Prior to unified communications, voice over internet protocol (VoIP), and softphones, budding entrepreneurs would meet with potential investors and clients in person. They would give impressive proposals, conduct extensive research, and would then chase after their prospects based on the limited available methods of communication.
Today, through the advent of technology which has changed the communication landscape and reshaped the way we conduct business we have a plethora of options available to reach important prospects and enhance a company’s communication potential.
Technology has enhanced businesses ability to research using the World Wide Web, by opening a browser and typing in search terms, they can easily gain access to peer-reviewed journals and even the latest statistics by industry authorities. Although some of this premium content may require membership, it is but a small price to pay for the ease through which the knowledge is acquired.
As for trying to get a hold of their targets, businesses can simply draft a letter explaining the project and send it to numerous prospects. This way, they would be able to reach more people, and they would be minimizing the time they spend on prospects who are simply not interested.
So it simplified the way we communicate and conduct business, at least in regards to finding new clients. However, that’s not all technology has done for us.
Think of the way business people previously conducted their relations. They would meet in person to discuss business and would settle deals with a handshake. There is a of traveling involved, particularly for the stakeholders who are trying to see how their investments are panning out. In turn, there is a lot of effort to stay connected. Expenses on gasoline, airplane, or train tickets, accommodations and eating out while in foreign places, are just among the most common expenses of entrepreneurs. Add up these expenses and you’ll arrive at a hefty sum. Then of course, there is the reality that if they own businesses, then they’re probably paying a lot of money on long-distance calls to ensure that they are still on top of things even though they’re away from the office.
Their sacrifices are not limited to financial expenses on the business. Every moment they are away on business deprives their families of their presence. It is typical among busy entrepreneurs to miss milestones and key events in the lives of their children and partner. In turn, their partners learn to cope with their absence and would be used to juggling the majority of the roles that require parental support, while their children continue to grow without the steady presence of both parents.
Thankfully, the Internet has ushered in a new era where parents can continue to rule boardrooms while still making it back in time for dinner. They continue to close deals and earn money while still being present in their children’s lives. Technology enabled families to continue growing closer, while their careers do not suffer.
Today we are looking at technology and how it improves the way we do business, and how it enhanced our work-life balance. All these are made possible by unified communications and other mobility solutions. Here’s how it works.
Telecommuting and the price of mobility
Emails, instant messages, chats, and video conferences are just some of the latest digital innovations that enable us to communicate effectively even if we are not within the same building or country with our correspondents. Distance does not matter; as long as you have the right credentials such as a person’s email address, username, or phone number, then you would be able to converse with them as you please.
These technologies, along with the demands of the younger workforce have led more and more companies into adapting a more flexible working environment. This manifests by offering a flexible time schedule wherein employees are not expected to come in at a fixed time, but rather to complete 9 hours in the office, and by supporting telecommuting.
Telecommuting, on the other hand, enables employees to work remotely from the office in a place where they can comfortably and effectively work. When they work in these places, such as their homes, coffee shops, or other shared spaces, then they are expected to work productively. They can either use their own devices (such as laptops and mobile phones) or use ones that are issued by their employers. Either way, telecommuters are expected to perform their tasks to the best of their abilities, as telecommuting is an incentive allowed to them with the explicit understanding that they wouldn’t be compromising their duties.
This is where unified communications (UC) come into play. The term is used to denote communication tools harnessed by companies to enhance their employee’s productivity while supporting a mobile workforce. Through UC, your remote workforce will be able to take advantage of the following:
- Make and receive calls wherever they are
Distance is no longer a problem as your employees can make and receive calls wherever they may be using their own devices, while it appears as if they are still linked to the company’s channels. For example, if your employees have calls to make, then the number that would appear on their recipient’s phone would be your company’s hotline. The same applies when your employees are receiving work-related calls: the calls would be redirected to their personal phones, thereby ensuring that no business calls would be missed even if your employees are working remotely.
- Inter-company instant messaging and enhanced email capabilities
Through unified communications, your employees would be able to communicate easily with each other without the need for proximity. They can easily send instant messages to their colleagues or send emails. Likewise, their email clients can have the ability to call or video call a recipient, thereby streamlining communication and settling issues easily.
- Updated with the latest innovations
Unified communications also makes it possible for your employees to tap cutting edge technologies that streamline their work and help them become more productive. You’ll simply have to update the company UC tools and the changes can be integrated to the employees as you please.
- Conduct meetings and brainstorming sessions remotely
UC provides users with endless opportunities to collaborate. You can send a memo that requires all personnel to be online at a particular time, and all your employees would follow suit, even the ones who are working remotely. Unified communications can also ensure that there would be no room for misinterpretation, as your employees would be able to see each other’s facial expressions and here their tone of voice.
These are just some of the things you can give your employees provided you support telecommuting and mobile support. Now, you may be wondering what these things can do for your company as a whole. Here are a number of reasons you should embrace technology.
How can unified communications benefit the workplace?
As we’ve established on the first part, technology can enhance businesses through several ways. It paves the way for a better work-life balance, as well as enhances the way we communication. Once you adopt this technology into your company, then you can glean the following benefits:
- Increased collaboration
Collaborating face-to-face has always been a key factor to smooth business meetings and brainstorming sessions. Seeing the people you are talking to gives you further motivation to immediately come to a conclusion, as you do not want to waste someone else’s time. The result then is an enhanced meeting, as you want to do more in as little time possible.
- Increase efficiency and productivity
Through unified communications, you’ll be able significantly enhance your company’s productivity and efficiency. Your employees would be able to multi-task, which thereby enables them to complete tasks in a timelier manner. Likewise, since your communications system is optimized, then there would be no need of them to waste precious time trying to get a hold of their colleagues. With just a simple click of the mouse, they will be able to reach the person they need to talk to easily.
- Separate non-performers with performers
Unified communications also enable you to see who among your employees are wasting precious manpower hours and who are actually working better than everyone else. You can record calls and see who are making calls outside of work functionalities, while who are actually hitting their and bringing in more clients. Likewise, you can monitor the quality of work and see who deserves to be promoted.
- Heightened level of security
Of course, the benefits of this digital era are not without their pitfalls. While it simplifies processes and brings more information at your fingertips, it also makes it easier for scrupulous individuals to hack your systems and take away your trade secrets. Unified communications and other key developments can prevent this from happening, as your communications system would be secure and heavily monitored. Every questionable movement or access would raise flags and you would be able to see the dangers before they can penetrate your system.
- Save money
Finally, one of the perks of using these technological advancements would be how you can reduce your overhead as you maximize the tools at your disposal. You can significantly reduce your long-distance expenses, as well as improve turnaround time for your products and services. As a result, you’ll minimize the cost of keeping your operations while at the same getting more revenue.
These things being said, it goes to follow that the benefits of unified communications are exemplary. Companies are encouraged to adopt the technology as soon as they can, so they will gain advantage over their competitors. After all, early adopters would easily become more adept with the technology, and they can already explore its benefits before everyone else. As a result, they can see how maximize its benefits before the market is saturated.
Benefits of using unified communications:
- Increased Collaboration
- Increased Efficiency and Productivity
- Separate non-performers with performers
- Heightened level of security
- Save Money