I’m a dreaded ‘millennial’.

I hate picking up the phone; I can’t bear reading long bits of text; I loathe long meetings. My attention span has been obliterated by a world in which distractions are constant. A complete stereotype – I don’t ring my friends, I WhatsApp them (yes, that is now a verb). I would always use live chat to talk to customer services rather than speak to an actual person on the phone.

My colleague is from so called ‘Generation X’.

She would always pick up the phone rather than send an email. She has no trouble concentrating for long periods of time. She would rather meet someone face to face than audio only, for example via a video call.

Managing people with contradictory communication preferences in the same office and getting them to work as a team can be a test of leadership skills. So how do you foster effective teamwork across different generations?

The answer

Flexibility. Roll out a simple communications app that everyone can get on board with. Cloud Voice is a cloud telephony platform that is far from just a phone on a desk.

It’s aimed at fulfilling easy collaboration – incorporating voice calling, video chats, screen sharing and instant messaging, all of which can be monitored by management in one easy and intuitive admin portal. I like to IM (instant message), my colleague likes to talk, but most importantly it’s all in one place. A far cry from the usual mismatch of texts, Google Hangouts, mobile calls etc. that most modern offices see!

Speaking of mobile calls, Cloud Voice also comes with an app that allows you to use any device you like to access the office phone system via the internet. This provides ultimate flexibility for remote working – something favoured by all generations from 20-something hipsters working in Starbucks, to parents on kids patrol.

It’s the Netflix of telephony – no hardware, subscription only, pay per user per month.

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