Can UC Adapt to Projected Workplace Behavior Changes in the Future?

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The changing attitudes towards office technology of the next generation’s workforce can be derived from their access to technology since birth. Having been born with a silver Motorola in their hands is their legacy. Why would they ever pick up a desk phone? Is your office ready for the new tech generation? If you haven’t considered if your office is modern enough for the next crop of young professionals, you should.

The latest research, which included 5000 adult office workers and 2500 teens living in Europe, compared their respective survey answers about technology usage. Business communications specialists, Fuze, designed the questionnaire and reported their findings in, “The App Generation: how employees of the future are shaping the world of work.” The results were enlightening and provide a good look into the expected habits of this future workforce.

Voice

According to the study, this new “App Generation” prefers the smartphone to the landline. In contrast to the adult office workers who see the desk phone as a top five essential work item, it barely made it into the teens’ top 10. This is a pretty good argument for any business that has not transitioned to VOIP, unified communications, or SIP trunking. It’s seriously time to get with the program.

Video

The survey revealed that teens are just as comfortable with video calls as they are with voice calls. Which could bode well for an app such as Cisco Jabber. If a sales rep has a preference for making sales calls over Cisco Jabber, the video interactions over that application can be recorded, so no communications are lost without a trace.

IM

With text-based communications, the teens significantly preferred messaging apps including web chat, social media, and SMS, in that order. When asked about communicating with friends, teens said face-to-face was their most preferred method, followed by the text-based methods described above. There was overall agreement by at least 66% that they would like to work as part of a team. For the office of the future, perhaps a single collaboration platform for messaging and group chats such as Cisco’s Jabber IM and lots of conference rooms will be in order.

Telecommuting

The teens placed a high importance on having the latest technology (73% overall), reduced travel times (69%), and workday flexibility (49%). The home was the number one location that appealed to them to work from (78%), followed by the office (a distant 57%), in bed (48%), a café (39%), or the beach (38%). The virtual office, if widely embraced by the enterprise, will be preferred by some future workers. Compared to the adult workers, only 37% of the survey respondents currently work from home.

Ultimately these results demonstrate the profound need for more UC, and the most advanced technology in the workplace as the future generation enters and takes over. What was once valued, as the desk phone was, will need replacement by alternative communication forms.

But, how do you know the ways that individuals within your organization prefer to communicate? How do you obtain empirical evidence that employee A chooses to use a desk phone and employee B solely uses their mobile Cisco Jabber client? Wouldn’t it be nice to have an application that gives you that information across your entire organization, without having to ask people their preferences? Yeah, we thought so too. It’s called a Technology Adoption Report and it’s something that will give you the information you need to make your business case to management regarding communication devices and paying for soft clients.

In the end, it’s good news for the enterprise since it will benefit from reducing capital expenses. Not to mention the real estate and office space companies won’t need with everyone working from bed.

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Darlene Jackson is a published writer with many years of experience in digital publishing, advertising, and public relations. Her diverse assignments include stints with Chicago Public Media, The Chicago Tribune, and various print and online media and communication outlets. She is currently pursuing a master's degree at Northwestern University.





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