15 Jul The Benefits of UCaaS in the Workplace: Post-Pandemic
The pandemic changed everything about the way we live, and work.
Within a matter of days, countless businesses shut the door to their offices, and remote work became the new norm. Companies had to find a new way to connect with colleagues and customers, in an environment where face-to-face interactions were no longer possible.
UCaaS emerged as one of the critical tools in this digital migration. According to insights from the 2020 state of disruption report, interest in UCaaS increased by 86% during the pandemic. Unified Communications as a Service quickly became the solution for all kinds of interaction in the age of hybrid and remote work.
So, how will UCaaS continue to benefit the workplace post-pandemic?
The Evolution of UCaaS in the Workplace
Now that countless knowledge workers and administration teams are working remotely, UCaaS has played an essential role in providing connectivity, flexibility, and direct support to employees, regardless of their location. Teams who previously relied on in-person meetings and interactions are now using UCaaS to empower all collaboration.
The features most in-demand within the Unified Communication as a Service environment evolved too. Companies increasingly began looking for capable of combining high-quality telephony experiences with collaboration tools, video conferencing, and more. Other features within the UCaaS experience evolved to meet new demands, too, with presence cues indicating when colleagues were available to communicate, and screen and file-sharing tools gaining more attention.
As we head into a future where remote and hybrid work will be the new norm, UCaaS represents an essential step towards a cloud-first environment. For years, companies have been considering the benefits of a cloud, software-focused environment for things like scalability, flexibility, and cost-efficiency. Now, we realise that cloud solutions aren’t just a good opportunity: they’re essential.
Recovering from Disruption: The New Normal
Organisations adopting multiple, unique communications apps discovered that employees found switching between team messaging and video conferencing tools to be super frustrating. Teams operating in a new digital environment need efficiency and speed- benefits that UCaaS has the potential to offer.
Now that businesses are past the initial shock of the pandemic, we can begin to look at the long-term benefits of bringing team members together on an aligned platform. A UCaaS environment will provide today and tomorrow’s hybrid workforce with an all-in-one space for collaboration, communication, and data management. UCaaS solutions promise:
- Cost reductions: Companies with limited budgets following the pandemic can reduce overhead costs with fewer in-person staff members, and consolidate technology requirements into a single, affordable bill.
- Productivity: UCaaS can improve productivity and efficiency by reducing the need for employees to jump between different pieces of software, or various platforms. When teams can collaborate easily, they get more done.
- Administration: UCaaS solutions in the cloud make it easy to provision new tools to team members, upgrade technology, and even fix problems remotely for your staff. It’s much easier to operate a cutting-edge environment when you’re running your tech in the cloud.
- Access to innovative technology: UCaaS companies are increasingly implementing new tools and technology into their systems, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, sentiment analysis, and more. This could be the easiest way for your business to invest in new opportunities.
- Scalability: UCaaS allows your communication strategy to scale and adapt to different needs. This ability to flex and pivot your tech strategy will be essential in a somewhat unpredictable business future.
A Scalable, Remote Workforce
Perhaps the biggest benefit of UCaaS in the modern workplace, is its ability to ensure a consistently scalable, and adaptable workforce for people working from anywhere. Before the lockdowns, only around 4% of people could say they regularly worked from home. Now, studies from Gartner indicate that 74% of companies are planning on permanently shifting to a remote work model after COVID. With UCaaS solutions, companies can finally empower their teams to work just as effectively at home as they do from the office.
This ensures that companies can leverage all the benefits of a remote workforce, from reduced overheads to higher employee satisfaction. What’s more, the ability to switch to a remote workforce will lead to incredible opportunities for business continuity. In a volatile and uncertain environment, businesses will now be ready for any eventuality. One study from PwC found that around 73% of CFOs believe work flexibility will be crucial to preparing for future events that cause disruption.
Preparing for a Hybrid Future
While some companies will continue to enable 100% remote work for employees after the pandemic is officially “over,” most experts agree that hybrid opportunities will define the future. Companies will want a workforce that combines all the benefits of remote work with the advantages of in-person interactions. UCaaS represents the perfect opportunity for a hybrid future because it reduces the risk of operational silos, and segmented teams.
Among the biggest concerns facing companies as they approach the new era of work is that remote employees may eventually become second-class citizens. Any company with experience offering remote work options in the past will know how easy it is to forget about an employee when you’re not seeing them in person.
However, with anywhere up to 50% of the workforce working remotely, today’s homeworkers can’t be out of sight and out of mind. A UCaaS environment which supports every employee (in office or otherwise), will keep everyone consolidated within a single cloud environment. Everyone on your team will be connected in the same communication hub, regardless of their location.
This brings employees together in a more comprehensive cultural environment, where everything can be digitized and aligned. What’s more, it ensures that silos between in-office and remote employees don’t lead to lost information, opportunities, or engagement.
The result of the UCaaS landscape bringing teams together isn’t just the better alignment of information for teams, but a stronger end-to-end view of the business for IT admins and business leaders too. With more avenues connected to each other, it’s much easier to collect meaningful insights and information for future growth.