How to make sure your business supports the new workplace reality.
If you’ve been following workplace trends over the past five years, one significant change is impossible to miss:
Work is an activity we do, not a place to go.
Even with some more recent high profile calls to return to the office, gone are the days when the vast majority of employees made the daily commute to a corporate office, sharing a communal space and having their own desk space.
Thanks to globalisation, working 9 to 5 hasn’t been the reality for most employees for a number of years, but now the same workers are pushing the boundaries of where, when and how they work. With the global war for talent, businesses need to be creative with the benefits they offer prospective team members. A fruit bowl and free parking are not a draw to the average high performer, and we are seeing more heavyweight benefits, such as nomadic working for a period of each year.
To be successful in this new, virtual environment, employees need access to business data and applications, advanced communication tools and collaboration spaces on any device and any network.
The Knowledge Economy
We are living in a world of commoditisation. From everything from production t basic services, businesses must differentiate themselves with creativity and innovation.
An increasing percentage of employees are so-called knowledge workers, meaning they spend their time analysing information and developing newer, better products and services; or they are primarily responsible for ensuring a better customer experience. These creative thinkers thrive in a flexible, open environment that lets them collaborate with their colleagues, partners and customers, sharing information across geographic and organisational boundaries.
Frost & Sullivan research shows that roughly 13% of all employees in the US and Europe are considered ‘mobile’, meaning they spend the majority of their time on the road.
They must have access to the business and communications applications and services that allow them to be as productive as possible, regardless of where they are working. They need to be able to reach their colleagues, partners and clients regardless of where they are, or what type of device they are using, responding in real time to urgent requests, meeting invitations, and social media updates and information.
Today’s mobile employees go beyond the traditional ‘road warrior’. As more employees look for ways to stay connected to customers on a global scale, they need to take calls, answer emails, and participate in meetings outside of traditional business hours and locations.
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
Up to 75% of organisations supply at least a portion of their employees with smartphones, but there are still businesses that reply on employees to use their personal devices within the typical working day.
Doing so helps teams to stay productive and in ready contact with their colleagues and customers, but they must have the tools they need to communicate and collaborate securely and under IT’s control. Failure to implement the appropriate controls can turn Bring Your Own Device into Bring Your Own Disaster.
Gen Z and Beyond
Both Millennials and Gen Z are collaborative by nature, and are changing the way business gets done. They expect to work on the go, with a personal choice of mobile device and applications. The distinction between home and work lives is increasingly blurred which needs to be considered. Unlocking a mobile, collaborative way of working is key to attraction, satisfaction, and staff retention.
Things to look for in a telephony provider:
Presence and Instant Messaging to make it easy for users to see whether a colleague is available for a chat, then to be able to instantly send a message, voice or video call, all from the same platform.
Desktop and Application Sharing so users can collaborate on documents and web pages in real time.
Support for Multiple Devices: smartphones and tablets (Apple and Android), desktops and laptops (Apple and Microsoft, Chromebook and Linux)
Smart Call Routing and Call Handling – as a cloud-based service, whatever device is being used, communications are tied to your business identity and a good caller experience can make the difference between making a sale and the caller hanging up.
Look for a Service Provider with:
A long and successful track record in the communications marketplace.
Rich and deep knowledge of business needs and processes.
Excellent security and control, with the experience to provide a seamless installation.
A complete set of UC tools to deliver excellent collaboration capabilities now and into the future.