How UCaaS can power the modern-day workforce

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The workplace today looks quite different from how it was before the pandemic. That’s because many workplaces do not have their employees working full time from their desks. Instead, they are dispersed between the office, their home and other feasible working locations.

Research shows that hybrid working has retained its popularity post-pandemic, with 68 per cent favouring this model, according to research from Slack based on 10,000 desk workers across six countries. Reasons include less commuting time and associated costs, improved work-life balance and overall better wellbeing.

Of course, this has only been made possible with the help of communication and collaboration tools such as Zoom, Teams and other cloud-based calling technologies. Prior to this, these technologies were rarely talked about. Now, businesses cannot succeed without them. In fact, at the end of 2022, Microsoft announced that Teams was now being used by 270 million users worldwide.

Unification equals collaboration

Technology is proving essential for businesses, who without it, may struggle to keep pace with competition and meet the expectations of modern-day consumers.

Collaboration tools are beneficial in their own right, from Trello for work management, Microsoft 365 for productivity and DropBox for file sharing. But, to really enhance the true potential of these tools, businesses must unify their solutions for the following reasons.

Unifying all business communication tools allows for more efficient communication across teams, departments and locations — especially important considering the proportion of people working under a hybrid model. This ensures that everyone is on the same page, no matter their location or device, which improves coordination, information sharing, and faster decision-making.

By centralising all collaboration tools, businesses can provide their employees with an interface that’s easier to use and saves time switching between multiple tools while working on a project. This also enables employees working outside of the office to access the software they need to complete their jobs without any disruption. This leads to increased efficiency, as businesses can reduce the number of applications they are using, which can help in lowering the cost of software licensing, maintenance and support.

Making the right choice

So, how do businesses unify their comms tools? While there are many collaboration tools on the market, a one-does-all solution, such as a UC platform, is one of the best investments a business can make.

UC refers to a cloud-based communications system that unifies numerous business communication tools, including services like voice, video conferencing and instant messaging. The system enables these forms of communication to work together in one unified environment, allowing the user to stay in touch at any time using any device.

Ultimately, the goal of UC is always to make work easier by eliminating the need for multiple platforms, introducing portability and simplifying communication.

But how do businesses determine what platform is best for them? Firstly, identifying the business’ needs and what it wants to achieve from using a UC platform will help pinpoint what type of platform is best. For instance, what is the budget? How many people from the business need access to the platform? What will they be using it for?

Other ways to distinguish which UC platform is most suited to your business is to consider the potential for scalability — think how your business will look in five years time, and what you’ll need to support future needs, not just the here-and-now. Security must also be acknowledged for any business in today’s increasingly cyber aware world. This involves understanding whether the platform offers end-to-end encryption and firewall security, otherwise there could be additional costs to consider if security is breached.

However, with productivity being undeniably one of the most significant benefits of using a UC platform and to reap the benefits of this, businesses should look out for the software’s ability to integrate with CRMs and help desk tools. Whether your business uses industry favourites such as HubSpot or Salesforce, or it relies on the capabilities of Bulhorn to support recruitment, or PipeDrive for sales, having a UC platform that integrates with CRMs, boasts significant benefits as it bridges the gaps between the tools and their interfaces, without the need to download multiple applications.

The pandemic has ushered in new workforce trends that are continuing to shape the way businesses work. As a result, businesses have relied on collaboration tools to stay in touch with employees, regardless of where they are located. But UC takes the capabilities of these collaborative tools to the next level by helping to build a more agile, productive and connected workforce that performs efficiently in the modern-day hybrid workplace.