National Association of Call Centers

"Smarter Working" Nets Multiple Wins for Plantronics

The InformationWeek 500, published annually by Information Week magazine, is a list of the nation’s 500 most innovative users of business technology as determined by the editors of the magazine. As a provider of business technology for the contact center, it appears that Plantronics ( practices what it preaches because it has earned a spot on the InformationWeek 500 list for 2012. Plantronics has been recognized for its adoption of a cutting edge workplace strategy called “smarter working.”


Smarter working is a relatively new approach that places people over place and delivers flexible solutions that allow people to cooperate and collaborate across work environments. For a global company like Plantronics the ability to work with customers, partners and employees across time zones and geographies is critical to success. Employees can now effectively communicate with each other regardless of where they are located or which type of communications device is being used.


I had the opportunity to visit Plantronics’ headquarters in Santa Cruz, CA this past June and saw the construction of their new work environment in progress. Although not technically in Silicon Valley, the Plantronics work environment should, and probably will, put to shame the work environments in what most of us think of as progressive high tech companies. The physical environment in the workplace is as important as the work process for those who adhere to the principles of smarter working.


At Plantronics, the workspaces are flexible and open, encouraging collaboration and communication. The cube farm has been replaced by a friendly collection of work areas where it is apparent that employees share energy as well as ideas. The beneficiaries of the smarter working initiative are not only the employees – Plantronics’ customers will benefit as well. Here’s how.


Plantronics makes headsets for the contact center industry. Contact centers are noisy, busy places. With the new Plantronics open work environment, part of the “buzz” is due to the fact that employees are talking to each other more frequently, creating a workplace environment that is very similar to the typical contact center. As a result, Plantronics has just become a test bed for its own headsets.


Despite its industry leadership position, Plantronics continues to innovate in more ways than one. With the new smarter working strategy in place the employees win, the customers win and, for the icing on the cake, Plantronics gets an award. Plantronics continues to prove that its industry vision extends well beyond the world of audio communications.

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