Are you tired of “The Future of Work”?

Last week I was chatting with someone about the plethora of new features in Zinc 5, which launched today. I shared that Zinc 5 is the first and only All Mode Communication Platform, offering Text, Voice, Video, Broadcasts, and now Hands-free, in addition to live-streaming Push to Talk. We discussed our new, deepened Analytics capabilities and the traction we’re seeing with companies like GE and Marriott, as well as an updated UI. Ultimately, I concluded for her that Zinc is “Defining Deskless Communication.”

It was admittedly a lot to take in. I paused for a breath and she said, “so to sum it up, you’re ushering in the future of work?” My heart sank a little. Don’t get me wrong, innovation is all about seeing around corners and predicting customer needs in the days ahead, but I’ve been using the exact phrase “the future of work” since 2004 when I was at SuccessFactors. That’s at least 13 years that companies across industries have claimed to be the future of work. The once powerful phrase has come to mean so many different things, that it’s basically lost its meaning.

As dynamic, exciting and different as the future looks, the reality is that we still have work to do today – especially for deskless workers. In a recent study by Zogby Analytics, 38% of deskless workers across industries said “lack of information from management” is the largest obstacle to job efficiency, and another 39% sited “timeliness of information.” That’s a combined 77% deskless workers who could be doing a better job if only they had better access to the people and information that could help them perform at work.

It gets worse. Twenty-five percent of deskless workers say their executives or larger department team members communicate with them once a month or less. And when it comes to urgent or important information, 71% say their companies are using email. We already know that deskless workers simply don’t check email! Worse yet, 17% of deskless workers say their companies are still using phone trees. Phone trees?!?!

And yet, these same workers are using some of the most cutting edge consumer apps for communication in their personal lives. They have proven that they will adopt technology, as long as it’s fast, easy to use, and effective. Bringing the future of work to them means leapfrogging them ahead of their office-based counterparts, who are still slogging their way through complex enterprise apps.

So today, we launched Zinc 5. We’ve added Push to Talk and Hands Free to our broad set of features, deepened our analytics and enterprise admin capabilities, and updated our UI. Zinc’s All Mode Communication Platform is defining communication for deskless industries who need a solution to their communication woes TODAY. And yes, we are in fact ushering these workforces in to The Future of Work, in many ways way ahead of their office-based counterparts.