Managing the Unbound Workforce

Photo credit: iStockphoto/Ridofranz

The workplace dynamic has changed. The new landscape has created new challenges for business owners including ensuring business continuity, employee engagement and retention, and how to best accommodate workers in the modern working environment.

In this ever-changing economy, many business owners are looking to new technologies to accommodate how and where their employees work. Thanks to technological breakthroughs like smartphones, laptops and Wi-Fi, remote working has become increasingly seamless and efficient. The current pandemic has seen many businesses reduce their office space permanently, cutting costs in outlays like rent and furniture.

This shift has created new challenges and benefits for the workforce; on one hand, employees now have the option to work from their preferred location, which can support a healthy work-life balance. On the other hand, inadequate and unreliable technology can make working remotely a challenge. Businesses need to ensure they’re equipping employees with the right tech to collaborate with one another from anywhere while simultaneously meeting the ever-growing demands of customer service.

Collaboration is integral to so many businesses, as it’s no longer viable to rely on everyone being in the same room to execute it effectively. Advancing office technology, like videoconferencing and audio-tech, bridges the gap between a need for collaboration and the need to work from home. To keep employees healthy, productive and engaged, business leaders must respect this balance.

So, what tools can they use?

Using videoconferencing and audio-tech to transform collaboration

Video and audio-technology are the gifts that keep on giving. While simultaneously reducing the need for office space, video conferencing has enabled seamless online collaboration between employees and partners. Likewise, audio-technology has enabled employees to join discussions from anywhere, making working remotely an inclusive and collaborative experience.

With workforces across industries either unable to return to the office or slowly returning to workplaces, global businesses and service organizations alike are forced to look at innovative ways to collaborate in this ‘new normal’. And one thing is clear — social distancing will remain a top priority for all, globally.

Therefore, business leaders are relying on video and audio technology to support day-to-day operations. The difficulty of online collaboration has been eased with recent advancements, including the latest multi-camera arrays that offer an unprecedented 180-degree field of view — helping to ensure social distancing is maintained in-meeting — and enterprise headsets that feature a Skype for Business certification. With these new technologies, employees can host all-inclusive meetings and reap the benefits of unified collaboration tools.

Show me the money: tech and ROI

At a micro level, embracing video and audio collaboration tools provides immediate and obvious benefits to the workforce by supporting employee engagement as they ‘work from anywhere’. When looking at the bigger picture, however, intelligent video systems with cloud AI and locally based edge AI technology can provide large-scale benefits. Organizations can not only collate massive data lakes but also analyze the data and get actionable insights in real-time.

The modern workforce is no longer bound by a physical office location. Employees are now choosing to work from home-offices or anywhere with a Wi-Fi connection. In this new environment of social distancing, collaborative technology is crucial to ensure employees are engaged and productive — regardless of their location. Happy employees will help ensure a positive experience for the end-customer, further impacting the bottom line.

The traditional office setting is transforming at a rapid pace. While this change can be challenging, it creates new opportunities to streamline business operations. With the right technology, businesses can not only stay ahead of the game but also cut costs, boost engagement and retain happy employees.

David Piggott, managing director at Jabra ANZ, authored this article. 

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of HR&DigitalTrends. Photo credit: iStockphoto/Ridofranz