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Future of Work

An independent research study – conducted by research firm Vanson Bourne with advisement and analysis from KelCor, Inc – surveyed 2,500 business professionals in five countries across North America, Western Europe and Australia to examine overarching trends in business communications and how existing communications and collaboration practices are impacting both workforce productivity and the bottom line.

Key findings from the Mitel commissioned report include:

  • Employees reportedly spend more than half of the average workday communicating and collaborating. However, respondents note that, on average, 13% of their day is wasted due to communications inefficiencies, resulting in over $10,000 per employee per year.
  • Lost productivity is not the only negative result of communications inefficiencies. Almost half (47%) of respondents had experienced friction between employees and/or departments due to inefficient communications and collaboration. Nearly a quarter (24%) cited that inefficient communications have had a negative impact on customer satisfaction. With that knowledge, it’s likely that additional costs of lost business, employee attrition, or missed opportunities also have a hidden impact on the bottom line of many organisations.

The report also looked at which methods of communications and collaboration employees find most efficient and effective, offering helpful insights for IT and business leaders looking to ensure digital transformation initiatives and related technology investments are successful.

  • Employees are inclined to “use what they know” when it comes to their communications and collaboration tools, which means phone and email are not going away any time soon. These technologies still dominate the top five most used communications methods (97% each) while face to face meetings are still considered the most effective way to communicate (53%).
  • With today’s increasingly distributed and mobile workforce, the appetite for more modern communications and collaboration technologies is clearly on the rise. Respondents expect to use online shared workspaces (45%), chat/messaging (51%) and video (39%) tools more frequently in the future.

Given the significant waste surrounding resource costs and time, it’s no surprise that 74% of respondents felt that more effective use of technology within their organisation would improve their personal productivity. However, the report brings to light several interesting findings on what is causing communications inefficiency and what organisations should consider to reduce it:

  • The real obstacles organisations must overcome aren’t rooted in the tools themselves; instead, insufficient training (32%) and resistance to change (25%) are the biggest culprits. This confirms that digital transformation is broader than simply implementing technology; it requires careful and strategic shifts in an organisation’s culture and processes.
  • Businesses have an opportunity to lessen the impact of lost productivity by aligning their tools, processes and culture to achieve better results. When it comes to communications and collaboration, clear leadership, improved planning, effective training and employee education on the goals and benefits of the tools could have a strong positive impact on adoption and ROI.

“Employees are asking for a seamless communications and collaboration experience, one that is consistent across the organisation, across devices and integrated with their daily workflows,” said Mary McDowell, Mitel’s President and CEO. “The most successful organisations will be those that combine their implementation of advanced communications and collaboration technologies with strategic change management practices to empower employees and improve the customer experience.”

“The data in this survey is among the best I’ve seen in my 20 years in the industry,” said Dr. Brent Kelly, Principal Analyst at KelCor. “It clearly shows that overall workplace productivity is deeply impacted by an organisation’s communications and collaboration practices and technology. If employees really do deliver the productivity improvements they say they can with strategically aligned communications and collaboration solutions supported by training and management, the benefits will far outweigh any of the costs associated with planning, purchasing, and deploying a consistent and seamless communications and collaboration experience across the enterprise.”