Reliable power has long been a concern for businesses and homeowners, and the rapidly changing economic and environmental conditions amidst the pandemic have added new urgency to this need. A number of these changes could be here to stay. For example, many businesses have shifted their operations online and added new digital technologies to their customer interactions, making always-on electricity a bottom-line necessity. And, a large number of us are now working and learning from home, increasing our dependency on stable internet connections. Uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs) give electricians a great option for supporting both sets of customers’ needs for reliable backup power to maintain vital services and connections through utility outages.
Pandemic drives new business practices
The current emphasis on social distancing has business owners even more eager to manage the risks raised by possible outages and power fluctuations. UPSs can help support their efforts to shift their operations online, by protecting the computers, modems, and routers required to maintain sales and revenues. And this protection can be equally important for retailers and restaurants that have maintained a physical presence. Contactless payment devices, electronic menus, and QR scanning systems have become critical contributors to both safety and profitability.
For electricians seeking to serve these small businesses, it’s important to recognize how the move toward more online, connected customer relationships has boosted the importance of backup power protection. And this need now includes a range of equipment that might have been overlooked in pre-COVID-19 times. UPSs are an important solution businesses need today to ensure they can keep operating even when the power is down.
Staying connected at home through backup power
Maintaining internet connections also has become more important as many individuals now work and learn from home. As a result of COVID-19 concerns, several large companies won’t be welcoming workers back to their offices before mid-2021. And many schools and universities might not open at all during the current school year, so those students will learn from home their entire 2020-2021 academic year.
Stanford University economist Nicholas Bloom, an expert on labor economics, has found that 42% of the U.S. labor force was working at home, as of late June 2020. According to business surveys he’s run, the share of working days spent at home is expected to remain high, at 20%, even after the pandemic passes. Europe has seen a similar spike in work at home numbers, with 88% of companies sharing that they have staff working from home.
These workplace and digital learning changes will likely become the new normal, even after COVID-19 has passed. This is a trend that’s been growing for years. Even prior to the pandemic, 62% of employees worked remotely at any frequency, according to 2019’s “State of Remote Work” from Owl Labs. Even more importantly, as companies seek to retain workers going forward, 80% of respondents in the same survey said they wanted to work from home at least some of the time. Many employers are already starting to incorporate broader work-from-home policies as part of the new normal.
With such long-term changes to come, homeowners will be rethinking their home-office workspaces to ensure they are both better equipped and seamlessly integrated into their home’s design. After months of working from the dining room table or a cluttered spare bedroom, they’ll be looking to build out dedicated space. Home offices will become a priority in many new construction projects. And backup power protection will become an important feature in all these projects as homeowners look for ways to ensure they stay connected and online even when the power goes out.
Why electricians should urge the use of UPSs
UPSs provide reliable power to the equipment so vital to business continuity and working and learning from home. As an electrician, your customers are looking to you for help with UPS selection and installation. You have a big role to play in empowering customers to minimize their power-related disruptions. Providing UPS solutions is also a great way to increase revenue and build your own business’s reputation. Interested? Download The Electrician’s UPS Selection Guide to understand the different types of UPSs, and the types of home and business applications that need coverage.