Gone are the days of rigid 9am to 5pm office work schedules, where employees are fixed to computer terminals. With technology developing and over half of the UK workforce expected to work remotely by 2020, the opportunities are endless as the mobile workplace emerges.
Flexible working is made simple with unified communications (UC): the integration of technology such as instant messaging, voice, audio and video conferencing, giving the opportunity for instant connectivity regardless of whether colleagues are in the office.
Three essential UC tools to make your work space more agile:
- Webcams – Source a reliable HD webcam. You can host and attend face to face online meetings and webinars wherever you’re working from.
- Cloud based applications – Access your email from anywhere by using a hosted desk top solution, allowing you to login from any location avoiding the need for you to be in the office. Conferencing solutions such as Skype for Business or Zoom are essential. Used alongside your plug n play webcam you can stay connected with everyone in your workplace network via IM, softphone calls, webinars or online meetings.
- Headsets – Invest in a quality headset. Opting for a wireless headset with multi-device-connectivity allows you to answer calls from your desk phone, mobile phone and also connects to your PC for softphone calls and online conferencing – one device for all and a desktop essential!
The benefits of flexible working:
The demand for flexible work is on the rise and companies who don’t offer it may be missing out on real talent. People want access to the ways of working that enable them to give them a better work/life balance. Offering flexibility demonstrates that employees are valued. Employees that feel looked after are usually a lot more loyal than those that aren’t.
Smart workplace design and technology allowing employees to work remotely or be mobile within the office can help increase productivity. Headset use for example, frees up your hands so that you can multi task whilst on a call.
As the cost of renting office space increases, organisations are literally throwing their money away, paying for empty chairs at empty desks. The introduction of cloud based working can put an end to wasted office space and cost. Equipped with the right tech, ie a mobile device, headset, webcam, cloud based applications, employees can work from any location with exactly the same access to work files and stay connected with colleagues.
You could argue that remote working reduces a company’s carbon footprint. If you allow for an element of homeworking, then this also potentially supports a reduction in car journeys!
Ultimately, on-the-go working gives companies the flexibility to adjust to individual needs of staff, improving productivity and increasing employee satisfaction. This can help organisations attract and retain skilled employees who value flexible working arrangements, including return to work parents, and staff who need to travel for work.
We’ve established that mobile technology is now at a stage where people can genuinely work from almost anywhere, with voice and video capabilities, 4G and 4K dramatically improving the quality and experience of remote conferencing and collaboration. But remember people often feel anxious about or avoid technology they don’t understand. The solution is to help them see how tools like headsets, video conferencing, voice and cloud based apps can maintain collaboration and productivity, and even enhance it. Moving to a more flexible mobile solution can be daunting. It requires the correct technology and training for a smooth transition.
Plan carefully and seek advice on what solutions will best suit your business needs, and the individual needs of your staff, to get the most out of the change.
Want to mobilise your workforce? Click here to book a free UC consultation or call 020 3411 8218.