Where does work happen in your business?

The odds are that more and more work is getting done outside of your actual office. It’s a global trend that shows no sign of slowing down, driven by the advantages of working anywhere and new, exciting technology that makes it possible to be productive no matter where you are.

Employees love it. In fact, remote work and the flexible work schedules it allows are increasingly two of the top requirements for workers – especially younger ones – as they decide who to work for. And in a tight labor market like we are seeing today, a business has to respond to that preference.

And there are clear benefits for employers. Remote workers require less office space and can actually be more productive because they are more engaged. Especially when they have the tools that enable them to do their best work all the time, even when it isn’t from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at an assigned desk on the second floor.

One recent study looked at worker expectations, and concluded that what employees increasingly want is to be able to “accomplish their tasks anywhere they choose, with the ability to focus, meet, collaborate, and share information in the most effective ways possible, along with the flexibility to better control their work-life balance in a diverse, trusting environment.”1

That may seem like it is asking a lot, but not necessarily. The technology is there to meet those employee desires while at the same time letting workers in disparate locations collaborate just as effectively as if they were all gathered in a single meeting room at the same time.

With the right unified communications (UC) and collaboration solution, an organization can enable its employees to work effectively wherever they are and enable them to connect easily with each other, whether those connections are one-on-one communications or small or large group meetings. But how do you find the right solution?

Here is a checklist of eight key things to consider in your work-from-anywhere solution:

  1. Fits any device: You want a solution that can run as an application on all major desktops, laptops, smartphones and tablets and will allow access to business communications and collaboration services from whatever device – company-owned or employee-owned – that you or your people are using at any given time.
  1. Security: In a world of increasing cyber threats, where mobile devices are always potential targets from hackers, you need to know that all your devices and applications will remain secure, and that the system operates over a secure network.
  1. Desktop sharing and collaboration: Unified communications applications streamline the sharing of documents, presentations, spreadsheets, web pages and other content. With the right tools, you can quickly invite employees, customers, partners and suppliers to connect from any device. When everyone can work simultaneously on the same issues, you lower the risk of errors.
  1. Quality voice and video: Good visuals and crisp, clear audio are essential to effective collaboration. Look for a solution that can deliver superior quality not only in one-to-one connections, but also in larger group collaborations with many participants.
  1. Meeting enhancement tools: Instant messaging and presence tools allow users to check each other’s availability before attempting to connect, and let users message each other, share links, engage in side conversations, answer questions, and more without interrupting an ongoing meeting.
  1. Dedicated meeting rooms: Find a solution that offers always-available virtual meeting rooms, dedicated to each user, and you eliminate the need to reserve a conference bridge or deal with bridge numbers and passcodes. Instead, users connect with anyone inside or outside the business via a browser-based client.
  1. Smart assistance: Artificial intelligence-style applications can actually assess the context of a conversation and retrieve appropriate documents for users, giving them the information they need at their fingertips, rather than forcing them to search for information and slow down a conversation or meeting.
  1. SIP trunking support: This offers flexibility and control, enabling a company to link its existing call handling systems with its mobile devices and achieve a uniform, company-wide dialing plan, easily and transparently adding new branches and remote sites.

Sprint’s Smart UC offers all these features and more. As an easy-to-use unified communications suite, it offers the tools that empower a connected workforce, with uninterrupted access to information from anywhere, on any device.

Designed for any size organization, this cloud-based system easily scales up or down as business needs change, and it doesn’t require any capital investment, with a pay-as-you-go approach.