Most businesses know that communication—effective communication—is a key path to improving employee productivity. Efforts to bolster collaboration and enable workers to do their jobs more effectively revolve around not just telephony, but also instant messaging, presence, video conferencing, and more. Plenty of businesses are already using the core communication applications—but the problem is that they’re not enabling them to be used together. There are whole categories of applications that some employees aren’t using at all—resulting in a complex, fragmented environment where not everyone is on the same page.
According to Jon Arnold, analyst for J. Arnold & Associates, unified communications (UC) can enhance productivity in very important ways, even for businesses that already embrace advanced communications techniques.
“Since these apps are typically used in a standalone fashion, there is a lot of inefficiency, duplicated effort, and wasted time,” he explained in a column. “Not only does this lower workplace productivity, it also reduces the return on investment (ROI) for the underlying technologies.”
UC becomes a strategic decision because it can address those issues in new ways by delivering an integrated platform where all these applications can be used in a common environment for more effective communication.
“UC allows applications to be used concurrently, creating multichannel sessions so employees can collaborate more effectively,” Arnold added. It also delivers a consistent user experience, meaning employees can work the same way regardless of the endpoint, operating system, or network used to access the platform.
“Given the fluid nature of UC… its value [is] better than focusing on the underlying technology,” Arnold said. “UC's value will ultimately be reflected in employee performance, and for businesses that see a direct connection between communication and workflow outcomes, these use cases provide a solid foundation for making a decision that will serve management and IT equally well.”
If you find your business wrestling with underperforming productivity, consider how workers are making use of—or not making use of—their communications options. Effective communication through UC might be the perfect way to get off the struggle bus.