Workplace communications trends that shaped 2020
Working from home, remote meetings via video conferencing, and business phone systems that are so much more. Which are the top trends that shaped workplace communications in 2020 and are likely to do it this year as well?
In 2020 there were major shifts in the work environment. Remote work became a set standard for many companies. Businesses had to adopt rapidly new technologies to keep the teams productive even when they could not share the same workspace.
Organizations were forced to adjust their telecommunications infrastructure overnight to ensure their employees can collaborate effectively with colleagues and customers although they can’t meet them in the office. New tech solutions emerged and transformed our perception of the work environment as we know it.
Read on our guide to discover which workplace communications trends made the difference in 2020 and will still matter in 2021.
Business phone calls are still a key factor for a company’s communication with customers
People do not like spam calls, nor robocalling. However, they value human connection and legitimate business calls according to Hiya’s 2019 study. 69% of the respondents confirmed they answer the phone call if they recognize it comes from a trustworthy company. Another important trend found by the Study 2020 Customer Communications Review shows that for 61% of the customers, aged 40+ the phone call remains the favored communication channel after a service purchase, followed by email (56%) and online chat (37%). Also, for 22% of the younger users aged 18-39, phone calls come as their first choice if they need to contact the company for after-sales support.
The secret of the successful phone calling strategy: less robocalling, more real people calling from local numbers. This gives credibility to your company and helps you establish a local presence. It also encourages the customers to answer your calls or pick up the phone and contact you if needed.
Prospects do call companies
The phone seems to be a preferred way to contact the organizations not only after purchase but for the first time as well. According to an Ivoca survey 65% of the respondents claim they have called a company last month, while 22% chose social media to contact a business. Surprisingly or not but 66% of the callers were millennials.
So your sales department will be happy to hear that inbound sales calls were still popular in 2020 – a trend that will probably watch this year as well. People interested in your business are probably just a phone call away from you. Having a modern phone system gives your company flexibility that can turn these callers into future customers.
Internal communications prove to be essential for the business
Internal communications are as important for the company’s success as communication with customers. According to Gallup effective internal communications were crucial for the productivity of the company in 2020. Based on the survey, thanks to the successful internal communications companies report a 17% increase in team productivity, 20% higher sales, and a 21% increase in profitability.
These results are probably not so surprising, but in the light of the global pandemic situation (that shaped 2020) smooth internal communications became a major issue for doing business. Last year 62% of the respondents had to work from home at some point – so providing the right tools to stay connected to the company and the team was a top priority for the management. And this is a trend that will continue in 2021 as 59% of home workers said they would prefer to work remotely as much as possible in the future as well.
Today there are a lot of options to work together from anywhere. The question is how to keep your dispersed team engaged long term. Allow them to use various communication channels – phone calls, instant messages, audio and video conferencing, screen sharing. Your advanced business phone system gives all these options and much more. It is a single solution that ensures your team always stays connected, flexible, and mobile.
Check MIXvoip home office tools and choose the one that fully meets your communications needs.
Remote revolution boosts the usage of business chat
According to an SWZD survey conducted in June 2020, 81% of businesses were using business chat apps. It is an impressive jump compared to the figures for previous years. 37% of the IT decision-makers claimed their team members preferred instant messaging tools for internal communications over email.
The winner among real-time messaging apps is Microsoft Teams with more than 75 million active daily users reported in April 2020 taking over the top spot from Slack. 21% of the business also confirmed they use MS Teams as a teamwork solution. Employees find team-based, real-time chat platforms to be more efficient and useful for day-to-day communications than email. The advanced features that allow embedding audio and video, integrations with third-party apps, and the user-friendly interface of Teams make it a favored tool for effective collaboration.
Discover how to place and receive calls directly in Teams integrating it with the MIXvoip Cloud PBX or your existing phone system.
The adoption of audio and video conferencing solutions continues to grow
In a year when the in-person meetings were often substituted with virtual ones, the use of web conferencing tools increased by 10%, reaching 79% of the surveyed companies. Being able to join a meeting from any place with an Internet connection ensures flexibility and complete mobility for your team.
The adoption of audio and video calls by companies is expected to grow further this year as these solutions support flexible working policies applied by organizations. As we already saw, remote work is here to stay. This means that any tools that help you build a strong team especially when it is distributed in different locations will be highly useful.
To match users’ needs phone systems transform into all-in-one platforms
A trend that started a few years ago shows more than 70% of the employees stated that they feel overwhelmed by the large volume of communications and engagement options. They are unable to follow different communication channels or teamwork apps on every single platform, which causes frustration and chaos in their workflow.
So in 2020, we witnessed a tendency towards the consolidation of voice, video, and message. Business phone systems turn into all-in-one communication and collaboration platforms. Within reach, you have group messaging, video meetings, screen sharing, and phone call options. All in one place. This new trend matches the employees’ need for tools that simplify their workflow and optimize their time. Actually, 2 of 3 workers said they prefer their workflow communications to be accessible from one platform.
The use of VoIP grows, analog voice adoption falls, security is more important than ever
Аccording to the survey of SWZD the state of workplace communications in 2020 looked like this – companies of all sizes use daily for business communications the following solutions:
- Email – 97%
- Business chat apps – 81%
- VoIP – 79%
- Web conferencing tools – 79%
- Text messaging – 69%
- Analog voice- 45%
It is the analog voice that shows a declining trend which will continue in the next years since VoIP technology is widely accessible and has many benefits for the business.
A trend worth mentioning is that in the coming years experts expect secure communications platforms to be on the rise. In 2020 21% of the surveyed companies confirmed they adopted secure communication platforms or UC solutions as part of their long-term business strategy. The forecast is that security and the ability to apply end-to-end encryption to protect sensitive data will be key elements that will make telecom vendors stand out.
2020 was a year that transformed the global perception of the “normal” workplace forever. Companies that have already adopted modern workplace communications technologies were better prepared to adjust to the new reality. Organizations understood that communication technologies are game-changers. Business leaders realized if they want to engage their teams better and make them more productive they should provide more flexibility and mobility. With the right technical tools, the goal is achievable.
From a technical standpoint, a very vivid trend of 2020 was the emergence of all-in-one communication hubs. Business phone systems have evolved into communication platforms that integrate voice, video, and instant chat messages in one place. One step further software programs allowed you to connect your telephony solutions to external apps that you already use or pay for. Thus you have the ultimate tool for communication and collaboration available from anywhere on your most convenient device.