Mar 10 2016

Collaboration Brings New Meaning to ‘Out of Office’

Smartphones, tablets and video conferences essentially create today’s office anywhere.

In an always-on world, the out-of-office notification has lost some relevance. Collaboration tools — from smartphones and tablets to file shares and video conferences — essentially create today’s office anywhere.

Unless employees take personal leave, they’re never really away from the office anymore. On business trips today, workers send emails from taxis, join video conferences at airports and share files during flights.

The latest collaboration technology offers a seamless work experience, whether at a desk or on the road. But collaboration technology isn’t only about enabling a mobile office. It builds better businesses.

Google’s “Working Better Together” report, which surveyed senior staff and C-suite executives at 258 North American companies, found collaboration benefits extend beyond the success of any single project.

In the report, 73 percent of respondents agreed that their organization would be more successful if employees could collaborate better. Further, when asked what changes would have the greatest impact on their organization’s profitability, 56 percent ranked a collaboration-related measure highest.

The State of Modern Meetings

Among business functions improved by collaboration technology, many workers enjoy the face-to-face aspect of video conferencing. As a leader in this space, Blue Jeans Network queried more than 5 million of its video collaboration users for its “State of the Modern Meeting” report.

The report shows that 25 percent of meetings include at least one mobile video participant; twice as many people use video collaboration in the winter; and in 2015, users saved $3.3 billion in travel costs.

At Landmark Bank, which runs more than 50 branches across Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas, collaboration technology enables board members and staff to meet regularly without traveling, as well as to effectively train employees on new regulations and procedures.

“It’s brought us together as a company because now people aren’t just voices on the phone or grainy images on an old TV,” says Landmark Bank CIO Brenda Emerson.

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