Changing the way we communicate for the better

Changing the way we communicate for the better

Changing the way we communicate for the better

Communication, as we know it, is changing and will continue to evolve beyond recognition in the coming years. If we think back 30 or even 10 years ago, things have changed significantly – the way we communicate included in this.

We have already started to see things such as school assemblies on video using Skype or Zoom, remote workshops using collaboration tools or just actually talking more with your nearest and dearest. The world we live in today has already changed since Covid, and being able to consider the good, bad and ugly of both current and the future of communication is crucial in order for businesses to be successful. However, thanks to the ease and accessibility of all the new channels that are available to us, great communication has never been so easy.

With that in mind, we’ve been looking into the most frequent methods of voice communications used, and if it has improved over recent months, this is what we’ve found…

Different platforms for different people

In a work environment, the most common platforms used tends to be big, secure and reliable multiuser ‘Unified Communications (UC)’ software that we are familiar with, such as; Microsoft Teams, Skype, Google Hangout and Zoom. Over the past few months, these products have demonstrated rapid – maybe forced – improvements, such as the ‘Hands Up’ or pop out meeting windows features in Microsoft Teams, as users have increased around the world. 

For personal use, WhatsApp and Facetime are long time favourites, with the older audience adapting to these new platforms and ways of communicating, who previously may have been reluctant. According to this Zoom case study, the awareness and almost commodity of the ‘Zoom’ brand and adoption has rocketed – being used for the daily Downing Street briefings, but also for the new school online environment in class, and even now for assemblies.

The good old-fashioned landline

When asked what method you frequently use to communicate, the ‘landline’ is now least popular in response. However, when considering using a landline or ‘home phone’ to use for older friends or family a lot more said that they did. This suggests that talking on telephone is still important for certain groups.

For the Telco industry, this becomes the quandary – we know the ageing copper network will be replaced and usage for landline will continue to fall as a result of changing behaviour (and probably accelerated by recent events), but it’s the education task and practicalities of migration that are complex. In research commissioned by TalkTalk in 2019, the key takeaways were around ensuring any Communication Provider (CP’s) marketing provided the reassurance that any changes will be simple and transparent explain ‘the why’, and to support less confident customers through the experience. Working together with other CP’s, the initial guidance has now been published on a brand new website.

Changing behaviour for the better

When questioning whether communication has got better, stayed the same or become worse over recent months, the majority felt it has got better. This is surprising, but good news suggesting a combination of new technology and adoption of video are the influencers here (aside from the enforced ‘lockdowns’ imposed across the world!). We then tip into the realities of a huge new working from home staff base and staring at a monitor or laptop for hours on end, which if left unchecked, is not healthy. From a 1-2-1 communication point of view, we can all message each other, but it’s the corridor or water cooler conversations, the hello’s on the stairs, and the innovation workshops with real sticky notes and flipcharts that are missed and are really valuable and necessary from a social aspect.

 

Technology has reshaped almost every aspect of day-to-day life. For a business, landline phones are increasingly looking like an example of yesterday’s technology. Landlines are often tied into old-fashioned contracts and upfront connection costs. That makes it difficult to unlock real value for money. Today’s companies need speed, flexibility, and scalability. In these times of change, it’s important we reach out and communicate with one another. Don’t lose the habit of ‘just talking’, and whilst technology can fill an immediate gap or need, the best relationships are those built on making that time for quality conversation.

Our FTTP Product Development Manager, James Vincent, has put together a survey to delve deeper into these changing communication behaviour trends, analyse the impact on different audiences and distinguish what we can do as an industry to help.

 

For more information on what we’re doing behind the scenes please speak with your Account Manager, or to be part of the conversation make sure you join our Product Forum Group.