In decades past, office work looked a lot more compartmentalized than it does today. Workers would leave home, arrive at the office in the morning, take regular breaks and leave at the end of the day. Taking work home meant filling a briefcase with papers or saving documents on a disk to be reviewed on a home PC.
Today, such a picture sounds like something out of an old movie. For better or worse, the lines between the office and home are very blurry. Employers, employees and customers expect the flexibility to connect in any situation.
In this era, simply distributing cell phones or forwarding office phones to another number isn’t just inefficient — it also doesn’t provide the complete coverage and full office experience that both customers and employees expect.
Staying connected shouldn’t come at the cost of the customer or employee experience. A modern company needs to give all employees the ability to communicate from anywhere, on any device. With unified communications, companies can recreate the in-office experience from anywhere.
Old tech isn’t adequate for a new world
Technology both drives change and responds to it. Consider the automobile. For decades, the advancements in technology didn’t really change the basics of the automobile. Sure, there were different sizes and types of vehicles with various amenities, but they all basically operated mechanically on an internal combustion engine.
Today, in response to market demands and technological breakthroughs, most newer autos have some level of standard “smart” technology. From self-diagnostic tools to basic smart-driving technology to hybrid engines, late-model automobiles are becoming more than just a tool to get from point A to point B.
While the basic function of the automobile hasn’t changed, newer autos make that function safer, less expensive and more ecologically friendly. Eventually, market forces will shift consumers toward these newer, smarter automobiles.
Similarly, the basic function of office phones remains the same — to communicate with colleagues and customers. But as market demands have driven technological breakthroughs (and vice versa), how, when and where that communication happens has evolved.
The office doesn’t always look like an office anymore, and companies that continue to operate on old technology with limited options will miss out on improved employee and customer satisfaction that comes from adopting new communication platforms. To remain competitive, companies must be able to recreate the in-office experience anywhere.
New UC options for a new era
Today’s businesses have more options than ever to create a true in-office experience anywhere. With Unified Communications (UC) solutions, companies can give both customers and employees the best of both the office and the vast array of remote environments.
Break the desk chains: Few employees remain next to a traditional desk phone for eight hours every day. Even customer service representatives and front desk employees move around the office performing a variety of duties; some reps and contact centre agents even work from home.
A comprehensive UC solution will allow those employees to move around without any disruption to the calls they take. With softphone and mobile apps, an employee can take a call from anywhere and transfer it back to a desk phone with the push of one button — without the person on the other end having any hint of the change.
Enable remote workers: Between 2005 and 2017, the number of remote workers in the U.S. increased 159 per cent, according to a FlexJobs and Global Workplace Analytics study. That number continues to grow.
With UC solutions, remote workers can conduct business from the office, from home, on the road or at a family event. Better yet, customers need never know where the employee is located, because the UC solution will push out the employee’s office phone number, not a personal cell phone number.
Maintain a balance: Of course, the ability to work from anywhere comes with challenges. As employees increasingly work from remote locations, it’s more important than ever to give them the ability to control when and where they take calls. With a UC solution, employees can set the hours they take calls and put their phones on “do not disturb” mode when necessary.
The traditional office isn’t very traditional anymore. In an era where the “office” can be anywhere from a dining room table to a beachfront property, companies need the ability to recreate the in-office experience from anywhere. For more information about how Allstream can position your company for success in the modern business environment, download our e-book The Case for Cloud.