Published by: 24th August 2020at
When the global pandemic arrived in late March, early April we were inundated with calls and messages from organisations across the UK ranging from legal firms, property firms, financial organisations through to medical practices and hospitals.
Their request was simple – we need to work from home, and quickly! The demand was unprecedented and reflected in the news by Vodafone saying they experienced a 50% increase in internet usage as people flocked to work remotely. GPs also reported that they only saw 7 in 100 patients face to face, a fundamental change in the way usual practices operate.
It became abundantly clear that many organisations were just not set up to work flexibly from different locations using different devices.
In many cases an under investment in IT over the years meant that the only location employees could work from was their computer at their desk, in their office which became quickly out of bounds with the Government instructing employees to work from home wherever possible. Attitudes to working from home remained very traditional and as such work from home was not encouraged in a large proportion of professional services companies and organisations.
The flexible front runners
Of course, there were exceptions to this with a large group of our customers already working on SpeechWrite cloud solutions – this meant that their employees were largely unaffected as the staff who usually worked in the office simply switched to home working using the same or different devices. All they needed was their log in details and they had full access to their dictation and office document workflow. Others were already set up to work from any location, anytime from any device so remained unaffected in their day to day work other than a change in working location for some.
Our cloud solutions allow dictations to be sent to a centralised workflow, where they are automatically routed to the right support resource. The centralised view of work can be accessed by any device allowing solicitors to check on the progress of their work at any time and from any location.
The SpeechWrite Response
SpeechWrite remained business as usual, working remotely with full access to IT infrastructure and therefore able to continue to serve our customers and help others in their usual way.
Remote demonstrations – We have delivered an abundance of remote demonstrations to organisations who needed to see our remote solutions first hand and to understand the added value it would bring to their organisation.
Customers on furlough – re-configuring existing systems for companies that have employees on furlough so customers are only charged for employees that were actually using our solutions. Our solutions are scalable so adding or removing users can be done quickly and easily.
Remote support calls – Our team continue to resolve support cases remotely answering queries from a number of different channels – live chat, e-mail, phone and web forms.
Remote deployments of new software – Our deployment team have installed new software solutions and software upgrades to organisations remotely – meaning that no one has had to attend site or meet in person.
Remote training – all training has been carried out remotely to users and their teams. This has been followed up by videos for employees to watch after the training should they wish to refresh their memory or re-visit after the event.
Remote customer service questionnaires – our service team continues to check on customer satisfaction across all areas of our business.
The Future of Working Post Covid
What is interesting is that 82% of UK businesses say they plan to stick to current work from home arrangements implemented during the lockdown, a survey by Whereby has revealed.
We are finding that many SpeechWrite customers are now considering a more permanent move to remote working relinquishing the costs of expensive city office space and continuing to enjoy the benefits remote working has allowed their employees. A flexible approach also appears to be a growing requirement where employees can work in the office, remotely or from home. This gives organisations and employees freedom and gives them the ongoing choice about where they want to work from.
With existing local and regional lockdowns happening quickly with minimal notice this flexible approach allows for contingency plans to be set up should local regulations change without much warning.
With many UK surveys and polls proving that the wellbeing of employees is typically improved when there is a flexible workplace policy we think agile and remote working is here to stay and SpeechWrite remains an important enabler for those firms.
For more information on SpeechWrite remote solutions click here.