Real Time Communications Featured Article

Distributed Workforce a Reality Thanks to WebRTC

March 07, 2016

As communications systems have become more intelligent, we’re seeing huge transformations in the workplace as we know it. In the past, it was common for businesses, regardless of size, to operate out of one building, but technology has made it possible for businesses to distribute the workforce globally, opening doors for the best talent without ever losing an iota of productivity.




What once was done by fax and telephone has quickly been replaced by smarter, more efficient technologies, like real time communications and WebRTC. Over the last two decades, text-based messages have dominated our communications as people became more mobile and the workforce distributed. This was led by email and followed by instant messaging and social media. To truly change the market’s reliance on text communications, a call that involved relevant context would need to be simpler than email, IM, chat or social technologies.  That’s where WebRTC comes in.

WebRTC is a powerful tool that enables browser-to-browser applications for voice calling, video chat, and P2P file sharing without plugins. WebRTC, a free, open-source project, enables compliant web browsers to communicate in real-time using simple JavaScript APIs. This bodes well for businesses that have virtual offices, as anyone can connect to the company so long as there is a browser connection. While mobile has made virtual work easier and more streamlined, Web-based communications can turn the browser into an additional VoIP endpoint. For specific types of businesses, this can cut down on, if not cut out entirely, the need for a physical brick-and-mortar office. Thus the distributed workforce is the workplace of tomorrow.

Possibly the two biggest issues facing companies with a distributed workforce are communication and accountability. Any company considering a distributed arrangement for their staff needs to work out how to make sure employees, who may be geographically scattered, work closely with each other and stay accountable for their work. One company that has overcome this particular obstacles is Automattic, the company that hosts the Web servers for WordPress.com. Employees are scattered across the globe, but they meet regularly via Skype, call each other when needed, and even fly to meet face-to-face when necessary. A policy of “overcommunication” helps Automattic and other companies to make the most of distributed workforces.

Developing a more distributed workforce has become easier, as there are now several tools that can help accomplish ditching the main office. A quick search will yield countless providers who can do the hard stuff for you; offering an easy-to-integrate real-time communications solution directly into your organization’s existing platform and workflow, driving efficiency and simple collaboration, no matter where your staff is located. You can create experiences that interoperate across endpoints, whether it’s through a mobile device, desktop, or connected devices.

WebRTC is the reason organizations are more and more enhancing their workflows, strengthening their staffing, and improving their bottom line by implementing the integrated toolsets that make their workforces truly distributed.




Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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