No time for downtime: How to improve productivity for mobile workers

Recently, we have seen a notable change in the way small Australian companies go about their business. Increasing numbers of employees are working from remote sites and home offices, while their customers and business partners are located all over the country, or in fact, the world.

Supporting a growing number of dispersed workers, while facing the significant challenge of keeping employees connected to one another and the people they work with, means the focus of companies must turn to boosting productivity and keeping the cost of doing so low.

New technology can make employees more productive, cut costs and boost the bottom line but similarly, technology issues and downtime can kill productivity and hurt a business’ profitability.

IT issues that cause productivity headaches are faced regularly by Australian businesses but can often be solved with simple and effective technology solutions, such as video conferencing, in-app integration, Skype for Business and cloud migration. Read on for four simple productivity boosters for any workplace no matter how big or small.

Video conferencing

Most small businesses are trying to keep travel costs and downtime in transit to a minimum but that doesn’t mean clients will accept less meetings or regular phone calls. Video conferencing, especially, has proven to be a boon for companies that want to leverage the benefits of face-to-face communications without the high travel costs and productivity downtime that usually accompanies in-person meetings.*

Being able to meet face-to-face at a minute’s notice like this allows people at different locations to get more done a lot faster, and it also improves business-wide communication and employee morale.

Calling, conferencing, video and sharing in one place

New capabilities in collaboration tools mean companies can now connect teams in real time as they are working on projects, from the applications they use every day. Instead of using one application for verbal communication, another for editing a critical word document and another for instant messaging others in the team, companies can now simplify infrastructure to one platform to do all at once and get projects across the line much faster than before.

Arriving at quick decisions based only on e-mail communications is often difficult as many people don’t communicate well in writing. Using Microsoft Office 365 allows workers to call, conference, video and share within one platform, all while seeing what edits others are making to reduce double ups, downtime between communication and frustrating delays.

One platform for all your calls

Frost and Sullivan research shows that the number of people working remotely continues to rise. In a recent survey of C-level executives, 84 per cent report that some percentage of their employees regularly work outside the office; at nearly one-quarter of organisations, more than 50 per cent of all employees do so.

Using technology that ensures workers can be reached anywhere at anytime, reducing annoying “ring-arounds,” and means that there is never a time that productivity lags for mobile workers. Using Skype for Business allows remote and mobile workers to direct all their calls to a single device when necessary, meaning they are always online and reachable by team members.

Ditch the physical server and migrate to cloud

One of the most frustrating aspects of remote work can often be the inability to access important documents unless physically in the office. Migrating all workplace files to the cloud, instead of a physical server, means that all files and information are available at the click of a button, anytime, anywhere. This means that when travelling, in meetings off-site or working remotely, employees can access all the information they need to make business decisions and use their time effectively. This, in turn, reduces downtime and frustration, empowering businesses to work on a global level.

*http://www.polycom.com.au/content/dam/polycom/common/documents/whitepapers/frost-sullivan-leveraging-video-conferencing-wp-enus.pdf

Rob Dell, Managing Director, IComm Australia

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