Remote work is the new normal. Even employers who believed that productivity was only possible when employees were in the office have adapted to this reality. Video conferencing and messaging platforms have eased the transition, but there are still many obstacles on the road to remote work nirvana. Poor technology experiences, security concerns, and feelings of isolation and disconnection make it hard for businesses to keep their remote teams successful.
Without proper business communications solutions, organizations struggle to meet the demands of the remote workforce. After months of remote work—and with no real end in sight—many businesses are finally realizing that they need better long-term remote collaboration solutions. Simple, agile collaboration tools can help teams overcome these barriers and stay connected to each other and their customers—wherever they are.
Why you need a business communications strategy
In the not so distant past, business communication solutions primarily consisted of the basics: email, instant messaging, desk telephones, cellphones, and rudimentary web and video conferencing platforms.
But in the era of remote work, the basics are no longer good enough. Businesses that invest in advanced technologies that empower employees to work from anywhere will come out ahead. Forward-thinking companies are providing remote workers with home-office allowances to cover monthly internet and phone expenses or to set up home offices. Having the right communication tools can increase productivity, improve employee satisfaction, and reduce costs by making it easy for remote team members to communicate and collaborate.
But before you adopt any business communications solutions, you should first outline your business communications strategy by defining your needs and establishing boundaries. Being clear about what is important to your organization will help you determine which features, tools, and solutions best fit your organization's unique needs. It requires effort, but if done properly, your business strategy should guide your decision process and inform which tools and solutions to choose.
Business communications solutions for remote collaboration
There is no shortage of solutions that empower remote business team collaboration. But each tool has its own uses.
The modern office is anywhere and everywhere, and team members need to stay connected no matter where they're working. Video conferencing platforms help companies work smarter and make the virtual feel more personal and face-to-face.
Video conferencing platforms should be built for the digital workplace and accessible from mobile devices—not just desktops or laptops. For example, the BlueJeans by Verizon Meetings Smart Meetings feature includes in-app intelligence that captures important discussion points, assigns action items and replays meeting highlights to optimize meeting efficiency.
Voice over Internet Protocol
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calling solutions offer seamless integration and reliability, with business continuity features and mobile flexibility to help small and medium-sized businesses operate like an enterprise.
Remote workers need to be as available during business hours as they are when they're in the office. By leveraging solutions such as Verizon One Talk, a mobile-first business phone service that allows incoming calls to ring at the same time on all devices (smartphones, VoIP desk phones, tablets or computers), businesses large and small can ensure that no calls go unanswered, whether employees are remote, in the office or on the go.
Virtual private networks
The business communications solutions you're using may be elite, but if you're running them on a subpar network, your users' experience will suffer. An outdated network or a network that can't handle your traffic will inhibit productivity and reduce employee satisfaction.
A virtual private network (VPN) securely connects mobile and corporate devices, including laptops, to your organization's internal network. VPN security is ensured by using a provider that isolates data from the public internet, letting your remote employees and your IT department work confidently.
Ensuring that you have the bandwidth capabilities to efficiently manage traffic from all of your remote employees—not to mention your customers—is a critical part of business continuity and ultimately business success, but it's only half the battle. Your remote employees are only as effective as their own remote networks. Bandwidth limits and excess latency can leave even the best of your workforce hamstrung from home. Secure, mobile Wi-Fi solutions like the Verizon Jetpack can give employees the network they need to work combined with agility for their busy lives. For small businesses, solutions like the Jetpack offer an affordable and flexible option for connected work.