Unified Communications and the Future of Work
“The way we all work is going to change.” ~Richard Branson
The 9-5 work day has been the accepted protocol in our society for decades. It is so ingrained in our culture that work is no longer seen as enabling life….but life exists so you can work.
But the trend is changing. As more Baby Boomers and Gen X retire, and more Millennials enter the workforce, the way we are used to working is undergoing a significant transformation. Millennials have a completely different outlook on how work and life should co-exist, and priorities are shifting.
This leaves businesses at a crossroads. Do they shift strategies to enable a more flexible work environment to meet the needs of the younger generation of workers and attract that talent to their workforce? Or do they stay the course and risk losing the opportunity to gain the benefits of this innovative generation and potentially set themselves on a path to the death of the business?
Flexible, Secure and Remote – Unified Communications enables the Future of Work
For those who chose to change course and embrace a more flexible and mobile workforce, the challenge comes in how to enable employees to remain accessible as they are on the go, without requiring the use of sharing personal information (like cell phone numbers) to clients and potentially losing that customer if the employee moves on. One way to meet this need is by using technology such as Unified Communications.
How does Unified Communications Enable Flexible Work?
Unified Communications is a combination of various communication avenues in the business world. Email, voice, text, chat, video all fall under the umbrella of Unified Communications, and all are essential to enable an employee to work remotely while still maintaining a “physical” presence in the workplace. The rise of video conferencing has reduced the need for frequent corporate travel while still enabling employees to feel connected and productive, just as if they were in the same room together. As a result, businesses can reduce costs and grow beyond the virtual borders of the building.
- Voice and Video Communications: Voice communications are the bedrock of any corporate business communication strategy. Sometimes, when you want a problem solved, you just want to speak with someone immediately, not wait for a response to an email or text. You want to KNOW someone is actively there listening to your needs and concerns. So having a reliable voice connection is vital to ensuring the success of any flexible work strategy. Unified Communications enables a voice and video connection to be received on any device with an internet connection and the ability to download the application. So things like a mobile phone, laptop or tablet, meaning your employees can ensure they are available for a phone call regardless of their location. As an added benefit, UC mobile applications can enable your employee to use their cell phone as if they were at their desk phone. Meaning all features and functionality of their desk phone is accessible from the application, and the caller ID will show their business phone number and not their cell phone number and increasing the adoption of the application by employees. Additionally, Unified Communications has a video component, meaning you can call in from your desktop or mobile application. This enables your employees to have a true, virtual presence if they are unable to make it in for those critical face-to-face meetings.
- Text Communications: There are many times when a phone call is not an option. Noisy surroundings, a location that is not private or home with sick kids. Whatever the reason, sometimes an employee simply can not answer the phone. But you can still communicate with them in real time. Text communications, whether through a chat application or a text message, can be a huge benefit of Unified Communications in enabling the future of work. With built-in presence, you can tell at a single glance if your coworker is at a device that is actively being used, or if they are on the phone or even if they have stepped away. Whether in the office or away from the office, you can tell if your coworker is ready and available to collaborate on your combined project.
- Voicemail Communications: Sometimes, you just are not able to answer the call. When a voicemail is left, having it accessible only on the physical desk phone of the extension can significantly reduce the productivity of an employee. Unified Communications solves this challenge by enabling your employees to access their voicemail from multiple locations. Voicemail can be retrieved on their desk phone or via email. Additionally, if your system is set to enable mobile phone access, the voicemail can also become accessible through the employees mobile phone. So even if you miss that important phone call, you and your employees can still retrieve the message even if they are not at their desk, further enhancing the productivity of your business.
Unified Communications is Enabling the Future of Work
Change is inevitable. Just as advances in technology moved society from agrarian and rural to industrial and urban and fundamentally changed the way we worked and how we lived, so has the move towards more flexible work environments. Enable your business to enter the future of work with Hosted PBX solutions paired with mobile applications like UC Fone. Learn more here.