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Anywhere, anytime business mentality gaining momentum

The rapid evolution of the business phone system, the introduction of cloud computing and the ongoing consumerization of IT are changing how individuals work. Because employees now have the ability to access mission-critical resources from virtually anywhere at any time, people do not necessarily need to commute to work anymore. This has given rise to the remote workforce supported by teleworking habits.

A major telecommunications provider recently surveyed roughly 165 attendees to the Unified Communications Expo and found that only 26 percent of respondents travel to work every day of the week, down from the 57 percent who said they did five years ago. Conversely, about 15 percent of individuals say they only spend one day in the office every week.

The findings suggest that the enterprise is changing due to ongoing transformations in the communication and collaboration landscapes, giving individuals access to more innovative phone system features without jeopardizing connectivity due to location.

"By enabling the 'anywhere worker' with tools that are easy and intuitive to use productivity can be increased whether an employee is in the office five days a week or one," telecom expert Trevor Connell said. "In order to do this, businesses need to embrace 'enterprise-caliber' consumer technology in the communications mix and put the emphasis on what the user wants to do their job."

Executives should consider replacing their old phone system with VoIP or unified communications, which converge multiple collaborative tools together within a single platform. This enables individuals to use web chat, video conferencing, voice or messaging applications for communication, improving user satisfaction by providing workers with a choice.

The evolving workplace

Work is no longer considered a single place. While it may have been thought of as a location in the past, the term is quickly turning into a verb, supporting the idea that individuals can perform business-related tasks from virtually anywhere. This is inherently flipping the private sector on its head and inviting new opportunities to augment operations, reduce costs, improve efficiency and even make employees happier.

A report by research firm Ovum highlighted the changes taking place in the enterprise, noting that the consumerization of IT, advances in mobility and the ever-transforming demand to use innovative communication solutions are all contributing to this metamorphosis.

"The way in which we work will change dramatically over the next seven years, more than in the previous 30, meaning the enterprise of 2020 will need to be more agile and more responsive than it is today," said Richard Edwards, principal analyst at Ovum. "To remain successful, there will have to be significant change in operations, systems and cultural levels."

Edwards asserted that employees will demand a new set of solutions during the next several years that will make it easier, more convenient and entertaining to collaborate with colleagues, customers and partners. By working with trusted service providers, executives will be able to locate and deploy these tools to make the workplace a more efficient place that supports next-generation mentalities without sacrificing connectivity.

The cloud will play a big role in the development of the private sector, encouraging individuals to work from anywhere. A hosted PBX system is unlike conventional phone services because it can be accessed at any time on virtually any platform. This freedom will be the foundation of change in the coming years, opening new doors and closing old ones.

By working with trusted vendors and mapping out a specific plan, decision-makers can be sure their company is able to survive the ongoing changes taking place in the business world.