Recently, a few high-profile companies return to the traditional headquarters. Companies such as IBM and Yahoo have rolled back remote work policies, noting they saw negative impacts to productivity, communication, and collaboration – among other factors – by allowing a remote workforce.
However, as Wall Street Journal reporter Christopher Mims discussed in an article last week, data indicates that the remote work trend can’t be stopped, especially with the growing number of tools that support employees in getting work done from anywhere. Mims points to a recent Gallup poll that found 43 percent of Americans did some or all of their work from home in 2016, up from 39 percent in 2012. Additionally, our recent Breaking Barriers 2020 found the working from home appeals to 85 percent of workers, with 83 percent believing they don’t need to be in an office to be productive.
Mims goes on to note that companies that are realizing success with remote work policies are those leveraging tools to foster communication and collaboration. While I agree with Mims that technology is critical to making remote employees productive, the problem many companies fall victim to in today’s market is application fatigue. It can be difficult for companies to implement technology and tools that meet the communication needs of today’s workforce – from voice and video, to text and document sharing, many organizations are implementing three or more solutions to address each need. Once they select and purchase a solution, the concern then shifts to deployment and training, and ultimately, regular adoption on the part of employees – which can be difficult when employees are navigating from tool-to-tool.
Organizations that truly want to foster a collaborative, productive, and secure remote workforce need to look at adopting a unified approach to communications. By implementing solutions that provide voice, text, video, and document sharing services via a single platform, companies can offer employees a simple and seamless way to communicate from everywhere, and on every device. Additionally, by promoting a single platform for all communication, companies can encourage worker adoption and participation more easily, and create a truly collaborative environment for employees across channels – where an individual can be in a video meeting and easily share a document on the same platform for the other conference participants to view.
As employee demand for flexible, remote work options continues, organizations that take a unified approach to communications will emerge a step ahead, fostering a collaborative culture that produces creativity, productivity, and ultimately drives business success.
To learn more about how and why the enterprise communications market is shifting to a unified approach, read here.