Effective communication in the workplace remains essential to efficient operations. However, the global pandemic of 2020 changed the way many businesses functioned. Countless employees transitioned to working from home, while those who went into the workplace encountered new challenges in the form of video calls, plexiglass barriers, and more.
The way individuals interacted changed drastically overnight, and people are still working to adjust fully to many of the changes that remain in place today. How will business communication methods look going forward?
Essential workers continued going to the workplace every day during the pandemic. Grocery stores stayed open, gas stations continued offering goods, and medical professionals remained on call to treat those who came down with the virus and anyone in need of healthcare. However, they found they needed to adapt to changing conditions rapidly.
For example, doctors found they were doing more video calls to meet with patients. If the patient needed a prescription refill, the doctor might find they had to go to the fax machine to transmit the prescription. With the help of fax API features, this was no longer necessary. The doctor could continue the visit without interruption while faxing the script to the appropriate destination. Expect this to continue in the future, as an integrated fax program makes life easier for all parties engaged in this type of interaction.
Many individuals have yet to return to the workplace following the global pandemic. Their employer has not decided if they will at some point in the future. Other employers have already informed their workers that they will continue to telecommute. What does this mean for business communications?
Employers must take the work-from-home environment into consideration when making decisions. Family members need to be considered and included in internal communications. Their home has now become their loved one’s workplace and it affects everything they do in the house. In many ways, they are now employees of the company along with their loved ones, and employers must acknowledge this.
Video calling and online videoconferences increased in popularity during the global lockdowns. However, certain groups use these tools more than others. The Pew Research Center conducted a study that found 81 percent of employees working from home relied on these tools some of the time. Fifty-nine percent of respondents said they used the tools frequently.
However, four-year college graduates and upper-income workers rely on these tools more than their colleagues. Companies must find a way to bridge the gap and ensure everyone benefits fully from the tools available to them. Face-to-face interactions have yet to rebound after the pandemic, yet people want to know who they are dealing with. Video calling and online video conferences make this possible.
Individuals found they turned to social networks more during the pandemic, as they wished to stay connected to others while sheltering at home. They continue to turn to these networks today in many situations. Companies must recognize what social networking platforms their employees and customers use and prioritize those networks. While most people know about Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, many people remain unaware of alternatives to popular platforms. Learn more about Signal, Elpha, and WTSocial among others.
Although the world has changed in ways people couldn’t imagine just a few years ago, people still interact on a daily basis. When doing so, they must find effective ways to communicate. Finding the right way to do so will take trial and error on the part of the parties involved in the interaction. However, people cannot give up. These interactions make the world go around, so people must work together to find the right solutions. The four areas mentioned above serve as a good place to start.
Featured image: Pexels (Anna Shvets).