Various advancements in technology have fundamentally changed how teams collaborate in the workplace. In the past, it was virtually impossible (and very expensive) for a geographically dispersed team to communicate, much less work together on a project. But now, there are seemingly endless technologies and tools that make team collaboration not only possible but also a highly productive and efficient experience.
To understand how technology has vastly reshaped the workplace, let’s take a look at five office tech trends that have significantly transformed how today’s modern workforce collaborates:
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Technology
A big driver of change in businesses communications and team collaboration is Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology. Introduced in 1995, VoIP connects teams using the internet (instead of the traditional copper-based phone network) to send and receive calls. Aside from its affordability, VoIP phone solutions also come with a rich set of collaboration features (such as video conferencing, instant messaging, and file sharing) not available in traditional phone systems. In fact, there are plenty of reasons why businesses switch to VoIP.
Phone system and CRM integration
Another business trend that has improved how teams collaborate is the integration of VoIP phone systems with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. This feature is offered by many VoIP services for free or at a minimal cost. It helps businesses easily gather and merge their information from third party applications (such as Salesforce, SugarCRM, Dropbox, and others) and streamlines information-sharing across teams. These integrations are highly beneficial, especially for those businesses with sales or customer support teams.
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is the practice of allowing employees to bring and use their own devices for work purposes . Previously dubbed as the nightmare of IT departments, BYOD has proven that it isn’t a mere fad but is a legitimate option that brings so many business benefits. And it saves costs and time because companies do not have to buy or train employees with company-owned equipment.
In addition to cutting costs on office equipment, BYOD also increases collaboration in the office. This is because companies that implement a BYOD strategy tend to replace individual cubicles with a more open office layout. This gives employees opportunities to easily meet with colleagues and discuss work matters. BYOD also encourages collaboration outside of the workplace (and beyond the normal 9-5 office hours) because employees are readily available on their own devices. Plus, information is also much more accessible.
For companies with physically dispersed teams, the cloud has become an essential space for storing, sharing, and managing important data and files. Team members no longer have to worry about missing or losing files like traditional offices who still rely on physical documents and storage options. With cloud storage, documents and files are just a click away. Some of the most popular names in cloud storage include Google Drive, Onedrive, Box, and Dropbox, all of which offer affordable options to businesses of all sizes.
These days, there’s an app for almost everything, including your business VoIP phone system. The use of mobile apps for businesses accompany the ever-growing popularity of smartphones. They’re a perfect match for companies that employ sales professionals, telecommuters, and employees who constantly travel because a mobile app helps them stay connected no matter where they are. With just a smartphone or tablet, employees can easily work together even when they’re far apart.
Technology has definitely redefined how teams collaborate. For companies, it pays to know the trends that are changing the modern workplace because the more you know, the faster you can adapt to these trends. And doing so will help you to stay ahead of the competition.