Working remotely is not a new idea. In fact, the term “telecommuting” was first coined in 1972 by employees working on a NASA communication system, and in 1979, the Washington Post published an article called “Working at Home Can Save Gasoline“, which is often credited with introducing the idea of working remotely, and a year later led to the first conference on the subject. Of course back then telecommuting involved mainly a telephone and some documents you could read, on paper, at home or in a hotel. The internet and computing in general sky rocketed the number of tools that workers can have at their disposal when not in the office. Today 3.7 million employees (2.8% of the workforce) now work from home at least half the time, thanks in large part to technological advances in connectivity and Unified Communications.
As reported by GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com, 50% of the US workforce holds a job that is compatible with at least partial telework, and approximately 20-25% of the workforce teleworks at some frequency. 80% to 90% of the US workforce says they would like to telework at least part time. Two to three days a week seems to be the sweet spot that allows for a balance of concentrative work (at home) and collaborative work (at the office). Even when in the office, employees are mobile. The aforementioned study shows they are not at their desk 50-60% of the time. As a result of these numbers, top companies around the globe are not only revamping their office space around the mobile workforce, but revamping their technology to ensure no matter where an employee is, they are able to access the data they need, and that they themselves are accessible, whether by email, text, or phone.
As long as there’s an Internet connection, mobile workers can and should have access to communications, collaboration and productivity applications at any time, from any device, and in any location. This is the essence of Unified Communications. And with Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), the burden of handling configuration, maintenance, and feature upgrades,
as well as ensuring business continuity of a company’s communication and data systems, is taken off the IT staff. Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) is a delivery model in which a variety of communication and collaboration applications and services are outsourced to a third-party provider and delivered over an IP network. When IT resources are limited – or when businesses don’t operate these solutions as a core competency of its own – UCaaS quickly becomes a better choice economically to deploy UC than a DIY solution.
The key benefits of a modern unified communications solution include manageability, mobility and conferencing. UC reduces communication latency (think: phone tag, or waiting for an email response on a critical issue) by consolidating phone, email, fax, chat, video and collaboration to work together seamlessly regardless of device. It enables not only the mobile worker to stay connected at all times, no matter location, but delivers benefits to an entire organization. Considering devising a Unified Communications strategy for your organization? Learn how AltiGen’s integration with Office 365 and Skype for Business can help.