How to build better meetings with Skype for Business
By: Jennifer Adams, Head of Global Collaboration Markets, Plantronics
From four walls to no walls, people can now participate in meetings from anywhere. As virtual meetings grow, so does the importance of collaboration technology. While we can’t promise to prevent almost 20% of people from taking meetings in restrooms, we can ensure those who don’t portray and experience the levels of efficiency and professionalism expected.
The new mobile workforce
A common misconception I encounter when discussing mobility – the conclusion people jump to – is that the need to be mobile is reserved exclusively for “road warriors”, those sales and service field reps whose very role is by nature mobile. In reality, this segment of the modern workforce only accounts for a single-digit percentage of the whole. The larger, historically office-based workforce is increasingly required (and in fact choosing) to get work done outside the places and hours allotted for “work”. Restrooms shouldn’t be one, but the reality is meetings happen quite literally anywhere.
A number of forces are driving this shift. Globalisation is the big obvious one; business reach extends beyond physical locations and time zones. Technology, specifically mobile, has allowed employees to work more effectively. It’s only human to find the easiest way to do things. Then there’s the broader talent pool that a mobile workforce unlocks. Flexible work arrangements are a formidable draw in the fight for talent.
Today, it’s necessary to be in motion and keep connected at the same time. That’s the nature of mobile technology (laptops, smartphones, tablets, etc.) But even though a mobile workforce can be up and running and connected almost anytime and anywhere, they’re not always as effective as they could be. They’re not always using the right technology when they make a call. They find themselves being easily distracted by emails or text messages or the things happening around them. They’re not always speaking as clearly or with as much professionalism as they should when they’re on a conference call.
Add to that the complexity and hassle of dial-in numbers, passcodes, poor connections, flushing toilets, barking dogs, crying infants, late-comers, early-leavers. You get the picture: the mobile meeting has an endless list of distractions that are time and productivity killers.
By contrast, the right technology makes virtual meetings a process users can actually love. Leading the charge in the enterprise collaboration space is Skype for Business, transforming the way we work the same way they revolutionized how we stay in touch with family and friends. Helping to transform the laptop into an enterprise voice enabler, Skype for Business also works the same way on your mobile, whether iOS or Android. If you’ve ever tried to dial in to a conference call using the mobile phone that also contains the passcode somewhere in an email, you’ll know one-click connection is highly appealing on its own.
Skype for Business also identifies the source of sound – meaning all participants can see exactly who is responsible for any offending flushing, crying, or barking. Plantronics offers a full portfolio of products certified for Skype for Business and that includes products geared specifically to enable mobility and ensure users sound like themselves and hear only what they need to with our advanced noise-cancelling technology.
But it’s not just about voice. The ability to see contacts and their availability, stream video, as well as send instant messages all from a single platform, and you have a very attractive proposition for a workforce increasingly reliant on virtual connectivity.