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COVID has forced most U.S. businesses to rethink how they work.

Avaya this week released its “Work from Anywhere” study, which examines the shifts U.S. businesses are undergoing to adapt to today’s changing economy.

Avaya is a major provider of solutions to help businesses communicate and collaborate remotely. The survey was conducted in August 2020 and they consulted 300 business leaders and technology decision makers.

The study revels that while the majority of businesses are having to make major changes to adapt to the pandemic, small to mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) are most affected.

Avaya found that In the wake of COVID-19, nearly 72 percent of U.S. based businesses have been rethinking how they work, 58 percent of businesses feel remote working is enabling them to hire a more distributed workforce, and 8 out of 10 businesses are already retooling to provide improved customer and employee experiences that enable new ways of working.

Businesses focus on communication as a key element to success

According to the Avaya survey, 3 out of 4 businesses say they have focused more on employee and team communication since COVID-19. For example, 66 percent of mid-sized companies, those with 251-500 employees, have seen collaboration and communications technology increase in priority due to COVID-19.

In addition, 57 percent of businesses reported some struggle with remote communication and fatigue. And fully  32 percent reported employees having difficulties adapting to the new technology and communications tools available to them

Survey results indicate a complete rethinking of how business is done

Technology decision makers are rethinking business at every level. For instance, 72 percent of businesses have been revisiting their overall business model due to the changes brought on by COVID-19. An even larger number (80 percent) are rethinking their customer experience.

The survey showed that 77 percent of enterprises are examining their employee experience and 75 percent are rethinking their sales approach.

COVID has accelerated digital transformation – especially among SMEs

“COVID has accelerated digital transformation projects and put a new focus on customer and employee experiences, which have never mattered more,” said Simon Harrison, Avaya’s SVP and Chief Marketing Officer.

Indeed, the survey found that 71 percent of tech decision makers reported faster adoption of new technologies in their organization due to COVID-19. 

Mid-sized enterprises have felt the biggest impact from the pandemic. Companies with 251-500 employees have seen the biggest shifts in priorities, including a 74 percent increase in spending for security. Additionally, 66 percent have boosted spending on collaboration.

Overall, 46 percent of company owners and CEOs are more likely to say AI has increased in priority,