A perfect storm has been brewing over the last decade and a half. A work day today is not what it was even as recently as at the turn of the century. We’ve experienced a fast pace of growth, technology innovations, and the blurring of lines between work and personal time.
Focus on What, Not Where
The notion of “going to work” has taken on new meaning. It’s no longer about commuting to a specific location. It’s about choosing when and where we work – and with whom. Boundaries are fading. We’re opting for flexibility. Telecommuting, hot desking, smart working make “work from anywhere, anytime” ring more true. Organizations across industries are reaping the benefits.
Take the case of the U.K.’s Top Right Group. Based in London, Top Right Group’s four knowledge businesses have used collaboration technology to transform operations and increase efficiency. Employees can communicate and contribute from any location. The Group has drastically reduced real estate costs, accelerated average help-desk resolution times by over 50%, and reduced telecommunication costs by moving to a converged IP backbone.
“We wanted to give employees the tools to work from anywhere, including any office, a coffee shop, the train, or home.” –Sean Harley, Top Right Group
Similarly, Instituto Zaldivar, an eye care institute in Argentina, pioneers innovations in ophthalmology. Expanding patient consulting and care, clinicians treat people hundreds of kilometers away with high-definition video conferencing. Most important, 100% of patients rated the medical attention received this way as “very good” or “excellent.”
Meanwhile, the organization has lowered costs, reduced travel by 500,000 kilometers, and expects to increase remote consultations 40% year-over-year.
“Using innovative technologies, we’re changing the way that we do business to reach more patients.” –Maria Gabriela Batiz, Instituto Zalvidar
New trends are determining the nature of work. We’re utilizing collaboration technologies to focus on results rather than how, when, and where. Frost & Sullivan identifies seven key factors of “Connected Work”:
Explicitly focusing on these factors or not, we’re integrating collaboration technology as part of broader workforce initiatives. Organizations across industries are looking to technology such as video conferencing and group workspaces to:
- Eliminate physical barriers
- Share real-time information within groups
- Extend interaction to include customers and partners
- Build iterative processes for quick decisions and production
Enabling these shifts are tools remarkably better and less costly than previous generations. They deliver new teamwork capabilities including affordable video conferencing for all, web conferencing, smart whiteboards, and digital team workspaces, with more on the way.
Global agricultural equipment manufacturer AGCO Corp has harnessed the power of new collaboration solutions. The company has improved communications among geographically dispersed employees, between its sub-brands, and for partner support.
Add to that cost savings of $45,000 per month, improved productivity, and simplified infrastructure management. It amounts to more time and funds to invest in developing the next generation of products and services in a competitive market.
“We’re giving employees more opportunities to communicate and share insights globally.” –Nikhil Narvekar, AGCO
This level of collaboration is the crux of agile business. Last year’s “good enough” tools aren’t enough in the future. It’s time to invest in the collaboration capabilities that take you on the path to innovation and agility.
This post is the second in a four-part series. Read part one, “Collaboration: The Foundation of the Agile Business.“