Savvier than ever, the modern workforce is equipped for a new dawn of business operations. According to Gartner, 74 per cent of employees consider themselves as an expert or proficient in digital technology, leaving the door wide open to opportunity. Laptops and devices are built with a mobile worker in mind, and internet connections are increasingly reliable and pervasive.
As such, the scene is set for a new generation of flexible worker, with half the US workforce adopting this approach. Yet new research demonstrates that only 8.7 percent of job vacancies offer some degree of flexibility.
So why does this reluctance exist at the advertisement stage? One could argue that this is down to our natural sense that the strongest rapports are built through face-to-face interactions. In fact, ninety percent of an interaction is unspoken; 60 percent of all human communication is body language, whilst 30 percent is tone.
If you can’t see who you are talking with, how can you trust what they are saying? Let alone convert a sale. Akin to a game of poker, if you can’t see a person’s body language it makes it quite difficult to detect how receptive they are to your statements and thus where to take the conversation next. People tend to buy from other people, as such, this is the foundation on how business is done.
So how can organisations embrace a change in working culture, whilst ensuring the way that staff communicate with their colleagues, customers and prospects isn’t hindered when operating remotely?
The priority is to understand how technology can help flexible workers be just as productive, and maintain crucial relationships, both in and outside the office. According to a recent BlueJeans report, approximately three quarters (72 percent) of employees believe that live video has the potential to transform the way they communicate at work.
Looking at the role of live video in the modern workplace, the study also found that 36 percent want to see live video used more over other methods such email (27 percent), instant messaging (26 percent) and phone calls (24 percent) as they believe it will create stronger relationships and even reduce the volume of daily emails. What this highlights is that employees want to transform the way they are working and communicating. So there is no time like the present for businesses to sit up, take notice and implement video communications technologies.
Live video meetings can occur at any time of day, irrespective of location, at minimal cost. And in most cases businesses won’t even need to purchase new equipment to benefit from the latest video technology. With the option to upcycle old equipment and implement cloud based solutions, the workforce is then able to be cast anywhere around the globe, whether it be for a meeting in Asia or just down the road.
Technologies are evolving at rapid speed, making a mobile workforce a reality. But human contact still reigns supreme and is unlikely to fade. The key to business success is understanding how to marry the two, so that the future of communications in your enterprise continues to seamlessly transition into a digital and productive future.
James Campanini is VP EMEA at Blue Jeans
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