The Top 4 Technologies to Support Workplace Flexibility

The nature of work has changed dramatically as a result of COVID-19. Before the pandemic, only 7% of professionals had the option to work remotely.1 Now, 82% of companies plan to offer workplace flexibility options,2 25% of professional positions in the US are projected to be fully remote in 2022, and that number is expected to rise throughout 2023.3

As a result, workplace flexibility options have become vital for attracting talent, with up to 70% of job seekers rejecting positions that are solely onsite.4 And as millennials who were raised on internet-enabled technology come to comprise the dominant majority of the global workforce—rising to 75% by 20255—workplace flexibility will become a standard prerequisite for in-demand job seekers. In turn, businesses will need to offer superior remote capabilities in order to attract top talent and remain competitive in their market.

Communications Capabilities Are Key for Remote and Hybrid Work

The major benefit of onsite work was connectivity. Having people physically together in one place was seen as the only way to facilitate effective, real-time collaboration between employees and management. Unified communications platforms combine inbound and outbound messaging, calls, conferencing, and more, bridging the gap between on- and off-site workers, employers, and even customers. But not all unified communications platforms are created equally, and specific technological elements are more important for supporting hybrid and remote workforces.

1. Cloud-Based Unified Communications

Unified communications offer the ability for team members to connect and collaborate on a variety of channels. While there are on-site and hybrid options for unified communications, cloud-based unified communications as-a-service (UCaaS) platforms are generally superior for supporting remote workers. If they have an internet connection, they can utilize the same communications functionalities as an employee onsite. Additionally, cloud-based platforms enable businesses to quickly deploy and scale their communications while offering the ability to easily integrate future communications technologies as they arise. 

MVP™ is RingCentral’s flagship UCaaS platform and is one of the most well-used around the world. At a high-level, it can provide internal and external calling, instant messaging, video conferencing, and a number of add-ons and integrations, such as RingCentral for Microsoft Teams—all in one platform.

As a part of RingCentral’s partnership with Mitel, these functionalities are available on Mitel’s PBX phone systems, enabling workers to switch between their desktop phones, computers, and mobile devices. This offers a cohesive, fully-supported experience for a variety of workplace flexibility scenarios.

2. Video Collaboration

Video conferencing has become one of the most critical elements to facilitate remote collaboration, growing 350% in usage from pre-pandemic levels.6 Considering this importance, it’s vital to select a full-featured solution, and RingCentral MVP’s video meeting suite is among the most robust in the industry. At its core, MVP offers HD quality, fully secure, cross-device video meetings with up to 200 participants. But, MVP’s video collaboration capabilities go far beyond conferencing.

MVP’s video calls are backed by artificial intelligence (AI) that provides detailed meeting insights and transcriptions, creating records and documentation to leverage the utility of every video meeting well after it has concluded. Additional tools such as digital whiteboards, breakout rooms, and webinar capabilities enable businesses to tailor video collaboration to specific team and project needs.

3. Messaging

Video meetings have become the best alternative to gathering in the conference room, but there are many situations where team members need to connect on the fly outside of calls, conferencing, and email. RingCentral MVP’s integrated messaging suite allows team members to communicate instantly across devices and share files without size limitations.

MVP’s integration of project management tools with messaging offers a greater degree of support for hybrid and remote working. Users can create teams to tackle projects and assign tasks on individual or team levels, establishing the coordination and accountability to drive productivity.

4. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Tools

Whereas cloud-based, unified communications provide the ability for teammates to work effectively together remotely, a CRM extends that capability to work with customers. Salesforce is the world’s leading CRM platform, for good reason. It provides the tools for businesses and teams to unify and automate sales, marketing, and customer service initiatives. 

Salesforce is a critical solution for remote and hybrid work because it provides a personalized customer experience through the cloud. Sales teams, marketing teams, customer service teams, and management can use various Salesforce tools to effectively manage customer relationships no matter where they and the customer are located.

RingCentral MVP integrates seamlessly with Salesforce, which means these capabilities can also be leveraged both remotely on mobile devices and computers, as well as on Mitel desktop phones in the office.

Ensure That Your Business Has Robust Support for Workplace Flexibility

Even if your business does not welcome the prevalence of workplace flexibility, the reality remains that it is now an inexorable part of most professional work around the world. Ensuring that your business can effectively and efficiently support workplace flexibility will offer a competitive advantage for employee recruitment and retention for the foreseeable future.

1 https://www.bls.gov/ncs/ebs/
2 https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2020-07-14-gartner-survey-reveals-82-percent-of-company-leaders-plan-to-allow-employees-to-work-remotely-some-of-the-time
3 https://www.forbes.com/sites/bryanrobinson/2022/02/01/remote-work-is-here-to-stay-and-will-increase-into-2023-experts-say/?sh=1285e69320a6
4 https://www.cnbc.com/2021/11/02/businesses-without-flexible-work-miss-up-to-70percent-of-job-candidates-hr-experts-say.html
5 https://www.mitel.com/blog/accommodating-tomorrows-workforce-and-customers
6 https://www.ipctech.com/optimizing-meetings-in-the-hybrid-workplace/

Have an Expert Ensure That Remote Work Works for Your Business

While the four technologies covered above are the most important places to begin, there are a number of advanced considerations, including employee productivity monitoring, that depend entirely on your business’s unique needs. Reach out to have our experts develop the infrastructure to support both workplace flexibility and your overall business goals.