The rapid shift to at-home and remote work left many businesses unprepared. Employees used all sorts of different tools to communicate, such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype. Some employees were forced to use their personal email or cell phone to maintain contact. Quite simply, it was a mess of different systems that led to frustration, confusion, and hurt productivity; a nightmare for any CIO to manage. Working remotely comes with its own set of challenges. Failing to provide your team with the right technology and tech solutions will only aggravate the situation. When employees are frustrated, it leads to poor performance, lower job satisfaction, and can increase turnover. Unified Communications can bring together everything in a single platform that can handle all your organization’s communications in the cloud. This allows everyone to work off the same platform. It cuts down the learning curve and helps everyone work efficiently. Besides traditional phone system features, Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) offers a suite of communication tools for conferencing and collaboration.
UCaaS allows for softphones on laptops, mobility apps for mobile phones, and consistent performance regardless of location or device. It keeps all of an employee’s work within the company environment. One of the biggest burdens CIOs carry is creating a strategic infrastructure that handles current needs while preparing an organization when business needs change. UC does exactly that. It provides the tools remote teams need right now while being adaptable enough to scale quickly when needed.
The Benefits of Unified Communications for Remote Teams
Implementing a Unified Communications solution increases efficiency and productivity by creating more effective – and smarter – communication between team members. Employees can pick the best method for contacting co-workers and customers. Instead of calling and leaving a voice mail, they can check availability and connect by voice or video conference, chat, or text.
Unified Communications comes with several benefits built-in that can help when working remotely: Using a cloud-based UC platform, it’s easy to scale as business needs evolve. Changes can be made from an admin panel rather than calling the phone company or tying up your IT team. It’s cost-effective and easy to implement. UCaaS does not require any upfront capital expenditures, such as buying equipment. The total cost of ownership (TCO) is significantly less than buying hardware and maintaining it. It can be launched quickly – even when people are working remotely. It reduces the reliance on a variety of third-party software solutions so everybody’s working on the same platform. Everything is encrypted and hosted in geo-redundant data centers. Even if the home office is inaccessible for some reason, services are available from any location. Disaster recovery and business contingency planning are simpler to implement. UCaaS solutions have 24×7 support for technical or user issues. This frees up CIOs and IT resources to support other strategic business goals.
Unified Communications Improves Productivity for Remote Teams Connecting remote employees on one platform foster communication and collaboration. Employees working at home can participate in real-time discussions with those in the office or when everyone is working virtually. Meetings can be scheduled or started instantly. UC allows every employee to access to the documents and files they need. Businesses can conduct group video conferences and talk as if they were in the same room. They can share documents more easily than in a large group and annotate presentations to help everyone understand. IM capabilities let participants ask questions without interrupting the presentation. Messaging tools let you communicate one-on-one with participants even in a large group.
By integrating UCaaS with a company’s CRM, networks, and databases, employees will have a single solution to communicate, manage, and access nearly everything in your data center. One of the most frustrating things for employees working remotely is getting quick answers to the questions they have or getting the information they need to take care of their customers. With UCaaS, the information they need will be accessible regardless of where they are. Using a single platform for communication with customers and team members leads to faster response times.
Unified Communications can speed up response times by as much as 20%.
In a recent survey of employees working from home published in the Harvard Business Review, they identified three distinct challenges: 1. Lack of face-to-face interaction with managers and co-workers. 2. A feeling of social isolation. 3. Lack of access to company resources. Unified Communications can solve all these challenges. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, 43% of employees reported working remotely with some frequency according to Gallup’s’ State of The American Workplace report.
Now that millions of additional employees have been forced to work at home rather than in the office, many experts say we’ve reached the tipping point when it comes to working remotely.
For some companies, Unified Communications tools may have seemed like a luxury item in the past, that’s no longer the case. For CIOs, UC is essential to maintain business operations and will continue to be in the future as remote work becomes even more common. If you’re considering adding or upgrading a Unified Communications to improve productivity for your remote work teams, get in touch with the experts at BlueSky IT Partners. With 20 years of technical experience, a global network of 20,000 field technicians, and working with 160 of the leading telecom carriers, BlueSky can connect you with the right IT solutions, lower your operational costs, free up critical IT resources, and let your remote teams work more efficiently and productively.
Contact BlueSky ITPartners today to learn about the benefits of Unified Communication.