The shift to remote work has presented both challenge and opportunity, and business leaders are looking for more permanent strategies to boost employee productivity. But what if, rather than a declaration made by leadership, productivity is actually a by-product of culture? Simply put, steadfast productivity cannot be demanded. And research is proving that productive workforces have something in common: employees are engaged and connected. According to The McKinsey Global Institute, productivity improves by 20%-25% in organizations where employees are connected
If productivity is a proven by-product of connectedness and collaboration within the culture, how can organizations work to cultivate this kind of environment? And what does this look like for businesses supporting highly distributed, remote employees? How do we create a culture that drives productivity and transforms the concept of work from home to a successful operate-from-anywhere business model?
“A single platform for communications, collaboration, and contact centre empowers your employees to operate more independently and more productively”
Start with the right foundation for success.
To help illustrate, let’s use a sports analogy. Football players, for instance, are typically required to do a variety of drills and performance enhancing activities that will never be seen on the pitch. The speed ladder agility drill, for example, would most likely look absurd if all of a sudden you watched your favourite player move up and down the pitch in such a way. But this drill helps players become more agile, quick to respond, and build endurance. It builds a solid foundation for the player, and therefore the team, to excel. And without these key building blocks, it will be difficult for the team to thrive
The same is true for the workplace. Employees need the fundamentals, the basics—the drills, if you will—in order to be effective. By providing the right drills, businesses build a foundation for productivity to flourish.
Collaboration and connectedness are an established part of the fabric of high-performing organisations. So for today’s dispersed workforce, these drills must include stimulating a culture around connectedness.
“It’s easy to look to technology as a panacea for productivity woes”
Streamlined technology is the catalyst for productivity.
Sadly, most remote workers do not currently feel connected or collaborative in their current environment. A recent study looking at the impact of remote work since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic found that roughly 54% of respondents said their primary challenge in working from home was feeling disconnected or alone*
It’s easy to look to technology as a panacea for productivity woes, but rapid uptake of fragmented communications tools in recent months hasn’t led to sustainable improvement. There’s a reason many of us continue to feel like we’re working on remote islands, despite access to several communications apps across our devices.
The problem is not that those communications tools don’t work, it’s that they don’t work together. When faced with an overflowing home screen of apps, employees are bound to get overwhelmed, becoming more frustrated and disconnected. The truth is businesses can’t just add more disjointed communications and collaboration tools and expect productivity to increase.
To create a real culture of connectedness that fosters productivity, it’s time to unify that toolset and eliminate app confusion. By bringing the technology together, you’ll set the business up to naturally increase productivity, much like basketball drills become the tightly knit fabric of the team’s skill set. The tools become less of the focus, and instead you are left with a ripple effect of strong communication and engagement flowing throughout your organization. Distance melts away as you naturally feel connected to employees that may be sitting 50, 500, or 3,000 miles away.
A single platform for communications, collaboration, and contact centre empowers your employees to operate more independently and more productively. Unifying these tools also provides greater organizational transparency simplifies the management, monitoring, and tracking of a dispersed workforce to understand the dynamics that contribute to productivity.
Luckily we have a solution in 8×8 which closes the gaps and is a complete suite of voice, video, chat and contact-centre/office solutions in the cloud allowing front and back office staff to communicate from multiple locations, all on one secure platform.
Furthermore, pretty much everyone this year of all years has become familiar and embedded with Microsoft Teams which is a unified communication and collaboration platform that combines phone service, workplace chat, video meetings, file storage, and application integration.
8×8 Voice for Microsoft Teams is a cloud-based PBX-to-PBX integration with Microsoft Phone System, which creates a seamless, behind-the-scenes integration of 8×8 Work phone service into Microsoft Teams.
So in essence, the Voice for Teams service provides enterprise-grade telephony and global PSTN connectivity to customers who want to retain Microsoft Teams as their sole collaboration interface.
After set up, Microsoft Teams devices are registered as SIP devices, just like a desk phone. The required phone extension and user information is synchronized from 8×8 to the Microsoft Teams environment, and the user’s 8×8 phone number will appear in Teams devices.
So when a Teams user makes or receives phone calls using a Teams client or device, the calls are transparently handled by the 8×8 phone service. The end user will probably not even be aware that they are using 8×8 unless they’re told about it.
How can it help your business?
- Collaborate much more effectively with external partners
- Give your staff the tools needed to be at their best
- Offer customers multiple ways to contact you
- Manage your communications with real time data
- Get staff activity reporting – coach and improve their performance
Who and what is it good for?
- Knowledge workers – Different departments and people can work together efficiently and effectively with a range of unified communications tools – from HD video calls and instant chat services, to cross-platform team messaging with third-party apps.
- Supervisors and administrators – Bringing managers and agents closer together with smart schedules, personal performance plans, coaching tools, internal chat services, voice and screen recordings and more.
- Contact centre agents – Checking in on every customer interaction from a single, intuitive interface and a complete communications hub – giving you more information to hand so you can serve your customers faster and more accurately.
- Multichannel contact centres – Delivering a unique customer experience across all channels – whether that’s on the web, over chat, from a text or email, via social media or in a video.
Technology is no cure-all but streamlining the technology that brings your employees together will foster a culture of connection and collaboration and supercharge productivity. Think about productivity with a technology-led approach to set your organisation up for collaborative success
*Source: ServiceNow’s “Work from Home Productivity Study” June 2020
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