Born between the mid-1990s to early 2000s, what has become dubbed the "millennial generation" now makes up the largest percentage of the workforce in America, surpassing Generation X according to the Pew Research Center. The rapid rise of millennials in the workplace began in the first quarter of 2015, according to the report.
Often described as empowered and highly tech-savvy, millennials are driving digital transformation in every area of the today's workplace, but especially when it comes to communication. Older, legacy communication solutions such as landline phones are shunned in favor of newer, more mobile-friendly tools. Millennials are considered “digital natives”, growing up in an era where the internet, smartphones, and social media are the norm. That said, it is essential for companies to rethink their communication strategy and approach new digital communication tools with an open mind to support and engage their millennial employees.
Communication Preferences of Modern Workers
According to a 2016 Digital Workplace Communications Survey by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Employee Communications Section and APPrise Mobile, digital communication in the workplace has become a priority for some businesses, but the ways that they are being deployed is not necessarily as effective as it could be.
Out of the 250 communication professionals surveyed, 97% answered that email was the most used communication tool in the workplace, followed by the company intranet at 78%. As much as 45% of the respondents also used social collaboration tools in the workplace; while 38% used social media; and 35% used SMS/messaging tools. Meanwhile, a mere 14% answered that they use mobile apps in the workplace, which was ironic considering that over 90% of the respondents believed mobile apps were the most effective communication tool in the workplace.
If the survey tells us anything, it’s that businesses must learn to listen to their employees--millennial or not--to find out which communication tools are most helpful to increase productivity and engagement.
Engaging Millennial Employees through Mobile Apps
In a millennial-dominated work environment, employers and managers cannot afford to ignore the value of mobile apps. Millennials are tethered to their smartphones and tablets like never before, using their devices for everything from planning their day to hailing a ride. Many cloud communication providers understand this, which is why more providers are focusing on their mobile apps to address the needs of the millennial generation.
One of the cloud phone service providers that is helping businesses address the changing needs in the modern workforce through cloud-based and app-based solutions is Line2. Aside from their rich set of voice, PBX, and toll-free services, Line2 also offers a suite of business communication apps available on iOS and Android devices. Most recently, Line2 announced that they are now able to deliver a native calling experience to iPhone users via their mobile app.
"Line2 was the first to support a full separate line on an iPhone app," said Doug Brackbill, the CEO of Line2. "We have built on that innovative foundation by being among the first business service to support MMS for group and photo messaging, Apple Watch, and now native calling and voice initiated messaging with CallKit and Siri, respectively. We continue to provide the most intelligent, business-featured app that works in concert with our desktop apps and our online Dashboard to deliver a complete, virtual business communications solution at an affordable price for small businesses."
Enabled by iOS 10 and CallKit, Line2’s improved calling experience allows users to answer Line2 calls like a regular iPhone call--simply swipe and directly answer calls from the lock screen. Below are some of the additional user benefits that are part of the newly updated Line2 app:
- A native incoming call experience - Answer incoming Line2 calls with a swipe from the lock screen. Users will also be able to determine if it’s a Line2 call (thanks to the visual caller ID), thus helping users separate work and personal calls.
- Seamless call management - Manage incoming calls with little to no disruption to an existing call. Users can also place current calls on hold, or accept, decline or send incoming calls to voicemail.
- Contacts and favorites integration - With one touch, users can choose to use Line2 as the service of choice to call specific Contacts and Favorites.
- Rich features - caller ID, texting, group and photo messaging, iPhone contact integration, advanced call routing (e.g. call screening), and more.
- Bluetooth and headset connectivity - The improved Line2 app also offers enhanced Bluetooth and wired headset support for good user experience and usability.
- Network selection - the app has intelligent technology that selects the best network (Wi-Fi, cell data, cell voice) to complete the call, giving you the best call quality.
Brackbill believes that Line2's new and improved app for iOS will help to empower users, stating:
“With a single touch on their iPhone, Line2 users can answer business calls from customers as easily as personal calls. Line2 is now as easy as the native line, but more powerful than traditional business phones, with apps for all devices, virtual numbers that ring and text everywhere, integrated contacts, and rich calling features in the cloud.”
The updated Line2 app is now available for new and existing customers via the App store and is compatible with the entire suite of iOS 10-capable iPhones and iPads. With Line2, users can be logged into up to 5 diverse devices, calling and texting on any of them, all in sync, which is known as Line2 Everywhere. The app is also available for Android as well.
Bottom Line: Mobile is the Future
The workplace, no doubt, continues to evolve as millennials make their way into the workforce. Business communications, in particular, have transformed over the years as this new breed of workers favors digital communication tools such as mobile and cloud-based or app-based tools over traditional, legacy-based systems. And businesses that have yet to embrace mobile solutions may find themselves at a competitive disadvantage.
Line2 offers an affordable and full-featured business phone service that works on any device, wherever businesses go. The company was founded on the principle of phones and messaging services inevitably being both app and cloud-based. Line2 realizes that phone numbers are no longer tied to a device and therefore should be accessible across all devices, from desktops to mobile phones to wearables. All of their products are designed to support the mobility and separation of work and personal that is fundamental to today's workforce and work-style. Their solutions are ideal for independent professionals and small teams and eliminate the need for expensive hardware and time-consuming set-up. They make business communications simple so you can talk on your terms.