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Comment: For Law Firms, Voice Quality Matters Now More Than Ever

By Dominic Norton, Sales Director, Spitfire Network Services Ltd – providing quality voice over IP since 2008

There is some light at the end of the COVID tunnel for the legal sector. As firms of all shapes and sizes start to plan for a return (of sorts), it is clear that the pandemic has left an indelible mark on the nation’s work patterns. Without digging too deeply into specific numbers, many of us have based ourselves to work from home to some degree or another. And even in a post-vaccination world, there is much to suggest that this way of working could continue for many people.

Clearly, technology is a key factor here. Firms want to ensure that their workforce continues to be productive and their people want a replication of the office working experience, but at home. And an essential ingredient for any working experience is to establish clear communication lines. I’m sure that we’ve all experienced, at one time or another, poor quality work calls. It can be immensely frustrating and unprofessional. And connectivity issues could well end up being a major headache for firms as they meet the challenges of settling their workforce into home offices. 

As a company that provides businesses with the tools that ensure they are able to experience high quality voice calls, the initial WFH shift was a challenge for many companies. For our customers, this shift has been seamless. After all, voice quality matters. With this in mind, we set out to find out what company employees really think about this issue and how it impacted their WFH experience. Our ‘Voice Quality Matters’ survey (1,007 respondents were surveyed throughout November 2020) found that 27% of employees faced connectivity challenges, such as drop-outs or lags, during the course of their working day. 

The connectivity challenge

The upshot of these issues was that they caused frequent disruption for workers and impacted negatively on their productivity. With the majority of voice (video) communications hosted via the Internet, ensuring that your voice can be heard clearly has never mattered more. The information we gleaned from our study pretty much confirmed what we already suspected. Indeed, we were unsurprised to discover that more than one in four employees are facing connectivity challenges whilst they work from home. And when you consider that remote working can no longer be classed as the supposed ‘new normal’, (this shift happened over 9-months ago), it shows that businesses have been slow to act. 

Reliable connectivity is absolutely essential if organisations want to deliver quality service to customers and if they want to ensure that their workforces remain as productive as possible. As businesses try to meet the demands of an increasingly based-from-home workforce, they will require reliable connections that enable their people to quickly and easily reach business applications and services. Working in a disconnected environment ultimately leads to a frustrated workforce – not great given all the new remote working policies that will be coming into effect. 

With the way firms are now adopting hybrid working models, we believe Business Ethernet connectivity is the best way forward for law firms. Ethernet provides dedicated, uncontended data circuits, and with the right provider you’ll also be provided with industry leading SLAs backed by service credits. Ethernet is suitable for businesses looking for the most reliable, high performance circuit needed for business voice, video and data applications – so law firms should be embracing it. 

What can be done?

Those working in law firms will be particularly keen to enjoy a connected environment that is both reliable and robust. Imagine the financial and reputational consequences of failed Zoom calls or constant dropping in and out of online meetings. Firms will certainly be thanking the decision makers who facilitate seamless communication. Law firms are facing many challenges in this pandemic. As they look to balance the requirement for more secure access to resources with the need to enhance the end user (worker) experience, addressing poor connectivity should figure at the top of the list. Adopting the right technologies will ensure that employees can enjoy a ‘work-from-anywhere’ environment and be free from the negative effects of below par communication. 

We are supporting a growing number of law firms with the technologies that make a real difference to the way they operate at this time. For example, our Hosted PBX 2.1 is an IP telephony solution hosted in the cloud. For law firms, moving their telephony service to the cloud greatly reduces the complexity on site, often with just telephone handsets or soft-phones being required. This makes for an extremely straightforward installation, whether for a single site, multiple offices or even a telephone system for home workers. With the way firms are now operating, this is fast becoming a new way to connect employees with clients. 

Our advice? Act now to avoid any damage to your firm’s productivity and reputation.