UCC Powers The Expansion of Remote Work
by Kalyn Stockman
Picture a day where you wake up, make some breakfast, sit down at your dining room table and get to work. Or maybe you drive to your favorite coffee shop down the street to settle in at a table with your mobile devices. No traffic-filled commutes or professional attire. No strict 9-5 schedule. This could very easily be your future as a remote worker.
Remote work is gaining momentum in recent years and is expected to expand rapidly in the next few as unified communications and collaboration (UCC) technologies continue to advance and mature. More and more companies are recognizing the benefits of offering remote work as an option to employees. But for remote work to be successful, the right technologies must be deployed, and enterprises should take both the benefits and challenges of remote work into close consideration.
Benefits of Remote Work
Remote work brings some clear benefits to both the company and the employee. Let’s explore three of the biggest:
1. Extended access to talent
- For the employee: Potential employees will have a larger pool of jobs and companies to consider if they are able to work remote. They do not have to worry about finding a job within reasonable commuting distance. This open up many opportunities and allow employees to find jobs better suited for their specific skills.
- For the company: Perhaps the biggest benefit of remote work for companies is that it expands the talent pool and allows them to access talent from different geographical locations without having to worry about relocation of potential employees. Skill shortages will be a thing of the past.
2. Increased employee engagement
- For the employee: With the opportunity to work remotely, employees have more freedom to work where (and maybe when) they please. It is also believed that the ability to work remotely gives an employee a better work-life balance. This increases employee satisfaction and happiness, and even promotes health.
- For the company: A happier employee typically means a more productive employee, and therefore better business outcomes for the company. This can also lead to improved employee retention.
3. Reduced costs
- For the employee: By working remotely, the employee is avoiding the costs of commuting such as gas, parking fees, and car maintenance.
- For the company: With many employees working remotely, the company has less of a need for office space, supplies, employee accommodations, etc.
Challenges of Remote Work
With so many benefits of remote work, why isn’t every company adopting it? The growth of the UCC market in recent years is certainly powering its expansion. UCC promotes a mobile workforce and enables communication from anywhere at any time. It has also become increasingly people-centric, prioritizing efficiency and minimal effort for users.
With UCC, some of the challenges associated with remote work are being mitigated. These challenges can include:
- Lack of transparency
- Lack of meaningful work relationships
- Lower employee morale and potentially higher turnover
- Difficulty collaborating across different locations and in different timezones
While the growth of UCC is certainly on its way to providing solutions to address these challenges and facilitate a more tightly knit team and united work environment, enterprises must be aware of these factors if they’re considering adopting remote work policies or flexible work policies.
UCC Powers the Expansion
Let’s explore the features of UCC that are making remote work possible.
The key functionalities of UCC include messaging, video, and voice—all of which are key to successful remote work. UCC platforms allow for calls that are both voice-based and video-based, enable meetings with users and rooms, and are about the shift from instant messaging (IM) to mobile messaging, which we have termed team collaboration.
Messaging is closing in on email as the primary way to communicate online. Through team collaboration capabilities, remote workers can have a constant stream of communication with other employees in an efficient way. In order to successfully communicate, remote employees need messaging to be fully mobile, fast, and seamless—and current UCC capabilities make this possible.
Video meetings are also increasing in popularity, and launching video meetings from email or a chat session is considered a standard capability today. This makes remote work more feasible, as the employee does not need to be physically present in a meeting with co-workers or even customers or clients.
The many benefits of remote work, as well as the expanding technologies that power it, align with the expectations of people today. In an era of convenience, where nearly all business processes are shifting to become people-centric, the way we work seems to be changing in major ways. It will be interesting to see the correlation of the growth of the UCC market and the popularity of remote work.