com/2019/09/24/gartner-forecasts-massive-growth-collaboration-software-spending/

⁵Cloud Security: 4 Ways It’s Safer Than You Think, https://www.insight.com/en_US/content-and-resources/2018/04052018-cloud-security-4-ways-its-safer-than-you-think.html

⁶How to work remotely and maintain visibility, https://www.roberthalf.com.sg/blog/jobseekers/how-work-remotely-and-maintain-visibility

⁷Microsoft, Google, and Zoom are trying to keep up with demand for their now free work-from-home software, https://www.vox.com/recode/2020/3/11/21173449/microsoft-google-zoom-slack-increased-demand-free-work-from-home-software

⁸Zoom to potentially limit dial-in option for free tier, https://www.reddit.com/r/sysadmin/comments/fo4q4y/zoom_to_potentially_limit_dialin_option_for_free/

⁹Our commitment to customers and Microsoft cloud services continuity, https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/our-commitment-to-customers-and-microsoft-cloud-services-continuity/