How to Choose the Right Collaboration Tools for Your Business

Author: Kelley Donald - MarCom/Tuesday, September 29, 2020/Categories: Business Internet

Driven by the pandemic, the work-from-home trend continues. Between 62 and 64% of the U.S. workforce currently works remotely, according to two independent studies. The potential exists for Americans to continue working from home, as 56% of U.S. employees have job descriptions conducive to remote work, even under normal circumstances.

Additionally, more than half of Americans would prefer not to return to the office. A Gallup poll stated that 59% of U.S. workers who worked remotely during the pandemic wish to continue doing so. Another study discovered that 99% of workers would like to work remotely as least some of the time.

Now and in the future, small to mid-size enterprise business owners may need to upgrade collaboration tools to support workers who are connecting through their home internet plans to virtual private networks (VPNs).

What Should Businesses Look for in Collaboration Tools

More businesses are shifting to unified communications (UC). This term refers to bringing a company’s communications tools under one umbrella. UC collaboration tools integrate video conferencing, voice, text, data sharing, telepresence, email, and mobile communications.

When choosing a UC platform, take into account factors such as the:

  • Growing use of smartphones and smaller screens to increase productivity on the go
  • Popularity of communications platforms like Slack
  • Prevalence of VoIP systems over traditional phone lines

Also, keep in mind that videoconferencing sits directly behind face-to-face meetings as the second favorite form of communication in the workplace, surpassing email and traditional phone calls.

The American workforce is ready for unified communications tools they need to be more productive. However, more tools may not necessarily indicate widespread adoption of those tools across your organization.

For instance, one study of Microsoft Teams users indicated that 96% of users still used email to communicate with people outside their organization, and only 33% had started integrating Teams for the same purpose.

However, implemented correctly and with the right training, UC tools can lead to seamless collaborations and increased productivity. When businesses choose a platform, there are a few features they should look for.

Collaboration Tools That Scale Affordably with Your Company

UC provides affordable, scalable platform options. Choose one that allows you to pay per user based on the functionality you need.

Provide Integration with The Apps You Use

When you’re looking for a unified communications platform, look for one that integrates with the apps you use every day, including:

  • Productivity apps
  • Project management platforms
  • CRMs like Salesforce
  • Collaborative tools like Microsoft Office or Google Drive

UC should enhance your productivity, not hinder it. File-sharing capabilities and the technology to make changes in real-time while discussing those changes via instant messaging, telepresence, or video conferencing makes all the difference with a remote workforce.

Look for Tools That Enable Seamless Communication

Whether you need screen sharing, virtual private chat rooms for small-group brainstorming, or the ability to transition from one device to another for workers on the go, your unified communications platform should provide these capabilities.

HD Voice and Video for a Better Connection

The pandemic has not been easy for anyone forced to transition to video calls. It’s even worse when you can’t hear the person on the other end or when the video lags. Crystal-clear HD voice and video make collaboration more enjoyable — and more productive.

Choose a Platform Based on Industry-leading Technology

Small to mid-size enterprise businesses relying on a remote workforce need rock-solid reliable technology. Consolidated Communications provides business broadband and business wifi service you can rely on.

Our ProConnect Unified Communications platform is equally robust. Running through your business ISP, ProConnect gives you the remote collaboration tools you need. Your business phones, voicemail, email, video messaging, telepresence, instant messaging, and more all run through the same platform for:

  • Cost-savings
  • Reliability
  • Better integration
  • Increased productivity

Whether you’re looking for business phone service, business WiFi service, or unified communications collaboration tools, Consolidated Communications can help. Reach out today to learn more about our ProConnect platform.

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