Collaboration is an essential part of workplace productivity. If team members are experiencing barriers to collaboration, it may mean it’s time to adopt a robust unified communications (UC) solution.
Learn how UC can facilitate meaningful collaboration, whether colleagues are located across the hall or across the country from each other.
What Is Unified Communications?
Unified communications refers to a suite of interconnected communications tools. This might include communication channels such as:
- Instant messaging (IM)
- Text messaging
- Voice calls
- Video conferencing
- File sharing
- And more
Because UC tools can also facilitate collaboration, the term is sometimes broadened to unified communications and collaboration (UCC). Especially as more teams become distributed, UCC is booming. In fact, the market grew by more than 29 percent in 2020 alone.
You may also encounter the term unified communication as a service (UCaaS). UCaaS is a cloud-based software platform for unified communications.
How Does Unified Communications Enhance Collaboration?
Let’s look at five ways UC can help your team collaborate more effectively.
1. A Variety of Tools for Every Collaboration Task
A major benefit of UC is the way it brings a variety of communication tools together. This means you can select the communication tool that offers the functionality you need. When it comes to collaborating, this might mean using file and screen sharing to work on a collaborative document together or using instant messaging to informally and quickly share information.
2. Face-to-Face Interactions for Easier Engagement
Written communication and voice calls are valuable and convenient methods of communication in many instances, but in some cases speaking face-to-face is best. Seeing someone’s facial expressions can be especially helpful when you’re working together on a project and want to gauge the other person’s thoughts or reactions.
Video conferencing makes those face-to-face interactions possible from any location, so you can collaborate with someone just like they were in the room with you. Video calls can also contribute to a stronger sense of camaraderie for distributed team members, which can enhance teamwork dynamics and collaboration.
3. Real-Time Communication for Proactive Collaboration
UC can also help employees communicate in real-time to proactively manage tasks. For example, team members don’t have to schedule meetings the traditional way—they can IM back and forth or hop on a quick video call to take care of projects in a more timely manner.
Or if someone is away from their desk, but you have a quick question only they can answer, you may be able to reach them with a message that goes straight to their mobile device. You get the info you need right away, while creating very little disruption for the employee who is out of the office.
4. Close Connections for Distributed Teams
Companies today are increasingly moving to a distributed workforce, with some or all employees working from home at least part of the time. Remote workers point to difficulties with communication and collaboration as one of the biggest struggles of remote work.
With UC, it doesn’t matter that your coworker lives in another state or country. You can quickly check to see what time it is in their time zone and whether they’re available. UC makes it easy to communicate with a remote coworker just as you would someone in your office building.
5. Shared Information and Tools for Simplified Access
UC provides all team members with a shared set of tools that can contribute to more seamless collaboration processes. In particular, file-sharing capabilities and the ability to work collaboratively on documents makes it easy to collaborate with others.
This is a welcome alternative to clumsy yet all-too-common procedures of saving different document versions, emailing them back and forth, and hoping everyone is working with the correct version.
Partner with CPI to Optimize Your Approach to Communication
Unified communications can connect your employees, near and far, to empower them for productive and meaningful collaboration. Want to upgrade or overhaul your communications systems? CPI can help.
We can identify the right solutions, source equipment, and even manage services to help your organization run smoothly while allowing you to focus on your core business processes. Check out our Colonial Lodge case study to learn how CPI helped a senior living organization implement new cloud-based VoIP services.