Who could have predicted 2020? Many of the resolutions that you may have made in your business likely got swept aside in the chaos of the pandemic. As the world starts to emerge and economies recover, what are the 2021 resolutions you can make that will put your business in a strong position for the future? Here are some New Year resolutions for SMBs this January:
1. Embrace the hybrid workplace
It’s important to note that hybrid working is different to “remote working” or “work from anywhere”. A true hybrid work model means that for an employee, their experience is the same no matter where they are. To do this, businesses will need to look beyond the central office to create collaborative, technology-enabled personal workspaces across multiple locations, with immersive, productive workspaces that accommodate the work-style of every employee.
2. Invest in commercial grade AV equipment
As businesses need to connect with more staff in different locations more frequently, SMBs are realising that the consumer-grade gear they picked up during the early months of the pandemic simply cannot deliver the ideal work experience demanded. Instead, successful virtual meetings and collaboration will depend upon more commercial-grade technology, whether fibre internet connectivity, noise-blocking headsets that can cut unwanted distractions and be worn comfortably for hours on end, and crystal-clear audio and HD video conferencing solutions which allow employees to join team meetings with the click of a button.
3. Focus on your people
COVID-19 has been a sharp reminder of the fragility of life and the importance of human connections. Amid all this tech transformation, the focus on people and wellbeing has become a priority. We can expect to see a rebalance in work-life commitments and personal-professional priorities going as we move into the next decade.
4. Rethink your office space
With hybrid working continuing, is your current office space fit for the purpose? You may be leasing expensive CBD space that isn’t fully used, or isn’t ideally equipped for meetings and teleconferences. Downsizing may be one option, or switching to co-working spaces which are already fitted out with the right technology to ensure a safer and productive workplace, such as the latest audio-visual solutions with low-contact or touch-less functionality. These shared premises will also offer higher hygiene standards, such as better air-filtering, self-sanitising door handles and people-density tracking.
5. Switch to As-A-Service
More and more products and services are going on-tap with XaaS – “Anything-as-a-Service”. Instead of selling a solution outright, providers shift into providing value as a service. Teleconferencing is set to be one of the next, with “TaaS” making enterprise-grade solutions more accessible to smaller organisations. For SMBs this is a brilliant way to deploy best-of-breed technology with far lower upfront costs, the ability to instantly scale up or down, and no legacy hardware becoming increasingly obsolete and expensive to maintain.
6. Get into video
Voice communications are great, but thanks to faster internet connectivity and improved video compression technology, adding HD and 4K video to the mix has brought collaboration to the next level. Video is now a common standard for meetings, and at the same time has become the norm even for smaller businesses which didn’t previous use video to engage and collaborate with their users and customers. As an SMB, you can’t risk being left behind. Your partners, suppliers, staff and customers will expect to see you, not just hear you or email you.
7. Be ready for 5G
2021 will be the year that 5G finally comes into the mainstream. While it’s not fully available yet in all areas, rollout is increasing rapidly. This means ensuring that you’re ready for it: the next devices you buy should be 5G enabled. 5G has many significant advantages are many, but the most important are low latency, and much higher throughput. This will change how the workforce approach their day to day, especially as latency is particularly important to video and voice applications.
By focusing on these resolutions, you can ensure your business will be “future fit” and in best shape for 2021 and beyond.
By Andy Hurt, Poly
This article was first published by Dynamic Business