The proliferation of remote and hybrid work has given many professionals greater control over their work and personal lives. In fact, 75% of workers feel they have a better work-life balance when compared to traditional on-location roles.1 But for businesses, supporting this model of work comes at a cost. It has become essential to adopt a host of new technologies for employees to collaborate remotely. The larger the teams and more complex the projects, the greater the need for more robust solutions.
But as we all know, these technologies aren’t free. With the multitude of communication platforms, add-ons, services, and license fees, costs can balloon without a judicious approach to selection. So here are the top ten collaboration solutions for your employees to get the job done together, regardless of where they work.
1. Collaborative Leadership
As opposed to the traditional top-down management style where leaders and employees are in silos, collaborative leadership relies on leaders and employees working together across sectors.2 This management style leverages the different skills and perspectives of an organization’s entire leadership and workforce and is credited with driving innovation and boosting performance.
It’s not only free, it offers a massive potential boost to productivity.3 Not only that, but collaborative leadership will leverage the effectiveness and ROI of any collaboration technologies that an organization adopts.
“86% of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures.”4
2. Instant Messaging with Presence Awareness
There are a multitude of one-to-one messaging apps, and many include a robust set of features. Among those features, company-wide presence awareness is rarely highlighted in marketing but is extremely powerful. A solution like Mitel MiCollab shows all active and available employees, enabling people to quickly connect with the best teammate or teammates for the job. Contact center agents, in particular, can benefit from this feature, enabling them to quickly and easily find the best available subject matter expert to help a customer.5
3. Virtual Workspaces
A major drawback of remote and hybrid work is the difficulty or even inability for a team to easily gather in a conference room to brainstorm and solve problems. Luckily, there are a number of options for virtual workspaces where team members can collaborate in real-time. One option is Mitel MiCollab, which enables the creation of workspaces arranged by team, topic, or any number of considerations. Participants in MiCollab workspaces can seamlessly communicate via group messaging, voice calls, and video.6
Another option is RingCentral MVP, which offers a messaging suite with similar workspace creation but also provides additional tools. The most notable for collaboration is Team Huddle, which provides video meeting rooms that participants can enter and leave at will, offering a true digital alternative to the physical conference room.
4. Advanced Attribute Routing
Speaking of contact centers, advanced skills-based routing offers a higher level of collaboration automation, building on top of agent proficiency and skills-based routing.7 A great example of this is a new feature of RingCentral’s Customer CX, which enables numerous attributes to be assigned to a single agent. This enhances the accuracy of routing decisions and eliminates the need for complex interactive voice response (IVR) logic.
5. Find Me / Follow Me
This describes the ability to receive calls at any location (“Find Me”) and to receive those calls on multiple phones (“Follow Me”) in a designated sequence.8 While this is not a new technology, several unified communications solutions providers, including Mitel and RingCentral, enable this on desktop and mobile devices. This feature has always been a critical collaboration tool for sales teams but is helpful for any organization with key personnel in remote or hybrid roles.9
6. Seamless Video Launch
Video calls and conferences have become the stand-in for in-person meetings, rising more than 250% in frequency from 2020 to 2021.10 While there are a number of video conferencing platforms with various features and tools, the ease of launching a video call is vital for efficient collaboration. Both Mitel MiCollab and MiTeams Meetings enable seamless one-click video calls from chat. For RingCentral users, an app integration called Chilli Pepper automatically creates a RingCentral Video meeting link whenever a meeting is booked.
7. Advanced Supervisor Tools and Analytics
As discussed in this article, measuring the productivity of remote workers is a challenge for many businesses. And if supervisors have difficulties evaluating their employees’ performance, they won’t be able to identify and solve challenges that relate to collaboration. For contact centers, RingCentral’s Customer CX offers a new supervisor experience app that breaks down each agent’s performance across channels in one dashboard on any device.
In terms of analytics, detailed measurement of business-wide performance metrics can enable leaders to enhance all facets of operations that affect collaboration. For example, Mitel Business Analytics provides a detailed analysis of business communications in a pay-as-you-use pricing model that helps keep costs down.
8. Robust and Reliable Voice Calls
Despite the proliferation of communications technologies, many people still feel that hopping on a phone call is the best way to sort out an issue.
Preferred Communication After Purchase
Additionally, with the volume of emails, instant messages, and video conferences that most professionals field every workday, phone calls can help reduce app fatigue.11
There are various ways to facilitate business audio calls, including traditional landlines, VoIP, cloud-based VoIP, and more. Whatever solution a business chooses for calls should offer excellent call quality and reliability. Even today, advanced desk phones like the Mitel 6900 Series provide the highest levels of audio clarity, and integration with specific unified communications platforms and serve as a backstop if advanced communications go down.
What Specific Collaboration Solutions Should You Use?
As you can see, there are a variety of platforms, apps, and integrations to choose from. Which specific offerings are the most useful and cover the most ground at the lowest price point depends entirely on your business’s customers, workforce, needs, and goals. Additionally, technical considerations like network assessments will factor into which solution or solutions will offer the best bang for the buck.
Improve Your Team Collaboration, Schedule a Consultation with IPC
We improve the way companies collaborate through omnichannel technology to create seemless teamwork. Have an expert on your side to ensure your collaboration capabilities are as effective and cost-efficient as possible.
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