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How to bring remote teams together with Unified Communications

The typical workplace has changed dramatically in the last decade; staff are no longer locked to strict 9-5 working hours or constrained to work at one specific desk. In fact, a report in 2018 found that ‘more than two-thirds of people around the world work away from the office at least once every week’, while over half (53%) ‘work remotely for at least half the week’. This proves just how much technology has transformed workplace practices; freeing up businesses and their teams to function in new, more efficient ways.

As a result, businesses are embracing a new level of flexibility, whether that’s employees working from home, dialling in from the road, or seamlessly working from a different location completely.

The benefits of remote working

There are plenty of stats and surveys that prove how remote working can provide a better work-life balance for employees; increasing moral and engagement and can also boost productivity – A two-year study from Stanford University determined that ‘work-from-home employees work a true full-shift (or more) versus being late to the office or leaving early multiple times a week and found it less distracting and easier to concentrate at home.’

A robust remote working strategy can even help businesses attract the best staff as businesses can hire the right employees regardless of their location, introducing the ability to ‘cherry-pick’ teams from around the world. Furthermore, employees in large and growing businesses may be based in different offices, possibly with two offices in the same city, or a series of branches across countries. But, with the right communications infrastructure, staff in London can easily work alongside counterparts in Munich.

All of which sounds great! However, this does mean that businesses are even more reliant on their communications technology, because it’s crucial for remote workers and teams, that the underpinning infrastructure works smoothly and seamlessly. But all too often, that isn’t the case.

Disparate tools create a disjointed experience

Simple issues like having to use a mobile phone with no access to the office directory, no access to internal email systems from home, unreliable connectivity causing in shaky, incoherent video conferences, are all examples of how outdated or badly implemented communications infrastructure can hold remote workers back from true efficiency; turning what should be a positive experience into a nightmare.

These problems tend to arise from businesses updating their infrastructure ‘as-and-when’, over the years meaning that each upgrade works well in isolation, but not effective together. As a result, employees suffer from a disjointed experience that presents problems and not solutions; numbers can’t easily be ported from device to device, services can’t be accessed from outside the office, and connectivity services aren’t reliable enough to support data-hungry applications like video.

Change is needed.

At IC Group UK, we believe in providing simple solutions that makes technology reliable and functional; enabling teams to focus on their work, not on how to work their systems. Fortunately, with the advent of Unified Communications (UC), an effective solution is here, and businesses are already embracing the benefits of remote working.

How Unified Communications can bring teams together

UC is a reliable solution that enables businesses to integrate all the modern ways teams communicate, including voice, instant messaging, video and data. It’s easy to deploy, as well as being a cost-effective solution that could even save you money compared to a comparable legacy PBX. And, crucially, it can help to enable remote workers and teams to communicate more efficiently and more productively, even when they’re in different places.

For example, with a hosted phone system, staff can simply carry their number with them – even if they’re dialling in from a desktop computer from home, with easy to use desktop and mobile applications. UC solutions like Horizon Collaborate gives staff a host of features, such as instant messaging, presence and video conferencing; meaning they can stay in touch effectively, regardless of where they’re working from. Finally, robust unified data and voice networks can ensure that critical tools like video conferencing always function predictably, helping teams to communicate, no matter where they’re based.

With such a reliable infrastructure in place, businesses can count on their ability to communicate. In turn, they’ll benefit from reduced spend on travel between locations, and even minimising an organisation’s carbon footprint, as a result. But most importantly of all, it facilitates remote working and remote teams; helping businesses work effectively, attract the best talent, and get ready for the future, no matter where they are in the world.

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