In a number of ways, the productivity benefits that unified communications solutions offer are fairly obvious. UC solutions are specifically designed to make it easier for employees to engage with each other through a variety of channel options. As such, UC allows personnel to choose the best possible medium for any given conversation. This makes each individual exchange more productive, as many of the barriers that would normally limit productivity are effectively eliminated. Additionally, UC makes it possible for workers to remain in contact even when traveling or based outside the office, which can increase individuals' productivity dramatically.
However, these straightforward, readily apparent benefits only tell part of the story. UC also offers numerous advantages which are not so immediately obvious. With that in mind, here are three of the more subtle ways that UC can improve performance.
1. Encourage CollaborationCollaboration is obviously invaluable for just about any business. The more effectively employees can work with one another on a regular basis, the more productive the workforce as a whole will be. It's well-established the a high-quality UC system can improve collaboration throughout an organization. What may be less obvious, though, is the fact that such a solution can also encourage workers to pursue collaborative efforts more frequently.
This is thanks to the fact that UC can eliminate many of the subtle but significant barriers that would otherwise discourage collaboration. For example, say an employee would be interested in hearing a colleague's thoughts on a relatively minor project. If the employees were sitting next to each other, the one would simply lean over to the other and ask. However, if they are situated on different floors, the original employee may decide it's not worth the effort of heading to her colleague's desk and hoping that the other employee is there. With a UC solution featuring presence technology, though, workers can view each other's statuses at any time - including location and availability. With that information readily available, the worker can see if the colleague is actually available for a brief discussion. The addition of instant messaging makes it even easier to share thoughts and arrange for a quick meetup.
By making communication easier, UC encourages these little interactions and exchanges throughout the day. Before too long, this will have a major, positive impact on overall productivity.
2. Cut Down on WaitingOn a related note, UC presence and other features can eliminate or reduce the time workers spend waiting on one another. It can be very frustrating for a worker to send a colleague an important email, only to wait minutes, hours or even whole days before receiving a response. Just as importantly, this time spent waiting will have a negative impact on that employee's productivity.
Presence tools, however, can provide personnel with accurate assessment of how long they can expect to wait before receiving a response. Even more importantly, a UC system will present a number of communication options, allowing workers to utilize whichever medium will be likely to result in the quickest response.