Check out more remote working resources and products or explore what hybrid working means for companies today >


Videos in this Series


Chapter 1: Working from Home & the Hybrid Worker Are Here to Stay >

Chapter 2: Managing Your Business Through the Phases of a Crisis >

Chapter 3: Building A Virtual Culture by Humanizing Work >

Chapter 4: Transitioning Out of Band-Aid Crisis >

Chapter 5: Preparing for Post-Pandemic Business >




Brent Leary
I see the red light so that means we're live. And this means it's another week what I like to call BBC. The Brent Broadcasting Channel, not that other group but. So this is great. This is a great way to start the week. Because we're gonna have a really good conversation around, I mean this is such a timely topic around building culture and being able to collaborate effectively, particularly in times of challenge. I don't think we've seen a time of challenge like this and all of our lifetimes. So this is really fun to talk about, but also important to talk about particularly from a business perspective.

And so joining me right now is somebody you've probably seen me talk with before, a fellow graduate of the great University of Delaware. She's a blue hen, she’s a fighting blue hen. She is Laurie McCabe from the SMB group. Laurie it's always good to talk with you.


Laurie McCabe
Hey Brent, likewise.


Brent Leary
And this is a pleasure for me because this is the first time I'm getting a chance to talk to, Mona Abou Sayed. And she is from Mitel she is the VP of Collaboration and Application. So, Mona first of all, it's just a pleasure to meet you and thanks for joining me here.


Mona Abou Sayed
Thanks for having me. I'm looking forward to this.


Brent Leary
So, this is a conversation that couldn't be more timely and this topic of culture and collaboration, particularly in times of challenge. And hopefully, once we get past the challenge, how are we going to be looking at collaboration in culture, and how it impacts business. So I think it's just time to jump in and talk a little bit, and really focus in on all the stuff, and I know Laura you have a lot of data. As usual. That you like to bring to the conversation. So Laura, I'm going to turn it over to you to kind of kick things off, I want to kick it off with this, this graphic that you brought to the conversation to start things off with.


Laurie McCabe
Yeah, sure. I mean, I think you know obviously there's more than one big, big shift going on here but certainly with COVID-19 pandemic, is, is one of the biggies. And, as we all know, it's really spurred a huge increase in this whole work from home trend.

But I think it's, it's good to keep in mind that work from home was really a rising phenomenon before COVID-19 right. You know, up almost 50% in the US in the past five years, and obviously workers like it. A little over a third say, hey, they’d even take a little bit of a pay cut to work from home, and about a third say I’m surprised it is only a third because I'm a person that loves to work from home, but say they're happier in their jobs then on site workers. So it's definitely been a trend that's been a rising trend for a while, and just looking at the next slide, in terms of small and medium businesses which, as you know, is my passion, you know, it's really not that new phenomenon for us and these either.

I mean about 74% had options for employees to work from home prior to this pandemic. But, you know, in our research, we also asked like what percent, and it was generally a pretty low percent. Like maybe 10-15%. So what's happened is due to the mandate. It just spiked; it just went crazy, so you know 80% of those that had work from home before expanded the options obviously to any employees they could. And over half of the ones that didn't have anything set up, you know put work from home into place.

I think the other really interesting thing is that this whole, you know in addition to work from home, that's here to stay, it is out of the bottle so to speak. As you can see on the next slide, it's not this whole virtual collaboration, communication, all the things we're doing virtually is growing every which way and other ways too, you know, virtual meetings and events, telemedicine. I read something in my state here in Massachusetts telemedicine appointments for BlueCross BlueShield are up 5100% , since COVID-19, which is like wow, right.

And you know the virtual real estate tours, job interviewing and onboarding and online education there’s probably a whole lot more I could think of, but you know you get the point. So I think kind of virtual everything and being able to communicate and collaborate effectively, productively with engaged employees and engage whoever, you know customers, students, patients. It's just more and more important to get this right. And so I think it's here to stay. And I’m not saying nobody's going to go back to the office, but a lot, a lot more things will be done virtually. So it's just a really really important thing for small businesses and medium businesses to kind of think about and fine tuning improve.


Brent Leary
It seems like it's, right now at least, the work from home is when you look at from the kind of perspective of digital transformation it's more of a forced transition because they couldn't operate the way they normally could because they weren't able to, a lot of us were sheltering in place so you couldn't get out and meet face to face you couldn't go to the office. So are you seeing this work from home. Right now it's a transition, but when will we see the transformation when we start seeing folks work from home differently, do different things as opposed to kind of doing the things that they couldn't do anymore they had to go to work from home. Now, when are we going to see them just get creative and really take on new challenges, take on new business models, beyond just being able to communicate effectively.


Laura McCabe
Oh I’ll take a stab and let Mona hop in, but I think it's already happening. I have a friend that works for a Community Bank, and right away, they had to outfit everybody with new laptops, they had to get all the security stuff in place, and they do a lot more things virtually in their business. You know, gyms, my YMCA doing virtual classes, so I think it's already under way but I'm sure there's a lot of learning, and a lot more.


Brent Leary
Mona, what do you think


Mona Abou Sayed
Absolutely, I mean, I think I think the way I like to see what's happening right now is, um, it's, you know, it's a key event in our lifetime there's gonna be before COVID and after COVID right, and the ones that are going to survive are the ones that are going to be able to adapt to how business is changing, how people are changing and then at the same time you have all these cultural implications.

So I think the, you know, you'll see, I've seen a lot of businesses kind of already start transforming especially small businesses really transform how they're doing business, I have a key friend and mentor that is you know kind of really totally transforming her business, but the survival is and when are you going to start seeing things change immediately?

I think though as we kind of go into the next part of this is, you know, all of these companies are going through different phases and then how they're reacting and learning and kind of adapting so that's, that's where we're going to start to see some, you know, some real change.


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