Today's employees want to work differently. That desire motivates companies around the world to explore collaborative communications platforms. In a global survey by Ovum Research, over 2,000 IT buyers and leaders surveyed said that Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC) tools are critical to business success. This technology is also important in the battle to retain a diverse and talented workforce, including remote workers and digital natives from all generations and backgrounds.
The following trends in mindset and technology are defining what modern collaboration looks like, and what leading IT executives need to provide to keep their workforce happy!
Don't Call Me, Text Me.
Compared to previous generations, fewer millennials and Gen Z'ers enjoy talking on the phone. In fact, if given the choice, 75% of millennials would give up their ability to talk on the phone to keep the ability to text. Their social skills developed through text interactions and mobile chat apps, rather than on the phone or in-person conversations. They are used to a communication type that gives them the ability to respond on their own time, thoughtfully, instead of reacting instantly the way a phone call requires.
These expectations are obvious when you look at behavior trends in the workplace. Our recent research shows that 92% of Millennial and Gen Z employees (ages 18-34) use instant messaging chat tools while at work - compared to just 51% of employees above the age of 55. More companies are looking to provide robust messaging applications at work to align with this 'text-first' mindset of the newer generations.
All-In On Video Calls.
Despite the preference for texting, this demographic also acknowledges the value of maintaining face-to-face contact. They simply want to retain control over the contact they have with others. Technology solves that dilemma. This workforce mindset has led companies to seek out video conferencing tools. These visual meeting tools let workers conduct client and company meetings from any location. Video calls also facilitate quick check-ins or short collaborative sessions between office-based workers and others who work remotely.
A phone conference doesn't allow for sharing visuals such as screens and presentations during the meeting the way a video call does. Also, the on-screen presence helps everyone stay focused on the meeting rather than succumbing to the distracting allure of phones and laptops.
Working On My Own Terms.
Millennials aren't the only group influencing the way companies design their work environment. Workers in all age groups see the benefits in working remotely and using flextime. That freedom creates balance and focus while motivating people to produce more meaningful work.
That's why companies need technology that will empower their talent work, connect and collaborate from anywhere. Turning to UCC lets companies deliver that work environment, allowing workers to choose what device or channel they want to use. For example, they might prefer a landline when working from home or a smartphone to connect while traveling.
Many workers today view collaborative communication technology as a work partner that takes over mundane, time-consuming tasks and lets them accomplish more meaningful work. UCC technology is often driven by AI to help workers get more done.
When some of their responsibilities become automated, employees can achieve the desired balance between work and the rest of their lives. AI-enabled tools can schedule and transcribe meetings, compile data and reports, and send emails.
The Modern Workforce Mindset.
Investing in technology benefits everyone in the company, which then impacts external audiences like customers, prospects and investors through better service, solutions and profits.
The right technology pays dividends in the form of greater retention rates. Employees are more satisfied when you provide them with a work environment that resonates with their preferences, while enabling purposeful work, personal connections and individual control. In return, your company reaps the rewards by keeping the best talent available.