Pandemic or not, a massive shift has been long overdue for how work gets done. Think about your job before the disruption of 2020. Were you going from meeting to meeting underprepared? Couldn’t keep track of emails or respond to phone calls because your schedule was so packed? COVID-19 has only added to these existing stressors. A Nulab survey found that 72% of remote workers are no longer working from a dedicated office space, and 40% aren’t even working from a dedicated desk. Flexjobs and Mental Health America reported during the height of the pandemic that 75% of people feel burnout working from home.
Now think about what your job will be like after the pandemic is considered “over.” It’s likely that some aspects of work might not go back to the way they were before, and that will only necessitate the right solutions more. Think about mobility. Prior to March 2020, mobility was top of mind for everybody. It was where people lived, whether they were flying cross country or driving from office to office. Today we’re all sitting at our desks (or rather 60% of us are), but we will go back to being just as reliant on mobility when things return to “normal.” All of this has led to the inevitable next step in employee experience and workplace productivity: Workstream Collaboration (WSC).
What is Workstream Collaboration?
Just like UC was a major leap from traditional business phone systems – integrating basicenterprise communication services such as instant messaging (chat), presence information, and voice – Workstream Collaboration is the evolution from traditional UC, enabling employees and teams to collaborate via standalone applications with configurable workspaces built on top of workflows.
This sounds a lot more confusing than it is. Put simply, it means one simple, integrated, configurable (customizable or buildable) Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC) solution that empowers employees to communicate how they want, when they want, wherever they happen to be. There are no disparate tools that you have to maintain and pay for separately.
Here are the main highlights of a Workstream Collaboration platform:
- Ensures meaningful interactions with a wide range of integrated communication capabilities including calling, meeting, messaging, and audio and video conferencing.
- Centralizes communications with capabilities like persistent chat and task management (a Workstream Collaboration platform saves everything so you don’t have to remember it all).
- Acts as a digital work hub where employees can manage all tasks, communications, and files – essentially everything they need – in one single space to simplify work.
- Goes beyond just voice and messaging, enabling organizations to shift toward contextualized team collaboration with a range of functions and capabilities.
Is easily accessible anywhere across the globe using any Internet-connected device (laptop, cellphone, tablet), eliminating the need for organizations to have desktop computers.
A Workstream Collaboration platform can be seamlessly integrated with the external applications employees already use to make work that much easier. For example, if you use Outlook for calendaring or if you have all your lead contact info in Salesforce, you no longer have to hop in and out of these separate apps to get the information you need. It’s all in the same place, when and how you need it.
Whether an employee is in Marketing, Sales, or Product Development, in Los Angeles, London, or Dubai, they will know where to go to get the information they need – be it notes from the last team meeting, tasks that were assigned to them, or to follow up on a task assigned to someone else. Communications sprawl is finally eliminated with everyone under one strategy via a single, tightly integrated, easy-to-use Workstream Collaboration platform.
Some Workstream Collaboration platforms are also equipped with impressive AI-powered capabilities that make it even easier for employees to collaborate and get work done. The solution can intelligently detect speech and separate it from all background noise so what users hear is speech alone. This is hugely helpful in both real-time and for listening back to recordings for transcribing (the solution also has this covered with AI augmented transcription). There’s also the option for classier, more professional virtual backgrounds with AI retaining high detail – be it a template background or your own image upload. So when the world reopens and you’re back to attending your kid’s soccer game or waiting in the airport gate, you’ll have an intelligent, seamless, centralized digital work hub handy on any device.
From a research perspective, Gartner predicts that by 2022, 70% of teams will rely on Workstream Collaboration as their primary means of communicating, coordinating, and sharing information. By 2023, Gartner expects that 75% of organizations using Workstream Collaboration will have it fully extended to all employees – up from 45% in 2019.
There’s going to be a massive shift over the next 1-2 years for how work gets done. Even if you take the impacts of COVID-19 out of the equation, employees have long needed a better solution to communication and collaboration for better work/life balance, productivity, and satisfaction.
Learn more about Workstream Collaboration solutions from Avaya.