Unified Communications Featured Article

UC Helps Companies Avoid Productivity Black Holes

July 28, 2016

While we’re all familiar with the non-work related productivity erasers – Facebook, Fantasy Football, text messaging friends, shopping online and a million other activities – fewer companies are aware of the kind of productivity-wasting roadblocks employees run into when they’re actually trying to work.

In many companies, unnecessary and redundant tasks, duplicate data entry, disparate databases full of knowledge, old software or computers and endless, pointless meetings are usually the cause of time wasting. But another less obvious area where productivity is wasted is in trying to communicate, according to a recent article by Blair Pleasant writing for Business2Community.

“Finding and reaching people – as well as communicating and collaborating effectively — can be a daunting task requiring a myriad of tools and interfaces,” wrote Pleasant. “According to a Fonality/Google Consumer Survey, productivity sinkholes waste valuable time and prevent workers from being as effective as possible. The survey found that respondents waste an average of more than two hours (2 hours 12.5 minutes) on tasks that negatively impact productivity, including trying to reach people who aren’t available, playing phone tag, or sending emails that go unanswered.”

Cloud-based unified communications (UC) are specifically designed to raise productivity by eliminating the roadblocks and redundant tasks that prevent efficient enterprise communications. Thanks to the presence feature of UC, workers can visually note when others are available or unavailable, or how they can be reached. This eliminates the need to try multiple telephone numbers and leave multiple messages on communications media the called party may (or may not) be checking on a regular basis. Workers can also designate how they wish to be communicated with at any time (text instead of a voice call, for instance), which cuts out the guesswork that is required with traditional enterprise communications.

UC goes further in that it provides collaboration tools that help employees communicate better when they do make a connection, according to Pleasant.

“Click to dial lets users simply click on a name or telephone number to place a call or initiate an audio, web, or video conference,” she wrote. “With the ability to share files during an audio, web, or videoconference, teams and workgroups can better work together as a distributed virtual team, efficiently communicating and sharing information.”

For many companies that have implemented cloud-based unified communications, the results have been dramatic. They have cultivated enhanced employee productivity; improved customer service with higher customer loyalty and retention; faster problem resolution; better communication with partners, suppliers and customers; shorter product development cycles; and faster time to market.

Think about it: the Fonality survey found that workers (on average) spend 36.8 minutes each day trying to contact customers, partners or colleagues. They waste an additional 27.7 minutes a day duplicating communications with multiple channels, which not only wastes time, it raises the risk of errors becoming a permanent part of the system. That’s over an hour each day when customer support personnel, sales professionals, back-office workers and others could be supporting and selling your organization’s goals. 

Edited by Alicia Young

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