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Cloud collaboration benefits: Flexibility wins over free lunch

By Karin Kelley

February 22, 2017

Before telecommuting technologies actually worked well, companies took different approaches in an attempt to increase office productivity. One common strategy was to harness the power of the stomach, because who doesn’t want a free lunch? About 15 pounds and 10 hours later, has productivity increased, or just the cost to replace keyboards and computers destroyed by bits of lasagna?

Employees today, especially millennials, have come to expect the comfort and convenience of working from anywhere, and from whatever device they choose. On the flip side, businesses expect workers to be always “on” in the cloud, often working at odd hours, particularly in a more global operation. Regardless of how you look at it, the benefits of cloud collaboration, including video conferencing, are becoming more evident every day, and this idea is catching on. In 2006, for instance, 60 percent of companies started offering teleworking as on option, as opposed to 20 percent in 1996.

Don’t miss out on cloud collaboration benefits 

Employers, listen to this one, according to a recent Gallup survey, engaged employees tend to outperform their competitors by 147 percent. 

New advancements in cloud collaboration technologies can dramatically make a difference. Workers are simply more productive when working remotely rather than being tethered to their desks — even with the free food. They’re also less likely to take a sick day if they can work from home wearing their pajamas if they feel under the weather. Not only that, but they won’t incur the nasty looks their colleagues direct to them when they’re coughing and sneezing all over the workplace.

By giving employees the flexibility to balance their work and personal lives, morale increases significantly, and employers can also reduce overhead, as their workers will be using their own devices on external networks that someone else is paying for. And, since highly skilled workers are increasingly hard to come by these days, a qualified applicant will, more often than not, seek out a job that offers schedule and location flexibility.

Cloud collaboration has grown up

Most of us have experienced being on a less-than-optimal video conference call with mumbled voices, awkward introductions and the continual “Hello? hello? Can you hear and see me?” However, current video-conferencing technologies have come a long way, enabling a remote workforce to enjoy better video and sound quality.

Businesses can also deploy hosted multipoint video conferencing systems that allow teams to dial into a bridge line from multiple devices, including a desktop video phone, browser, or mobile or telepresence device. Point-to-point video calling enables users to connect video-enabled IP desk or mobile phones, and cross-platform telepresence room integration provides video-conferencing capabilities that work with multiple PBX and phone systems, as well as mobile devices.

Even though there may be those who still place a piece of electrical tape over the camera on their laptops to avoid exposing their pajamas during a video conference, cloud collaboration benefits outweigh any potential drawbacks. Considering that the new workforce is mainly comprised of millennials who are already accustomed to such technologies in their personal lives, businesses need to get on board the telecommuting train by providing employees with more control over where and when they work in order to maximize productivity and keep employees engaged. In fact, most companies will have a tough time convincing talented workers that a free turkey sandwich is worth coming into the office for anymore.

Contact Vonage Business to learn how cloud collaboration can enable better business outcomes for your company.