Not all that long ago, the word “office” had a pretty straightforward meaning. When you heard it, you’d think of a physical headquarters for the business, one with assigned desks, phones and computers for all of the company’s employees. From 9 AM to 5 PM, those desks would be occupied, and beyond those hours, they would be empty. There would be exceptions, sure, but for your average office, these standards would hold true.
Now, that’s no longer the case. As Real Time Communications World contributor Doug Mohney recently highlighted, the old, traditional office is increasingly becoming obsolete. There is a new way of office work, and it is mobile, decentralized and less rigid. To meet the needs of this evolving trend, businesses need to embrace robust unified communications solutions, or else risk falling behind their competitors.
The New Office
Mohney explained the modern “office” isn’t a single office at all. Instead, employees are based out of a wide range of locations, from their homes to satellite offices to the road.
This presents both challenges and opportunities. On the positive side, employees can now remain productive at virtually any time. The rules for work are more flexible, meaning employees can enjoy more freedom in their work lives. This makes them happier, more productive and more likely to stay with a given firm for a long period of time.
One of the challenges, though, is ensuring a disparate workforce can still communicate and collaborate just as effectively now as they could in the old, everyone-under-one-roof office days. To achieve this goal, robust UC tools are essential. As Mohney pointed out, effective UC and collaboration solutions can help teammates interact and work together easily regardless of the size of the organization. With UC, an employee can participate in a project virtually, contributing to his or her utmost ability without the need to arrange for a physical, in-person meeting. Sophisticated audio and video conferencing solutions further improve the ability for a remote worker to check in with superiors and collaborate with colleagues.
To experience these benefits, though, business decision-makers must choose the right UC solutions for their specific organizations. Selecting a sub-par offering will compromise employees’ ability to perform their job functions in this new, flexible office-lite paradigm. For example, many consumer-grade offerings lack the robust security features necessary to keep corporate data safe. That means a business using such tools may not be able to offer complete access to company assets for its remote workers.
Choosing a robust, high-quality UC solution can ensure that no matter where employees are, they can utilize the full range of corporate resources, maximizing their performance and job satisfaction.