Four ways the cloud can improve your efficiency

Think about how many times a day inefficient communications get in the way of being productive. When was the last time you were able to turn a simple task, which was dependent on co-workers' input, around in a timely manner? You might start with an email that gets lost in the mix, even though the title was in all caps and bold. You might initiate a phone call that goes to a voicemail box that is yet to be set up. You may end up so desperate that you arrange a conference call, but can only get the necessary parties together the following week due to conflicting schedules.

The answer may surprise you. It’s estimated that the average knowledge worker spends more than one hour every day simply trying to communicate with people: checking emails, setting up meetings, leaving voicemails, etc.
And that doesn’t take into account the delays that are a result of you waiting for people to check those emails or voicemails and get back to you.

Fortunately, there are ways to trim this waste out of your workday and they don’t require you to go on a communications diet. In fact, your company could communicate and collaborate as much as they want, all while saving time and efficiency.

How? The secret is to unify your communications in the cloud. By putting all of your communications and collaboration tools into one application and hosting it in the cloud, you can trim approximately seventy minutes or more from your workday and get more done. Here are four simple processes to help eliminate this unproductive time and bring order back to your communications.

Stop checking multiple messaging apps, saving 40 minutes per day

Knowledge workers can waste at least 40 minutes each day checking and re-checking different messaging applications, including email, voicemail, instant messaging, and other apps. Instead, all messages can be merged into a single windowpane experience that can be accessed from your desktop of mobile device, thanks to cloud communications. This can also be taken one step further with services like voicemail-to-email or voicemail-to-text, saving you even more time by converting audio messages into readable text.

Reach colleagues when they are actually available, saving 30 minutes per day

Find-me/follow-me, call forwarding, single-number service — call it what you will, when calls go directly to the right person with the right information the first time, it saves time and headaches. In fact, it can take eight hours or more before a person listens to their voicemails, which leads to ineffective business decisions and productivity rates.

To overcome this, presence-based communications tools can be implemented across your business, to let you know when desired parties are available (on or off the phone), potentially cutting down your phone-tag time by half an hour every day. Integrate this feature with your calendar to save even more time by routing appropriate calls to your mobile device when you are out of the office.

Stop juggling other people’s calendars, saving time and, more importantly, your sanity

We’ve all been there. Trying to arrange a multi-party conference call can feel like herding sheep; as soon as one gets in the gate, another escapes. It’s time consuming and it’s frustrating. But with integrated cloud-based communication tools, real-time collaboration can be simplified by allowing users to escalate a chat session to a phone call, a phone call to video, and video to a team whiteboarding collaboration session.

Get answers when you need them — not when you’re next back in the office

Knowledge workers need access to critical, and often sensitive, business information from wherever they’re working: at home, at a client site, on the road, etc. Cloud-based communications allow employees to quickly locate and retrieve information in real time from any device, meaning everyone gets answers faster, and customers remain happy.

Of course, not all cloud solutions are created equal. You need to consider cost, complexity, security, reliability and compatibility with the tools you use today. But there’s no doubt that cloud-based services will enhance business efficiency, productivity and help to build more collaborative working that suits the needs of the modern worker. Now you just need to think about what you can do to fill all the time that you’ll be saving each week.

Daryl Reva, Mitel Vice President – Cloud Marketing