Overall productivity gains have been slow over the last two years. In 2016 and 2017, the U.S. experienced an average yearly increase in output per hour of just 1 percent. This comes despite the fact that we have seen many technological advancements and numerous enterprise communications solutions recently come to market.
A major reason why businesses are struggling to increase productivity is that they are investing in disparate technologies that tend to distract and overload workers, rather than boost their output. Oftentimes, employees spend more time moving between apps than accomplishing actual work.
Just because a solution is digital, in other words, doesn’t mean that it’s guaranteed to help your business grow, and so it’s important to be discerning about the tools you allow employees to use on a daily basis. It’s better to think strategically about the technologies that are making their way into your organization.
Top Productivity Trends That We Recommend:
10. Enhanced Presence Management
Tracking down fellow employees continues to be a top productivity killer. This is especially true in distributed environments, where employees are separated from one another. To reduce time waste, businesses are now leveraging technologies that feature enhanced presence management. This technology allows employees to set status updates so that other workers can see their availability. This can save time and expedite issue resolution.
9. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI is one of the most powerful emerging technologies that businesses are using to boost productivity. And looking forward, it’s clear that AI will continue to be at the forefront of this field. According to research conducted by Accenture, AI has the power to increase productivity by 40 percent or more by 2035. AI can help with numerous processes, ranging from cybersecurity and data protection to helping employees prioritize decision making. As we look forward to a future dominated by big data, AI will also be crucial for sorting through complex data sets and identifying key trends and opportunities.
8. Global Connectivity
International organizations are especially susceptible to network downtime. Unplanned network errors can lead to prolonged outages and project delays, making it nearly impossible to communicate and collaborate as a team. To prevent downtime from happening, businesses are outsourcing their connectivity to third-party providers offering direct access to powerful and robust global networking services. This makes it possible to leverage high-quality international points of presence (PoPs), without having to manage or maintain them.
7. Video Conferencing
Between 36 million and 56 million meetings are held in the U.S. every single day. The American workforce, in other words, is losing a tremendous amount of time simply by getting together and exchanging information. Having an in-person meeting requires stopping what you are doing, physically moving to a conference room, and staying put until it’s over. Video conferencing has become a widely accepted alternative, especially for large enterprises with offices all over the country or the world. Video conferencing eliminates expensive travel and offers a viable way for employees to share information and collaborate as a group. It’s a time-saving and productivity-enhancing technology that every company should be leveraging.
6. Full Autonomy
Many organizations are abandoning top-down business models in favor of autonomous strategies that let employees manage themselves. This has been proven to increase worker happiness and improve productivity. If employees have access to the right tools and are capable of working on their own, autonomy can be a tremendous asset to an organization. It can also boost a business’s reputation by creating a flexible, employee-centric environment.
5. Enterprise Mobility
Businesses are now mobilizing to enable employees to work from any location, at any time. New enterprise communications solutions make it possible to quickly and securely access voice, messaging, and data sharing services over the internet. This boosts productivity across the board, allowing employees to work from home offices, airports, hotel rooms, and conferences.
4. CRM Integration
Sales teams work best when agents have direct access to pre-populated fields of customer data. For this reason, businesses are integrating their customer relationship management (CRM) systems with their phone systems. This guarantees that agents have access to updated information during every call. It’s also a great way to put data to use. Instead of having information sit in backend systems, data can instead be used to drive sales and improve the customer experience.
According to a new study, landline phones will be obsolete by 2020. Businesses are overwhelmingly embracing VoIP, improving voice services, and receiving a variety of productivity-enhancing call management solutions. VoIP, for instance, can be augmented with multiple levels of failover, caller ID routing, inbound cloud-based call recording, and more. Using VoIP, agents can be much more effective in their inbound and outbound strategies.
It’s important to realize that enterprise voice and communications apps aren’t guaranteed to perform well on their own. Data needs to be properly managed so that it flows evenly across the network. Without a system in place to ensure this, employees can be left stranded without the tools that they need to do their jobs. Software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) allows administrators to establish policies and control traffic as it flows across an enterprise network. With SD-WAN, it’s possible to ensure that critical communications solutions have the resources they need to operate soundly.
1. Unified Communications (UC)
This is where it all comes together. UC involves integrating a variety of enterprise communication services like chat, voice, presence, and mobility into one centralized hub. UC can run either in the cloud or as a hybrid setup with an on-site edge device. UC eliminates time waste and results in better overall experiences for end users and customers. As an added bonus, network administrators can eliminate shadow IT using UC. By taking this approach, it’s easier to see which tools employees are using on a daily basis — and to update them on a regular basis.