Aircall and Front have been instrumental in businesses gearing up for prolonged periods of remote work. Thankfully, with nearly three-quarters of Americans having broadband internet service at home, working remotely has become a possibility for many employees.
As cloud-based communication companies, we fundamentally understand customers’ anxieties during these uncertain times. Shifts in workplace culture and declining business opportunities can make adopting new processes even more daunting.
And we are here to help. With user-friendly designs and dedicated product onboarding specialists available to assist, moving to a remote work setup can hopefully be considered “low hanging fruit.”
With this in mind, here’s how Front and Aircall can assist businesses who are new to a virtual work environment, plus some insights from our own company leaders who are making the transition to remote work for the first time.
Learning from previous remote collaboration experiences
“We have three offices: San Francisco, Paris, and Phoenix, so we’re already used to conducting meetings and collaborating via Zoom and Front since we’ve always had colleagues working with each other from a variety of places.” Vishal Vibhaker, Demand Generation Manager at Front
As we move meetings to Zoom and casual check-ins to Slack, it’s worth noting that many companies have been operating this way for a while, especially if they have multiple regional offices. But even these businesses are now faced with a sudden and dramatic shift to being fully remote.
In some ways, these adjustments to virtual office environments are seamless, but in others, it’s like swapping a hamburger for a veggie patty — it’s a valiant substitute, but it will take some time to get used to.
Teams across the world are sharing in this collective uncertainty. We’re all facing the same challenges.
How Aircall and Front support the transition to remote work
As professionals, we’re wondering how to keep busy and be productive. As people, we’re missing interaction and connection, and as companies, we’re figuring out ways to stay relevant and interesting.
According to the State of Work Productivity Report, 65% of full-time employees think a remote work schedule would increase productivity. But a lack of distractions or commuting can’t increase productivity alone.
Having an integrated tech stack helps businesses run smoothly. These tools centralize important information, allow for location-based flexibility, and promote easier collaboration between remote team members.
As cloud-based communication platforms, Aircall and Front have allowed sales and support teams to operate remotely. Using these two tools together, employees can take their business phone wherever there’s a stable internet connection, and see all customer communications in a shared, omnichannel team inbox.
Front is a unique cross between email inbox and a customer service helpdesk. All customer messages, communication tools, and intra-team communication is accessible within a single app. This lets employees work faster, and helps managers stay on top of spikes in volume and overall operations.
Aircall is a communication and productivity tool. Agents can dial and receive calls from their business phone number on any device using either the mobile, desktop, or browser-based apps.
Plus, easily implemented integrations with other communication platforms make call histories as accessible as email or chat communications. Key metrics like response time and features like tags and notes help teams keep customer interactions organized.
How connectedness creates remote collaboration
Clear communication is one of Front’s core company values. They prove this by using their own product to bring ideas and people together.
Front relies on several of their collaboration features — like shared email inboxes, communal agent notes, and in-thread mentions — to have greater team visibility into each customer service interaction.
Even when working remotely, employees can team up to handle service inquiries knowing the full context of a particular customer’s history is easily accessible. This eliminates the back-and-forth as well as the delays traditionally associated with email.
And aside from making work-related-tasks as seamless as possible, Front knows that one of most important ways to keep employees engaged is to make sure everyone has ample room for self-care, work-life balance, and even time to decompress.
Promoting employee self-care and wellbeing
Front values their culture of happiness and engagement, which means creating opportunities for employees to feel connected to one another and look out for their personal well-being.
There is a dedicated Slack channel where employees can post about their day-to-days, as well as company-wide events encouraging mental health and physical activity.
Vishal Vibhaker, Demand Generation Manager at Front, explains how Front is keeping employees zen during the current remote work situation.
“We actually do weekly meditation sessions in our office, and we’ve transitioned that to a virtual setup.”
Front also hosts virtual happy hours and even keeps a Zoom meeting open all day long so that anyone can pop in and say hello to whoever else is there.
To help keep employees active, the team hosts an optional 2 minute plank twice a week at noon.
Before they were remote, Front hosted a monthly game night where they’d order food and hangout. They’re keeping this tradition alive, virtually.
These events can seem counterintuitive to productivity, but the consistency of interaction, regardless of the office environment, has helped manage the transition.
Sharing remote work knowledge in real-time
Since Front has completed their own shift to remote work, they now have the opportunity to put some of the focus back on customers.
Vishal explains, “When you have the right systems and processes to work efficiently as a remote team, you can begin to think outside the box: How do I stay connected to my colleagues? How can I engage more with my customers? What can I do to foster partnerships?”
Front is already producing self-help documentation, creating more opportunities for training through webinars and videos, and generating new ways to engage with their customers.
“We’re not just talking about Front as a tool, but talking about the whole transition to remote, like ways to be more productive at home and how to manage a remote team.”
Front recognizes that this is an opportunity to be creative. Vishal explains:
“We have to lean into this and demonstrate our expertise as thought-leaders in this new era.
As a business, we’re just trying to lead with empathy since everyone is going through a tough time. On the demand gen side, I’m thinking about how we can highlight all the ways that Front can help teams stay connected and efficient while working remotely, and what we need to do to get that message in front of the right people.”
Vishal says Front’s leadership team is up for the challenge,
“You can’t just use the same messaging, tactics, and channels as you have in the past, and expect the same results. The world has changed, and you need to adapt to it.”
Looking to the future
Every business is impacted by the current global health crisis. We’re all wondering “What’s next?” and thinking about how to move ahead in a “new normal.”
But Vishal pointed out — some of the most significant companies of today emerged from the 2008 financial crisis: Uber, Slack, Whatsapp, Venmo and Square just to name a few.
“It’s going to be tough, but it’s also an opportunity — new businesses, categories, and even industries will be formed. And next unicorns and most iconic companies may come out of this, just like we’ve seen in the past.
We’re now exploring new ways to be unique and creative. Yes, remote work tips, virtual events, and digital content will remain popular. But how soon will the information get saturated, or has it already? We want to figure out how we can set ourselves apart in this conversation, and continue to provide value as the world evolves.”
As we all shift our priorities amidst these uncertain times, it’s important to remember that we start by recognizing and acknowledging changed circumstances and then we start implementing a new internal game plan. These may be scary times, and the world is at an uncertain place, but we can all work together to stay positive, stay connected, and even thrive.
Published on January 2, 2024.