As the workforce around the world continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, many lessons and trends about how and why we work have emerged. However, one takeaway and its related trend have become particularly evident: the inequalities that existed in the workplace before the pandemic have now been exacerbated by it, especially as the global workforce is definitely shifting to a working model from anywhere. This trend is arguably both a solution and a perpetuator of systemic inequalities in the workplace, especially in the way employees interact and collaborate.
Whether or not it works well for your business, this new working paradigm has led to an increased demand for Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), which provides a single interface through which employees can communicate and collaborate. As the name suggests, Unified Communications unites all modes of communication, such as voice calling, messaging / chat, etc., into a single software platform to make communication and collaboration easy and accessible.
While there are no quick fixes to inequalities in the workplace, unified communications can be part of a systemic and cultural effort to improve fairness in the workplace, especially in relation to addresses issues of accessibility, workload distribution and interpersonal dynamics.
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Use unified communications to improve fairness
Below are the different ways in which Unified Communications empowers your employees and thus improves fairness in the workplace.
UC for device and modality independent interactions
UC allows employees to work and collaborate on their own terms. The right UC software for your business will adapt to a range of devices and operating systems, so employees can bring their own devices into what is commonly referred to as the BYOD model (bring your own device). ). UC allows employees to work with the type of operating system they are most comfortable with, whether it’s Apple or Android for mobile, Mac or PC for laptops and desktops.
In addition to the power of device choice, the range of communication and collaboration modalities available in UC software caters to different preferences in communication modes. While some prefer legacy apps, such as email or voice calls, others are more comfortable with chatting or video conferencing. With unified communications, employees with children at home after school can easily switch to chat rather than audio communication methods and have the option of turning off their cameras during video conferences.
UC for teams and team members with diverse abilities
UC meets users where their capabilities are. Advances in AI have made unified communications more accessible to people of varying physical, linguistic and cognitive abilities. The advantages are particularly evident for teleconferencing. For example, text-to-speech capabilities, such as closed captioning, and text-to-speech make information accessible to users who best absorb the information while reading or listening, respectively. For voice output, UC allows team members to contribute orally or via the chat function.
An added benefit of UC software for meeting purposes is that the recording and sharing functions make it easy for employees to view or listen “on demand”, so they can catch up or review when, how and. as often as they want. UC improves the meeting experience for everyone.
UC for a fair distribution of the workload
UC software is also useful for collaboration. AI improves some unified communications software to include time tracking tools that feed into an algorithm. The information generated informs project managers about tasks that require more time and energy in team projects. With this knowledge, project managers can more effectively distribute larger tasks among different team members and also optimize meetings in terms of duration and attendance.
UC for a results-oriented approach
Given the variable nature of workplace configurations these days, it is easy to use unified communications software to monitor employee ‘visibility’ or ‘virtual presence’, but it can be counterproductive for a business. fair workplace culture. Employees may feel like they are being watched and not trusted to do their jobs. Single parents and home caregivers may particularly feel this pressure. You can leverage UC software to focus on project milestones and deliverables instead.
UC for expressing concerns
With UC’s literal screen, employees are more likely to feel empowered to speak out when confronted or witnessing discrimination or harassment. UC also provides an employee with a variety of ways to report and, more importantly, document problematic interpersonal dynamics in the workplace. Unified communications provide more channels to broadcast and address concerns in the workplace.
Why unified communications are important for fairness in the workplace
For better or worse, the pandemic has dramatically changed the way we work for most of us. Remote working is here to stay, and unified communications will continue to play an important role in adapting to the new work paradigm as well as in resolving subsequent inequalities in the workplace. Unified communications are not a silver bullet, but they help managers and business leaders identify and correct inequalities in accessibility, workload distribution, and interpersonal dynamics.
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