Working from home

How businesses are responding to the technology challenges around COVID-19

At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, we saw an immediate increase in calls to our support team and account managers to help our clients transition to working from home. Not every business was at a point where they could do this effectively and many had to adapt what they were doing within a few days’ notice.

Fortunately, we were able to help our customers make the move to working remotely by providing updated hardware and cloud-based solutions.

Once the dust had settled, we decided that we’d like to get some insights into how businesses dealt with this sudden change.

Earlier this year we conducted research into how businesses were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and the need to rapidly change the way people worked. Organisations of different sizes, customers and non-customers alike, were asked a series of questions on their response to the lockdown and how that affected what they thought about future ways of working.

We’ve summarised the responses in an infographic below which you can download and compare how your business faired in comparison, but here’s a summary of the findings of the research:

  • 34.2% of respondents said their business closed during lockdown
  • 13.2% said they felt their IT was unsuitable for homeworking
  • 75% said their business was going to allow remote working in the future, so there is clearly a need to address the problem of unsuitable IT
  • 22.2% of participants in the survey felt that the level of support from their IT provider was poor or adequate. Fortunately for our customers, 94% of our customers who responded rated EBS good or outstanding.
  • 10.5% of businesses that took part fear that their systems will be unable to cope with a resurgence in the virus or if a further lockdown is needed
  • One of the key problem areas is telephony – businesses struggled to reroute calls effectively with 15% saying they were still taking messages and calling back via mobile
  • Video technology adoption has rocketed with 70% of respondents actively using services like Zoom or Microsoft Teams.
  • Most businesses that responded expected to be back to pre-lockdown levels of staffing by Autumn 2020 but some don’t expect to be back to full staffing until January 2023

These statistics give an insight into how SMEs in particular are struggling to adapt, but there are some rays of hope. Around one-third of businesses that participated in the survey saw themselves moving more of their software to the cloud in the future. The lockdown has given businesses a taste of what is possible and the flexibility that cloud computing brings.

All businesses look to minimise disruption to their operation. As we head into winter and a second wave of the virus, further lockdowns are highly likely. Preparing and taking action to plan is essential to mitigate risk.

Our services at EBS are geared towards making the transition to more flexible ways of working. If you’re looking at how your business can keep providing services to your customers at the highest level, now is the time to talk to one of our specialists to plan ahead.

EBS COVID Impact Survey Results

Here’s a PDF version: EBS COVID impact survey