In early 2020, Nextiva released their 2020 State of Business Communications Report, developed in partnership with Poly and AA-ISP. The report surveyed more than one thousand professionals from a variety of industries and sought to understand how new technology, ways of working, and customer preferences have influenced communication in the modern workplace. Amongst some of the findings was a focus on communication tools, the necessity of accommodating diverse workstyles, and the utility of dedicated communication devices.

Robust, Reliable Business Communication Tools are Vital

Without a doubt, emerging mediums are changing the ways in which we communicate internally – and, these channels greatly influence the quality of an organization’s productivity and interpersonal exchanges. Despite a myriad of ways to get in touch, survey respondents still prefer traditional communication methods such as face-to-face, phone, and email over newer communication methods such as project management tools or chat. The preference of interacting in-person or via calling is unsurprising due to the fact that voice is our default medium for communicating nuanced and complex concepts. However, video conferencing is rather notably growing in popularity as ‘the next best thing’ to face-to-face as remote work becomes the ‘norm’.

Therefore, adequately equipping your team with robust voice and video tools to support their preferred communication mediums is essential to their performance – internally and externally. A significant 33% of respondents reported that business communications issues had caused them to lose a customer and 30% reported it has caused them to miss an important deadline.

These numbers highlight the need for quality business platforms and endpoints that eliminate barriers to communication. And, with meeting face-to-face off the table for the time being, video is the next best thing. Poly combines legendary audio expertise and powerful video and conferencing capabilities to overcome the complexities and distance that make communication in and out of the workplace challenging.

Tools for Every Workstyle, Environment and Use Case

Building on the results discussed above, businesses need communication tools that can address a range of workstyles, environments and situations. As a matter of fact, the report shows that 59% of people use three communication devices at work. This raises the question, why more than one device? This is because each fulfills a particular need or situation. Mobile is great while roaming, but a desk phone is better suited for external communications from a fixed location. While, a soft client may work best for internal calls or video meetings.

Poly’s portfolio has been designed to accommodate a range of workstyles, whether at home, on the road, or in the office, or a mix of all three.

The Value of Desk Phones in WFH Environments

Although there is a considerable need for video cameras and headsets, some situations are best suited for a dedicated communication device. Desk phones are a valued tool for business users both in the office and while working from home. In the report, 59% of users reported that they use a desk phone daily and 70% use one at least once a week in combination with mobile phones and UC apps. In fact, many service providers report that routine desk phone users have taken their device home to enable them to work more efficiently during the pandemic. Furthermore, aside from accommodating workstyles, there are device management advantages to desk phones as well. One service provider reported using the Poly cloud device management service to quickly troubleshoot and resolve a customer’s phone connection issue in a matter of minutes – something that would not be possible using a softphone or mobile device.

Final Thoughts – What’s Actually Working?

We are entering a phase in which companies are continuously experimenting with new ways of working and assessing what’s working and what’s not. Part of that consideration needs to be whether the communications tools provided to employees are adequate to keep them productive, engaged, and effective. From the perspective of the organization, this will mean being in open communication with individuals about which mediums are working for them and which are not.

Furthermore, with the majority of office workers working from home due to COVID-19, some needs or preferences might change due to their new working environment, while others might stay the same. With proper planning and equipment, communication doesn’t need to falter when employees dispersed. In fact, the opposite can be true. By utilizing methods like video, calling, email and chat, internal and external communication can be just as robust regardless of the location of your team.