How to keep pace with and benefit from the sweeping changes affecting office communication technology
Communication technologies and the people who use them are in a state of continual flux, making it a challenge to ensure everyone has the right tools not just for their jobs but for how they work as individuals.
The modern office is a wonder of diversity; quite naturally, that means differences in the technology workers want to use and find most effective. Among other trends, this has led to the growth of policies like bring-your-own-device (BYOD). As more people work from home, in coffee shops and on the road between meetings, businesses need to look at new ways to keep everyone properly connected. And in the midst of all these changes, customer expectations have never been higher. Clients anticipate nothing less than prompt and reliable service via a range of communication technologies.
Given the pace of evolution, it's easy to fall behind. That's why savvy businesses and managers make it a priority to regularly step back and survey their communications technology in an effort to anticipate what might need to change.
How to accommodate a blended workforce
The benefits of a diverse workplace are well documented. When we think of diversity we tend to consider ethnicity, religion and gender, but age is another key differentiator. And with at least three distinct age groups—each of which came of age with vastly different communications technologies—working side-by-side in most offices, the variety of working styles is significant.
Constraining a diverse staff within one-size-fits-all technologies will not help foster a productive, connected workforce. Managers get the best performance from their employees when they allow them to work and collaborate in a comfortable, intuitive way. That means offering and supporting a broad range of communication technologies to accommodate workers' needs and ensuring your company is able to take advantage of new technologies to help workers perform at their peak. This could mean deploying a technology like Rogers UnisonTM to let workers have the desk phone experience while on the go, or providing them with a tool like Google G Suite's Hangouts to facilitate easy text and video chatting among colleagues and clients.
Your business will benefit most when it takes into account a variety of working and communication needs and preferences, not just those of the majority.
Moving beyond BYOD
At first glance, your company's BYOD policy might seem like a cure-all for opex savings and letting staff work according to their preferences. However, businesses that use such policies as a quick-fix risk losing the efficiencies and security that comes with corporate wireless plans and their complementary services, such as Telecom Expense Management.
Many widely-used business tools, such as Microsoft 365 and Google G Suite, are designed to work effortlessly and securely across a variety of phones, tablets and PCs, and fit nicely within a BYOD framework. They allow your company to take advantage of the cost savings and flexibility that comes with business apps that reside in the cloud while leveraging services like Enterprise Mobility Management to reduce maintenance headaches and improve efficiency. In other words, the advantages and benefits can extend beyond individual workers to a company level.
That said—and as most companies know—BYOD also comes with risks, from securing custom-built applications running across a variety of devices to effectively managing costs. For many businesses, the answer to BYOD lies in the middle road. Continue to take advantage of the gains where it makes sense now and into the future, but don't ignore the company-wide benefits of corporate wireless plans. Managers should assess the pros and cons of BYOD on an individual worker basis.
How to manage technology within a growing remote workforce
A 2018 study conducted by Switzerland-based IWG found that that 70 percent of professionals work remotely at least one day a week, and that more than half of professionals work remotely for at least half of each week.
Taking advantage of this growing trend means equipping your team with the technologies to help them succeed. What sort of data and connectivity plans will be most cost effective? How to keep your company's digital assets safe as they're taken out into the wild? How to ensure teams remain connected and collaborating when separated by kilometres and time zones?
You can start answering these questions by talking to a managed services provider about products and services designed to seamlessly meld communication technologies so that they work flawlessly and securely with each other while keeping costs down. These are opportunities for improvement in virtually every industry, and affordable, proven solutions are available.
Remember: It's about keeping clients satisfied
As technology evolves and constant connectivity becomes the norm, it's inevitable clients will expect more from you and your business. Your customers want to be able to connect with your staff without delay, and expect prompt responses to communication through email, chats and social media. These are opportunities that can set your business apart from competitors.
It's easy to meet and even exceed these expectations with existing solutions. Rogers has products that can ensure incoming calls are routed to available team members, inside or outside of the office. Maintaining seamless, uninterrupted connections with clients while switching devices is possible with call pulling technology. And it's now possible to set up dual lines on a single mobile device, meaning your business can have a local number in multiple area codes.
Adapting to changes in communication technology is about more than staff being comfortable in their jobs, it's an opportunity to unleash productivity and improve how work gets done—with the benefits showing in the products and services you provide and the satisfaction of your customers. If you keep this in mind, you're bound to make the right call.