To improve your workplace productivity, you first have to identify the barriers to that productivity. For many businesses, the systems employees use to communicate are cumbersome and difficult to integrate with one another. If workers must constantly jump between phone systems, video conferencing, email inboxes, and chat rooms, they waste a lot of their work day on unnecessary, repetitive tasks. This, of course, puts a significant drain on productivity.
Thankfully, this problem has an elegant solution: a Unified Communications (UC) phone system. UC merges the tools people use to collect, store, and communicate information into a single platform. This includes voice and video calling, visual voicemail, chat, email, and conferencing, not to mention smart integrations with business tools like Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM).
When businesses decide to acquire a new phone system, 82 percent adopt UC. At least half of those who take the plunge into UC cite perceived workplace productivity gains as a motivation. And, not surprisingly, 93 percent of them report seeing those benefits realized after deploying a new UC phone system.
It’s easy to see how putting business tools together in a unified system allows teams to automate routine tasks. And it’s easy to see how that helps workers prioritize their time. Now, let’s take a closer look at how individual features of a UC system can boost workplace productivity.
By bringing email, instant messaging/chat, and voicemail onto a single platform, unified messaging enables multi-tasking, which directly increases speed and collaboration. Additionally, it’s estimated that unified messaging saves 25-50 percent on the cost of these services compared to maintaining multiple platforms.
This feature drives faster communication between teammates, facilitating team building even across different locations. This creates an environment where collaboration and creativity can occur more often and less formally.
UC phone systems take the primary function of a phone system—calling—and expand it into a variety of collaboration opportunities. 62 percent of business IT managers found that these collaboration tools are essential to their business. Not only do these tools facilitate remote employment, but they also reduce the time it takes for teams to make decisions and complete projects. This makes businesses more responsive to opportunities and proactive in combating threats.
This feature boosts team building by facilitating meetings remotely. This allows meetings to be held more regularly with more participants while reducing costs by eliminating the need to pay for a separate conferencing service. Additionally, calls can quickly be set up, and additional people can easily be added with dynamic “click and drag” functionality.
Video Calls and Desktop Sharing
These features facilitate robust group collaboration by reproducing the effects of an in-person meeting. They are also easier to schedule and reduce travel costs by around 25 percent.
With advanced interactive voice response (IVR) technology, callers can be in contact with the right person faster and more efficiently than relying on a receptionist or auto-attendant. This increases connection time by as much as 25 percent. As a bonus, having a polished IVR greeting enhances the perceived size and image of a business.
Presence Information and Calendaring
UC presence/status monitoring lets employees know who’s available, both immediately and for planning a meeting. In fact, this is one of the most frequently cited workplace productivity improvements. This functionality means more people can provide input and be involved, and decisions can be arrived at more quickly. UC phone systems can even intelligently use presence information to make smart call queue rules around parameters like who’s available, which job role needs to take the call, etc.
One of the biggest trends in workplace productivity is opening up employment geographically to recruit and retain the best talent. UC supports this trend with robust mobility features that keep teams connected and workplace productivity high. UC phone systems typically offer powerful mobile apps that function as both a mobile dashboard and a mobile softphone, allowing users to utilize the full power of their phone system—including their personal extension—regardless of where they are. These apps allow users to be more available to their colleagues, partners, and customers, which accounts for a productivity improvement of up to 10 percent.
The right phone system makes all the difference.
The numbers speak for themselves. Among Eastern Management Group survey participants, businesses adopting UC on average experienced a 52 percent improvement in workplace productivity and a 45 percent increase in business efficiency, which translated into a 25 percent increase in operating profit. Meanwhile, adopting a UC phone system can also reduce communications costs by 50 percent compared to legacy phone systems.
UC increases workplace productivity by facilitating better and easier communication among team members and with customers. Its features improve the efficiency and speed with which tasks are accomplished, while providing the opportunity for productive multi-tasking and the development of interpersonal relationships. If you are wondering if UC is the right tool for your business, Digital Agent can help you find the best phone system to keep you moving forward.
All of the statistics found in this article can be found in the Eastern Management Group’s report outlining their research into the effect of UC on workplace productivity.
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