Moving away from traditional desktop technology to Unified Communications and VoIP solutions helps companies empower a more mobile workforce, while retaining productivity. A growing number of small to midsize businesses are embracing a remote worker model for positions where it makes sense. Not surprisingly, the number one reason employees enjoy working remotely is to avoid a commute. This trend is becoming commonplace as the technology rapidly advances to support remote or mobile workers. The adoption of mobile devices started the revolution, but a true mobile or remote employee needs full functionality to be productive, they can’t rely on a cell phone or tablet. The internet has provided the freedom and flexibility to work any where, and success is being defined differently. Being tied to a desk is now a productivity killer, not a productivity driver. Commonplace stumbling blocks that used to prohibit remote productivity such as poor face-to-face communications, collaborating with colleagues in real time, access to network data and not being able to make phone calls from their computers, are easily solved with the latest innovations in communications and collaboration technology.
A mobile or remote worker must be communications-centric, voice is still king of communications. It is an essential element for the mobile worker to build business and enhance customer relations, especially across the miles. But voice alone is not enough, if that were the case an employee could rely solely on their cell phone. Only VoIP modernizes business by integrating voice with everything else. Jon Arnold, an independent telecom analyst explains it this way, “VoIP is not telephony-centric, but is equally focused on providing real-time communications. With VoIP, you get just as much real-time voice as before, but with a richer communications environment that speaks to the needs of remote workers. VoIP frees employees from their desks.”
Now combine VoIP with Unified Communications and it arms the remote worker with all the functionality they need without sacrificing any of their professionalism, productivity or job satisfaction. Unified Communications, or UC for short, refers to an integrated set of solutions that deliver a range of communications capabilities in a single interface. Although UC has been around for a decade, many still do not fully understand its role and how it benefits businesses. Melanie Turek, Vice President, Research, Frost & Sullivan eloquently defines it for us. “The idea is to allow users one-click access to voice, web and video communications—as well as presence information, email, chat and messaging capabilities. With UC, it should be simple for users to start a peer-to-peer voice call, then invite others to join the conversation with a single mouse click; launch a web conference and move into a video call as the need arises; see whether colleagues are available for a call, chat or email; and receive emails, texts and voice mails in a single message stream. Done correctly, unified communications can deliver significant benefits for users and their employers, including faster access to the right people and information at the right time; support for remote and mobile employees; the creation of flat organizations that encourage innovation and collaboration; better decision making; streamlined business processes; and, ultimately faster times-to-market that positively impact the bottom line.”
Remote and mobile work opens up new, efficient and cost saving possibilities for both employees and employers. Modern technology makes it a reality and offers the ability for employees to stay frequently connected and improve the rate of information exchange, thus putting the tools for success literally in their hands not at a desk.