A recent article in CMS Wire, “Remote Work: What We’ve Gained and What We’ve Lost,” offers some food for thought about our current state of workplace collaboration. Along the way, it explores three advantages of remote work:

  • People can participate in conversations when they choose
  • Opportunity for equal participation
  • Cross-department interaction can be more widely enjoyed than it is when on site


Benefits of the Traditional Workplace

But as the last part of its title indicates, the article also looks at the benefits to being on-site at the physical workplace, including:

  • Casual conversation, which leads to personal trust
  • Spontaneous collaboration, leading to problems being solved sooner than if we worked in isolation
  • Cross-department interaction that breaks down silos and allows for mutual understanding of shared company goals

The end of this brief piece makes some solid recommendations for the future of work:

  • Set the example of two-way communication by having the leadership team host town halls.
  • Encourage people to interact with and learn about other parts of the business. In this way they can feel more vested in the outcome of the company and understand their role in success.
  • Create a digital workforce that works in harmony.


How UCC Solutions Benefit Us at Work and Home

As I wrote in my recap of a recent Zoomtopia session, collaboration solutions are improving the work experience wherever we are. When staff slowly get back into the office, even if just on a part-time basis, their unified communications and collaboration (UCC) solutions will be just as important to supporting productivity, engagement, and safety.

When we can’t be in close quarters because of social distancing requirements, we can still collaborate in the same office. The UCC application you use at your desktop — be it Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex Teams, Zoom, or another app — will allow you to video conference, share files, and annotate documents in real time with your colleagues. You may not be able to peer over each other’s shoulders as we still work through the pandemic. But being in the same office and having the ability to safely collaborate provides great advantages. That’s because you feel re-engaged with your colleagues because you can see them. And you can work safely with one another, mutually safeguarding your well-being.

Of course, we’ve already experienced the benefits of UCC as we work from home. We can see how it makes us all equal on the screen, undermining the pecking order that sometimes develops in a traditional meeting room. And these applications are giving us many ways to interact with one another on projects. We can instantly tap into each other’s knowledge, share documents, and collaborate through real-time whiteboarding.

And UCC solutions will continue to show their value as we choose other remote locations from which to work. For more on the hybrid workplace, be sure to read “CIOs Talk Future of Work at Zoomtopia.”