Only a quarter (26%) of attendees surveyed by Siemens Enterprise Communications at UC Expo now spend five days a week in the office. This is in stark contrast to five years ago when more than half (57%) spent the entire week in the office. At the other end of the scale the number of people spending less than one day a week in the office has doubled from 7% five years ago to 15% today.

In addition to these results, almost half (44%) selected all options when questioned why mobility was so important to business. These answers included; maximising employee productivity, improving business processes and response times, enabling consistent access to real-time information and people, and supporting new ways of working.

As is evident from the research, the focus is shifting to employees in terms of mobility. By enabling the ‘Anywhere Worker’ with tools that are easy and intuitive to use productivity can be increased whether an employee is in the office five days a week or one. In order to do this, businesses need to embrace ‘enterprise-calibre’ consumer technology in the communications mix and put the emphasis on what the user wants to do their job.

Despite this recognition that mobility is key, many businesses still don’t have the correct infrastructure and processes in place to support employees. Respondents stated that the biggest challenge when it comes to accessing the right people in the organisation is not being able to reach them when they are in a different location (37%). Knowing the availability and location of staff was also cited as a challenge.

Customer service is also top of the agenda for businesses with almost two thirds (65%) currently having or planning to put in place SLAs for customer response times. Another indicator that businesses have not put the users at the heart of processes and technology decisions is the fact that 43% of respondents said that accessing the right people with the right information is the biggest challenge they face when delivering customer service. First call resolution was highlighted as the second biggest challenge by 36% of respondents.

Customer service doesn’t have to suffer with increasingly disparate teams. All employees need to be able to work efficiently and effectively to enable high performing teams to collaborate. Success is not about delivering transactional communication, it is in creating an enabling ecosystem around the user. By empowering employees with tools such as Web chat and access to online communities, along with the traditional communication routes, businesses can keep the conversation going no matter how geographically divided the team might be.