You may be thinking, "Isn't that the latest buzz word I have been hearing?". Why, yes it is and for good reason. In today's world, people are more mobile than ever before. Also, the number of people who work from home for businesses and organizations is increasing every year.
In the US in 2010, just over 2% of the workforce (about 2.8 million people) telecommute a most of the time according to Telework Research Network. This number is not inclusive of those who are self-employed or unpaid volunteers. In 2011, approximately 34 million people work from their homes occasionally according to Forrester Research. Forrester Research also predicts that the number will nearly double by next year to about 63 million.
According to Forbes, Teleworking is the Future of Work and I agree whole heartedly! My company is made up of mobile and remote employees and I plan to keep it that way. As technology prevades and the economy becomes more and more competitive, getting and retaining the best talent is crucial. The best talent, especially in my generation (GenX) and going forward, most notably in the Millenials, feels the work life balance is essential part of, well, life. Commuting is so 20 years ago (this is me saying that with a rolling of my eyes)! I believe in letting my employees be where they want to be to do their work as long as they get work done. I want them to be happy. A happy employee is a hard working and productive employee. Besides, I know how I felt when I had to drag myself into a job, day in and day out, that I could have easily done from home!
"Get to the point!" you may be saying/thinking (to which I would say keep your pants on ;-) ). I said all of that to say that UC or unified communications is one of the things many companies, including mine, is using to accomplish the feat of having mobile and remote, and happy, employees.
What is UC? According to Wikipedia, "Unified Communications (UC) is marketing buzzword describing the integration of real-time, enterprise, communication services such as instant messaging (chat), presence information, voice (including IP telephony), mobility features (including extension mobility and single number reach), audio, web & video conferencing, fixed-mobile convergence (FMC), desktop sharing, data sharing (including web connected electronic interactive whiteboards), call control and speech recognition with non-real-time communication services such as unified messaging (integrated voicemail, e-mail, SMS and fax). UC is not necessarily a single product, but a set of products that provides a consistent unified user-interface and user-experience across multiple devices and media-types". One such product that empasses most of those things is Microsoft's Skype for Business.
Microsoft's Skype for Business, formally known as Lync, encompasses the following in one platform:
Better yet this platform is available as one of the many services in one of Microsoft’s clouds, Office 365. My company uses the full power of Office 365 and I especially love S4B (Skype for Business)! I use it to helpdesk and setup my clients' computers, hold training sessions/webinars, send online meeting invites even to those who don't have the service, record trainings and send to the client as well as see when my employees and/or clients are online so that I can reach and ping them and vice versa! And, of course, much more!
So, as I have said You Have to Get You Some of That! So, what are you waiting for? GO GET IT!
Have more questions? Feel free to reach out to us (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Unified communications helps businesses in implementing web, video and audio conferencing solutions. For e.g. deploying RHUB`s web conferencing servers helps businesses in cutting down travel costs, solving problems, expanding business by interacting with multiple clients at same time etc.