Virtual working has become the reality of business today. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 4.5 percent of workers identify themselves as telecommuters, although the actual number is much higher when you consider those who telecommute on occasion. A Gallup poll placed the U.S. telecommuting rate at 37 percent.
The number of virtual workers — including telecommuters and mobile personnel — continues to increase dramatically, as employees take advantage of ubiquitous connectivity to free themselves from the confines of headquarters. Virtual working is tied to increased job satisfaction for employees, who enjoy time savings, increased productivity and the opportunity to focus on work rather than becoming distracted by office politics. Virtual working also gives companies more flexibility, enabling them to hire talent wherever they find it, regardless of location.
However, organizations need to ensure that remote employees have the IT tools they need, and that IT teams are ready to support them. Of course, remote workers need a PC, laptop or mobile device and a reliable Internet connection. They also need remote access to key applications and data, with strong security and solid help desk support.
Most importantly, remote workers need communication and collaboration tools so they don’t feel “disconnected.” Organizations should not assume that email will be sufficient — email is an asynchronous communication tool that’s great for memos but not so good for collaboration. That’s why many organizations are switching to chat, which is more intuitive and immediate.
The problem with many chat tools is that they are separate from the rest of the communications infrastructure. This creates collaboration “silos” that are awkward, inefficient and difficult to support. In many cases, end-users select chat tools themselves, meaning that there’s no standard for chat across the organization.
ShoreTel Teamwork is different. This real-time collaboration tool empowers teams to work more efficiently and productively, with chat, task management and file sharing in one mobile application. Teamwork streamlines communications by tightly integrating task management with conversations, reducing email overload and providing colleagues instant access to each other. The Teamwork application is scalable, secure and easy for IT to deploy and manage.
As a mobile-first collaboration solution, Teamwork is designed to provide a virtual workspace that brings teams together easily and conveniently, allowing them to send messages, share content, create and assign tasks to teammates, and manage personal task lists. Additionally, all activities posted within a Teamwork workspace are persistent. This enables new team members who join the workspace to review previous workspace activities and files so they can come up to speed on projects more rapidly.
ShoreTel Teamwork was built from the ground up on the ShoreTel Summit architecture to be an enterprise-grade collaboration solution that complements the ShoreTel Connect unified communications platform. Teamwork is currently included in the Essentials, Standard and Advanced service offerings for Connect CLOUD customers in the U.S. and Canada.
Because virtual working has become the norm in business, mobile and efficient collaboration tools are increasingly critical. ShoreTel Teamwork is an application for modern users who are not tethered to their desks, enabling them to work across teams with seamless integration inside our communication solutions.