Remember the days of faxes, pagers and instant messaging? It feels like a lifetime ago – but those now archaic forms of communication driven by the desire to improve collaboration and productivity, have led us to today.
Connectivity lies at the heart of collaboration and is central to knowledge, idea and information sharing which are essential for businesses to become more productive and efficient as they make their digital transformation journeys.
There’s no room for isolation in the digital economy. Even on a local level, we need to think about how we maintain communication with peers and colleagues, given that events – from extreme weather conditions to the unpredictable nature of public transport system – conspire to delay us from doing our best work, putting us at a disadvantage to our connected colleagues.
There’s no doubt that the UK economy is still in question, with more uncertainty ahead while it tries to understand it’s future post Brexit. Many companies are responding to the current dynamic by moving toward agile workplaces to cut operational costs, thus moving their staff to smaller, more cost-effective premises while encouraging hot-desking and remote working.
As such, how we define the workspace is changing and today it’s not unusual to see work conducted in environments as wide ranging as huddle spaces to coffee shops; what matters is that the work gets done, rather than where it gets done.
Many companies are increasingly deploying video communications as a way of collaborating, with a view to introducing it to every single meeting room, desk and employee. This isn’t just in response to what’s happening right now, but it’s also in anticipation of future trends, one of which is the rise of millennials in the workplace.
Immersed in tech from day one and tech-savvy, their willingness to embrace technology eclipses that of previous generations who took a perhaps more guarded view of change. In those situations, video facilitates not just the important act of collaboration, but communicating in a way that helps us to build better relationships at work with key stakeholders and fostering personal connections.
Directly connected to customer satisfaction, is how good employees feel at work. It’s imperative therefore to make sure you do everything you can to connect on an emotional level to build productive and lasting professional relationships.
The knock on effects internally have the capacity to bolster and – critically – motivate your entire team. As ever, this initiative needs to be driven from the top. When the C-Level or other members of the leadership team use collaboration tools and have two-way conversations with as many employees as they can, employees are more likely to believe that they are part of a broader team in a business with clear goals and a clear path as to achievement.
The knock-on benefits further motivate staff who, generally, will provide a better and happier service to their customers; at a time when many companies are committed to their digital transformation path, engaging positively with customers is even more imperative.
The main steps businesses can take to do that are to: deploy one end-to-end collaborative platform that updates information in real time and provides full visibility across the full range of key deliverables.
Companies need to avoid using too many applications that can tend to complicate and confuse efforts at communicating more effectively and can, in fact, lead to ‘communication overload’.
All businesses are facing uncertain political and economic times. But success through trying times lies in unity, a scenario that can be embraced and achieved through technology that keeps everyone engaged, connected and collaborating, wherever they are.