Chapter 1: Cloud Collaboration Empowers the Flexible Workforce

Competing by Putting Employees First

Attitudes and perceptions about work have changed forever. Businesses have been forced to rapidly embrace a work-from-home model, particularly for knowledge workers who readily pivoted to the new setup. Now, years into the global remote work paradigm, many organizations have a more nuanced appreciation for the benefits of flexible work. Most business leaders acknowledge that remote workers are as productive or more so than their on-site counterparts, and that reducing office real estate and related overhead expenses delivers significant cost savings.

A 2022 global Frost & Sullivan survey of IT/telecom decision makers reveals that hybrid work models will be common in the future:

72 percent

IT/telecom decision-makers report that more than one-fourth of their employees will work remotely, part or full time, in two years.

Survey respondents report three top benefits of remote/flexible work:

43 percent

Reduced costs

41 percent

Increased productivity

39 percent

Greater employee choice/happiness

Still, other business leaders have mandated their employees must return to working on-site. As a result, some eligible workers refuse to return to company locations, often citing the time and cost of commuting as well as greater productivity and job satisfaction when working from home. Certain employees, typically Millennials and Gen Z, are even likely to switch jobs when their employers’ sanctioned practices do not align with their preferred work styles.

Flexible work policies are table stakes for business leaders who recognize the advantages of competing with an engaged, satisfied, and loyal workforce.

73 percent

Organizations place a high priority on flexible and remote work as an employee engagement strategy.

Forward-looking decision-makers are accordingly investing in digital technologies such as cloud services that support remote, hybrid, and onsite workers equally as well as foster employee engagement and personal development.

The Future of Flexible Work Relies Upon a Cloud Foundation

Cloud services adoption is on the rise. Resilient, feature-rich, cloud-based tools are the perfect fit for the new realities of increasingly distributed organizations, fluctuating employee headcount, and broad adoption of bandwidth-intensive solutions. Cloud services also rank high among organizations’ investment priorities as business leaders zero in on enhancing organizational agility and resilience.

75 percent

Consider a cloud strategy crucial to remaining competitive in their industry.

72 percent

Adopted a cloud-first approach for all new applications considered essential to achieving business goals.

The shift to flexible work models has accelerated many organizations’ decisions to migrate their communications and collaboration workloads to the cloud. To enhance agility and meet growing employee demand for flexible work schedules, organizations must build a solid cloud foundation that breaks inefficient internal silos and levels the playing field across job roles, workforce demographics, and physical locations.

Integrated Cloud Communications and Customer Experience (CX) Management Solutions Maximize ROI

Customer centricity begins with a focus on employee engagement. Updated customer experiences and disrupted brand loyalties make it more important than ever that organizations align their resources to jointly create and deliver customer value. Enterprise employees and contact center agents equipped with the right digital tools are well positioned to excel at their tasks with a laser focus on customer satisfaction and retention. The attention to employee engagement and correlated improved customer satisfaction is accelerating upgrades of communications and CX management solutions.

As businesses increasingly move their communications and CX management capabilities to the cloud, many are also integrating these solutions.

74 percent

of organizations either must or would like to integrate CX capabilities with their collaboration tools when adopting a cloud communications solution.

This approach provides both enterprise employees and contact center agents access to a broader arsenal of collaboration tools, which greatly enhances the employee experience and increases job satisfaction.

Effective collaboration across the organization through visibility into co-worker presence status, shared team spaces, or video meetings also enables employees and agents alike to better support an end-to-end customer journey. For IT and telecom administrators, integrated cloud solutions deliver operational efficiencies and the benefits of a consolidated technology roadmap.

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