There's a reason we feel the urge to clean the house every spring. After the lethargic, “let’s just get through it” winter blues, the season’s turn brings with it a welcome energy.
But how about “spring cleaning” your communications tools? The average employee uses 17 different cloud applications, three content-sharing services and three collaboration tools. Yikes. Besides being exhausting, that’s a sure recipe for confusion, data loss and general frustration as staffers try to communicate with each other.
Whether you’re responsible for your organisation’s communications software or someone who wants to simplify their life, use this time of year to clean up and cleanout. It might be a good time to consider Unified Communications as a Service, a cloud-based collaborative workspace where team members can share tasks and documents, schedule calls, chat and conduct audio and video conferences at the push of a button.
Are your current systems providing the productivity and customer experience you need for 2021? If not, consider these pointers for re-energising and remaking your approach to collaboration and communications.
1. Identify the purpose and value of each communications tool
First, ask yourself and your team about what’s needed from your communications systems. What’s most valuable to your business goals and what technology is best suited to support that? Put another way, you want to determine your software’s purpose. Start by identifying what frustrates people, where necessities fall through the cracks or how customers could be better served. Then apply your ideas to evaluating your current tools.
A few questions to get you started:
Does the technology help or hinder productivity?
Do your communications tools keep your team’s conversations seamless no matter what device is used – be it a smartphone, desktop or laptop?
Do they create a common space where team members can easily communicate, share documents and set up meetings?
Can employees respond quickly and efficiently to customers?
2. Analyse the costs vs. benefits of your communications software
Ultimately, the goal of any communications system is to aid productivity and bring value to the business. You’re either making money or losing money, right? The problem is technology – especially when it’s the newest thing – can be alluring. You have to ask yourself: Is the time spent using that latest app really achieving the outcomes you need?
“In our culture, we tend to focus just on benefits, which gives you what we call the ‘maximalist mindset’,” explains Cal Newport, author and professor of computer science at Georgetown University in this Forbes article. “It's easy to only look at the benefits of various things, and then you get very worried about missing out on those benefits... The minimalist mindset looks at the costs just as much as the benefits.”
Spend more time assessing the costs of your existing communications tools, from time wasted swapping between business apps to the monthly costs of separate collaboration tools. If you’re not getting the right bang for your buck, use this as an opportunity to find more cost-effective, all-in-one communications tools.