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How to Untangle: A Remote Workforce

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The number of U.S. adults who telecommute at least occasionally will grow to 63 million in 2016, according to a recent Forrester report.

Add anyone who is classified as a “mobile worker” and it becomes a group that IDC predicts will include more than 1.19 billion people, that's almost 35 percent of the worldwide workforce, by the year 2013.

Those are staggering figures, especially if you’re a CIO or IT director for a company whose communications network has to support remote and mobile workers.

And that’s almost every enterprise these days.

So how can you support the communications needs of a steadily growing mobile workforce while avoiding crushing costs?

What is required of your technology platform in order to provide the same rich features to employees scattered all over the world so they can be as productive and connected as their home-office colleagues?

Things can get complicated very quickly.

For this shift to mobile communications to be effective, a fundamental change is required. CIOs have to rethink the current status of their networks and to align business objectives with workforce necessities.

That is why more companies are considering unified communications (UC) and other collaboration technologies that are centered on simplicity.

Key considerations as you evaluate your network viability for supporting an increasingly remote workforce:

  • Number and variety of locations
  • Security: network access, firewall, VPN, encryption and more
  • Method of connection to the network
  • Number of devices/connections
  • Centralized solution versus distributed architecture
  • International language considerations
  • Resources required for supporting the network
  • Network redundancy and availability

Also consider the available tools and personalization features that can help people increase productivity, whether “remote” means that team members work on different floors or different continents:

  • Location-based services
  • Individualized call handling
  • Custom call routing
  • Simplified network management
  • Mobile call management
  • Intuitive desktop client software
  • Converged conferencing
  • Presence information that shows whether contacts are online and available to talk

To learn more about how ShoreTel in particular can help untangle your remote/mobile workforce challenges, contact your local ShoreTel reseller.