Skip to main content
Horizon Collaborate UC Service from Columbus UK can help businesses of every size realise the benefits of flexible working for their employees and help them improve their work-life balance.

The Horizon Collaborate UC Service can help businesses of every size realise the benefits of flexible working for their employees.

According to the ONS (Families and the labour market, England: 2018), the employment rate for mothers was 74.0% in April to June 2018, which has increased from 68.9% in 2013 and from 61.9% in 1996 (when comparable records began). In April to June 2018, almost three-quarters (72.5%) of families had both parents in employment; of these families, almost half (45.5%) had both parents in full-time employment. The pressures of modern life are growing. It’s becoming harder for families to juggle work and family life and a growing cohort of workers want flexibility from their employers to improve work-life balance. This is backed up by a recent survey conducted by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). The UK Working Lives 2019 Survey found UK workers tend to have a poor work-life balance and achieving work-life balance has become a central focus for many employees. By international standards, the UK fares badly too. The CIPD ranks the UK 24th out of 25 comparator economies based on a measure of how often our job demands interfere with family life. The CIPD also found that three in five employees work longer hours than they would like to, taking into account their need to make a living. Commuting time should not be underestimated either, equating to additional work-related time of 3 hours 45 minutes on average per week. Commuting time is longest for workers in London (on average 78 minutes a day).

Work anywhere and on any device using the Horizon Collaborate UC Service from Columbus UK. The service can help businesses of every size realise the benefits of flexible working for their employees and help them improve their work-life balance.

“The pressures of modern life are growing. It’s becoming harder for families to juggle work and family life and a growing cohort of workers want flexibility from their employers to improve work-life balance.”

Flexible working is a term for a host of different ways of working, which includes home working, part-time work, flexi-time and compressed hours and employees clearly like having options to work flexibly. The CIPD sees this in the uptake of flexible working but also in the evidence of unmet demand. The survey finds that, excluding the self-employed, one in five employees has no flexible working arrangements available to them in their current role. Yet the unmet demand goes far wider than this: overall, two-thirds of UK employees (68%) would like to work flexibly in at least one form that is not currently available to them. For those who do not have the options, the most desirable arrangements are flexi-time (70% of those who cannot use this arrangement would like to do so), compressed hours (58%) and working from home (49%). Whilst flexible working may not be right for every business as some employees need more discipline and structure or a more social environment to thrive for example, the benefits of flexible working are now well known and this includes improved employee morale and employee retention, reduced stress and absenteeism, higher productivity, all of which leads to reduced costs.

Flexible working tools could be the key to boosting employee satisfaction

Implementing the processes to facilitate flexible working, however, requires a number of key components including the buy-in from leadership teams alongside the right technology to facilitate the change smoothly and cost effectively. In fact getting the technology right is key to making any form of flexible working a success as illustrated by Cisco’s Future of Work Survey carried out in 2018.

Source: Cisco 2018. Cisco surveyed 1300 knowledge workers across 9 countries which focused on optimising creativity, collaboration and productivity.

According to the Cisco survey respondents, the number one factor influencing productivity, agility, and job satisfaction is secure, reliable access to all of the tools and information they need to do their jobs, regardless of device or location. The report also concluded that while only 33% have the ability today, organisations are responding positively and another 61% expect to within three years or less.

Horizon Collaborate UC Service – Introducing the ideal solution for flexible working

From a technology perspective, Collaboration tools have become a must-have for successful flexible working policy implementation, especially if service levels to customers, partners and suppliers are not to be adversely impacted. Responding quickly to customer requests is a given in today’s fast-paced world and the response time is likely to be a key influencer in winning new business. Millennials especially, expect to be equipped appropriately to deal with a constant flow of internal and external enquiries across multiple communication channels and be able to carry this out from more than one location. This might include phone calls, email, text, live chat, Instant Messaging and video. Whilst faster response times can be a key differentiator in the level of customer service offered to customers, businesses can only provide a consistently high level of service if their employees are equipped with the right technology to help them deliver the service levels expected of them. So wherever employees are based, the key to delivering successful flexible working in any form is having the right technology that provides seamless collaboration, speeds up information sharing and decision making and lowers operating costs.

The Collaborate Experience

Your desktop display at-a-glance. Click on a hotspot for further info.

Screenshot of Horizon Collaborate UC chat room

Update your availability, status and presence at any time to let your colleagues know your whereabouts and how best to contact you.


Quickly access your contacts list and contact with one click.

Communications History

Easily locate your call history and call back with click-to-dial.

Chat History

Quickly reference previous chats with colleagues.


Make internal and external calls and access voicemail.

Favourite Contacts

Check the status of your favourite contacts and connect with them quickly.

Options and Preferences

Enable and disable Call Forwarding, Do Not Disturb and other features.

Live Chat

Send messages instantly to colleagues.

My Room

Use My Room for ad hoc and planned voice and video conferencing.

Video Calling

Use video to contact a colleague.

Desktop and File Sharing

Quickly give your colleagues access to your desktop to show them a worksheet or presentation for example and resolve issues and make decisions rapidly.

The Horizon Collaborate UC service supports flexible working by giving users the freedom to work anywhere, either in the office, on the move, or at home using a desktop, tablet or smartphone and provides a single app that is intuitive and similar to use on all devices. This allows employees to be creative, flexible, and make progress on projects and tasks more efficiently wherever they work. Users can move seamlessly from chat to voice to video and supplement these channels with desktop and file sharing as well as setting up conferences with colleagues or external parties. All of this can be accomplished without having to switch between different applications or wait for responses. The Horizon Collaborate UC Service delivers all your communication needs in a single, easy-to-use package for a fixed monthly price per user. There is also the opportunity to improve your green credentials. Whilst face-to-face meetings are key to relationship building, think of all those follow up meetings that could have been conducted using reliable,  cost-effective audio and video conferencing which is core to the Horizon Collaborate UC service. This will save any business a substantial amount of time and meeting expenses whilst also reducing your carbon footprint.

To find out more about Horizon Collaborate visit the service page. If you have any questions or you would like to arrange a demo please call us on 0333 240 7755 or use the enquiry button below.

Got a question or want to book a demo?