It wasn’t long ago that new employees would receive a desk phone and a voicemail password when they first started. While traveling, they’d use payphones and hotel phones with prepaid phone cards. Times sure have changed.
Today, knowledge workers have seemingly endless options when it comes to communications. They join Skype conferences on their desktop, online meetings on their cell phones, and make calls using their Bluetooth headsets. So, then, what do today’s businesses give their employees instead of the good old desk phone? And how do they decide which employee gets which tools?
Basically, companies should look at the so-called “use cases” – how do different employees communicate, and what tools do they then need? Whether you’re buying new headsets because of a new business strategy, as part of a Skype for Business rollout, or just because it’s time, you should first define these use cases and plan accordingly. To help with that, let’s look at three distinct types of knowledge workers.
Three types of knowledge workers
A simple and effective way to address this is to split knowledge workers into three broad categories: office workers, road warriors, and corridor warriors.
Let’s start with the most intuitive group: office workers. They mostly work at their desks. While office workers may need to make lots of calls, they don’t tend to move around that much. They’re likely to still use desk phones a lot, but they also make calls using Skype and other software on their computers.
This group will usually need some hands-free headsets, either wired or wireless. Nobody likes having to hold a phone receiver sandwiched between their ear and shoulder while trying to type at the same time. Hands-free headsets take care of this problem.
Office workers will be happy with headsets that can connect to both their computers and desk phones, making it easier to switch between the two. They will also get the most out of noise-cancelling headsets that let them avoid office distractions and focus on their work.
It sounds like something out of a Mad Max movie, but the term “road warriors” refers to employees that spend more than half their time away from the office (or their home office). The rest of their time is spent literally on the road in a car, at a client’s or customer’s, or at a hotel.
Road warriors tend to use a lot of different tools to keep in touch. They’ll make calls from their smartphones, computers, or tablets, but they might still have a desk phone waiting for them at the office. As such, they may end up needing a few different headsets and speakerphones. They can have a portable conference speakerphone to jump on conference calls together with their clients. When driving, they might use an in-car speakerphone.
For other calls, they’ll want a wireless headset that works with their smartphone but also connects to their computer or desk phone. This will let them easily switch between conversations without having to change the headset itself.
Yet another war term. Sun Tzu would have been proud. Corridor warriors are based in the office but tend to move around the building a whole lot. They may need to frequently run off to grab some folders or prints while staying on the call. Maybe they’re managers who have to move from meeting to meeting while staying connected.
Corridor warriors will probably want a wireless DECT or Bluetooth headset. Ideally, this headset will connect to all of their devices – smartphone, desk phone, and computer – so that corridor warriors can easily transfer calls between them while roaming around the office.
Job descriptions don’t always fall neatly into one of the above three categories. But by looking at the broad needs of their employees, companies can make a more informed choice about the headsets and speakerphones they need.
If you’re looking to buy a lot of headsets for your employees, you can always request a free trial of Jabra headsets.