So you want flexible workers – but do you have the right collaboration strategy?

Remote working is gradually becoming an acceptable practise in many UK businesses since the government introduced the right to request flexible working as part of the law in June last year. And if new research by Barco and Censuswide is anything to go by, employers are starting to recognise the strong business case for this, with 86% of businesses surveyed indicating a remote working approach was being used within their organisation.

Remote working seems to be high on the agenda, ranking in the top three areas of priority for IT departments, behind data security and network management.

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But despite welcoming mobile working with open arms, the study showed that businesses might not be doing enough to improve productivity in their organisations. In fact, many companies have conflicting strategies in place around unified communications that could be counteracting the productivity benefits of letting employees work from anywhere.

73% of organisations say they still have allocated desks for remote workers, which seems to defeat the point of a strategy designed for space saving.

When asked if a mobile workforce should come with a new approach to collaboration, just over half of those surveyed felt that a unified communication strategy was important, deserving a dedicated budget. They recognised the importance of unified communications implementations to increase productivity (51%), reduce costs (44%) and increase collaboration (27%). Capabilities that have the most impact on effective meeting collaboration are video conferencing quality, wireless access to the company network, and the use of multiple screens.

> See also: One true voice: approaching unified communications

'What is clear from the results is that most companies are on the right track and realise the multiple benefits of having unified communications and a more collaborative workforce, yet there is still much more work to be done for businesses to be able to tap into its full potential,' said a Barco spokesperson.

'It’s time for companies to put more unification into their unifications strategy. There is an appetite for it, and in the future organisations need to tie all aspects of unified communications together. In our experience, selecting the right technology can be key to improving collaboration amongst colleagues – and by harnessing the many advantages of mobile workers and BYOD there can be greater productivity, better staff morale and a far more effective workforce.'

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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