Ricoh's Unified Communication Brings Renovation to Collaboration

1. Changing Communication Environment

1.1. Diversified Work Styles

Business organizations are significantly revising conventional work styles. These changes resulted from the intensified competition that followed business globalization, accelerated business speed, pursuit of labor productivity, and transitions in value standards. Beyond that were societal demands to reduce environmental impact and create a work-life balance. By adopting new work styles, business enterprises achieve improved efficiency and productivity. At the same time, they will achieve a more satisfied workforce, e.g., a free address system with no need for a fixed desk, teleworking, childcare and nursing-care, satellite offices to alleviate the load of remote commutation, or work-sharing to mutually share job opportunities.

As we all know, diversified work styles became possible thanks to the expansion of IT technologies, such as high-speed network environments and the proliferation of media-rich mobile devices. With this new environment, everyone can access information anytime and anywhere, and they can do it quickly through high-speed optical networks and wireless LAN (Wi-Fi). Convenience of use has also increased with the appearance of mobile devices, such as netbook PCs, tablets, and smartphones, which are easy to use and comparable in performance to conventional desktop PCs. Cloud services have also been expanded.

Main advantages of work style diversification

  • Reduced cost and time for commuting and business trips
  • Reduced administrative and maintenance expenses for office space and equipment
  • Global business without worrying about time-zones
  • Accelerated business, faster decision making and improved labor productivity
  • Improved job-retention by the adoption of working arrangements adapted to individual convenience
  • Reduced carbon-dioxide (CO2) emission by cutting down on travel

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