Long gone are the myths that remote employees will spend their days binge watching Netflix or running errands on the company’s dime. The Harvard Business Review made concrete contradictions to these assumptions in a recent study, siting that working from home can save a company an estimated $1,900 per employee for a nine month period. Companies will save money on space and furniture when utilizing a mobile workforce. Additionally, the findings indicated people working from home completed 13.5% more calls than the staff in the office did – almost an extra workday a week! They also quit at half the rate of people in the office, reporting much higher job satisfaction. Retaining happy employees will save your company money in the long run opposed to company dollars being spent on-boarding new employees monthly. But transitioning to a mobile workforce isn’t as simple as handing employees a mobile device and sending them on their way. In order to profit from a mobile workforce, there must strategies and systems put in place that include a unified communications platform.
Having a mobile workforce is an opportunity for your company to have access to highly desirable employees who may be located in different regions of the world, or tap into additional resources that aren’t abundant locally. With a mobile workforce, you can also hold onto employees who may be relocating because of a spouse, or perhaps just in search of warmer weather. Losing a beloved employee over relocation is never a fun pill to swallow. Before you can profit and benefit from a mobile workforce you must implement the important first step.
Implementing a unified communications solution is increasingly an essential step in the mobile workforce process. To make a mobile workforce program successful for your business, even if it’s just a few days a month or on an as-needed basis, businesses must provide employees with the same access to communications, data, and applications no matter if they are in the office or at their home office. The cloud and Microsoft Office 365’s Skype for Business make this possible. Skype for Business, available with most Office 365 subscriptions, gives you the ability to use one application for all your communication needs, from IM to email, web meetings to phone calls, for all employees.
Web Meetings – Web meetings are a huge component of unified communications that make working from home possible. Accessibility to communications tools such as web conferencing are key to employee productivity. In many ways, web meetings can be more productive than in person meetings depending on the purpose of the meeting, and are much more effective than simple conference calls. Plus, if a participant cannot be near their PC at the time of the web meeting, or are running late, they can join from their cell phone and not hold up the entire meeting for others.
Instant Messaging – This tool is accessible whether you’re sitting at the office desk, out meeting clients or logging in from your home office in PJ’s. IM is not limited to your desktop or laptop. You can reach out and respond to people from your mobile phone or tablet, so you’re really available whenever (and wherever) you want to be. Additionally, instant messaging is hard to beat when it comes to speed. Less formal than email, and quicker than playing phone tag, instant messaging allows employees to communicate immediately.
Advanced Calling Features – A mobile workforce needs access to your company’s phone system in order to be completely effective. By partnering with an expert like Altigen, the capabilities of Skype for Business uniquely expand to include advanced calling features such as auto attendant, hunt groups, advanced call routing and more, so even the more complicated demands of a help desk or call center can operate within your eco-system or from the comfort of your employee’s home.
There is profit to be made from a mobile workforce and by utilizing a unified communications solution that includes Skype for Business and an expert in the field, you can start tapping into those benefits immediately.