"Lots of companies don't succeed over time. What do they fundamentally do wrong? They usually miss the future."
Larry Page, Google Inc. CEO
How do you define a modern workplace?
Is it a working environment that is set up with the most advanced technology?
A company that invests in sophisticated IT security?
A company that collects and analyses data to their advantage?
One that embraces automation, cloud-based computing and AI?
In a word, Yes.
But the modern workplace is about far more than technology.
The modern workplace is about using the best tools to help teams reach their full potential.
The modern workplace is about adapting to shifting attitudes to work.
The modern workplace is about creating an environment that champions collaboration, supports a productive work, life balance and even promote equality and ethics.
Think of your business.
How would you describe your culture? Your environment? Your infrastructure?
When you think of your business processes, what words spring to mind?
Structured? Rigid? Outdated?
What about inefficient? Taxing? Or costly?
As enterprises evolve into the digital age, business decision makers are realising the power of modernisation, and the positive effects of promoting modern workplace initiatives.
Ask yourself, where does your business fall on the scale?
Are you fully embracing advancements in technology, mobility and workplace culture like modern workplace superstars Google, ZipCar and Unilever?
Or are you dragging your feet and at risk of being left behind?
Rigid 9-5 working hours
Flexible working hours
Strict office environment
Remote and mobile working initiatives
Dated legacy technology
Cutting edge technology that supports collaboration and communication
Reactive, outdated security measures
Advanced, proactive security, designed to protect against sophisticated threats
‘The traditional office is no longer the most productive environment for today’s workforce’
Rich Ellis, director of Microsoft’s Office Division in the UK.
Before the days of Office 365, the cloud, the internet, or even plug-in computers, offices had to adhere to certain criteria.
Without connectivity, employees had to work side-by-side.
Important files were kept on site, under lock and key.
Employees clocked in and out of the office, and their productivity was measured by the amount of hours they put in.
The workplaces of the past made do with what they had. They were limited by a lack of resources, connectivity and technology.
But you aren’t.
In a world of automated cars, cryptocurrency and augmented reality software, why should we work in the same way we did 50 years ago? The world has evolved and its time our workplaces did to.
Not only are rigid working conditions outdated, but studies have shown they are no longer productive.
British employees work the longest full time hours in Europe.
And yet we are some of the least productive.
While, studies show working long hours are a risk to health - anything over 39 hours a week is considered too high for optimal wellbeing - the quality of our work is at an all time low. In fact, it’s getting worse.
“You cannot mandate productivity, you must provide the tools to let people become their best.”
The office of the future is equipped with the very best tools. However, as technology is constantly evolving, the definition of this evolves with it.
Strategies can change depending on the type, size and capabilities of your business. You may not have the resources to invest in every emerging technology or passing trend, so focus on what your business really needs and what your key objectives are.
Are you wanting to improve efficiency?
Improve collaboration within your teams?
Improve data privacy and security?
Make informed data-driven-decisions?
Currently, IoT, advanced data analysis and cloud computing are three of the largest areas of investment in worldwide technology adoption strategies.
IoT solutions can aid all areas of business development - from creating safer payment transactions to improving customer service.
Advanced data analytic techniques such as predictive modelling, allow businesses to fully utilise their data to better understand their customers, make informed financial forecasts and protect against risk.
Once reserved only for elite enterprises (with the resources and space to house a private cloud infrastructure) cloud computing is now an essential part of the modern workplace. Cloud computing strategies are now considered a business-critical necessity.
‘Productivity is the engine of human progress—it is what propels our society forward. The promise of technology is to help us get more done, with less effort.’
Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft
Digital transformation is a hot topic in the professional world. In fact, the digital transformation market revenue has skyrocketed in the last five years, as businesses from all industries begin to invest in technology to aid their processes.
Digital transformation goes hand in hand with modern workplace initiatives - after all, technologies such as cloud computing, automation, IoT and AI aids a businesses’ modernisation efforts. When businesses embrace these revolutionary advancements they are able to create environments that promote employee engagement, aid efficiency, lower costs and boost productivity.
Digital Transformation by the numbers:
But how can technology have such a transformative effect on a business?
How can a computing system boost engagement, employee morale and productivity?
‘The way I think about culture is that modern humans have radically changed the way that they work and the way that they live. Companies need to change the way they manage and lead to match the way that modern humans actually work and live.’
Brian Halligan, HubSpot CEO
As businesses modernise, many are saying goodbye to outdated practices.
From rigid working hours to constrictive office spaces, enterprises are starting to distance themselves from restrictive ways of working. And as more and more businesses see the true power of these modern workplace initiatives, the revolution has only just begun.
But don’t take our word for it, let’s look at the facts:
As well as boosting efficiency and productivity, the modern workplace could be promoting equality amongst working parents and people with disabilities.
'We like to give people the freedom to work where they want, safe in the knowledge that they have the drive and expertise to perform excellently, whether they are at their desk or in their kitchen. Yours truly has never worked out of an office, and never will.'
Thanks to cloud-based applications, remote work has finally become a practical option for thousands of UK employees.
Nowadays, you don’t have to chain employees to their desks to get work done - they have the freedom and flexibility to work from anywhere.
Thanks to easily accessible applications, employees can access their files from the comfort of their own home, balance work with a healthier lifestyle and sustain both professional and family commitments.
And this arrangement isn’t just putting a smile on the face of employees. studies have found that remote working has a positive effect on workplace productivity, employee trust and employee retention.
Let’s look at the facts:
‘Mobile is becoming not only the new digital hub but also the bridge to the physical world. That’s why mobile will affect more than just your digital operations – it will transform your entire business.’
Thomas Husson, Forrester Research Vice President
Bring Your Own Device initiatives are an ideal strategy for any company looking to introduce remote work.
Thanks to the advanced security built in to public cloud platforms, it’s never been safer for employees to work on their own computers, tablets or even phones - resulting in a flexible, mobile workforce that doesn’t put your sensitive files or data at risk.
Let’s look at the facts:
‘I'm very encouraged by millennials and their drive to make the world a better place.’
John Mackey, Whole Foods CEO
Studies have shown that out of all the age groups millennials value the option of remote work the most, are looking for a job with purpose and regard diversity and inclusion critical factors.
Establishing yourself as a modern workplace - one that promotes a healthy working culture, uses technology to aid efficiency and values flexibility and freedom - is an ideal way to attract fresh talent.
But what are the stats?
‘In God we trust. All others must bring data.’
W. Edwards Deming, Statistician
Data is ubiquitous.
Everywhere you look enterprises are collecting data in the hopes of gaining customer and business insights.
Data analysis is now considered one of the most integral parts of running a competitive modern business. However, a bank of data is useless unless you have the power to analyse it, understand it and visualise your findings.
The modern workplace makes the most of data-driven practices. It uses it improve critical business decisions and future-proof your company.
Big Data by the numbers:
There are so many ways to embrace change and future proof your business. Be it, investing in better technology or re-evaluating your employee policies.
The point is: examine what is important for your business, your employees, your goals and build a plan from there.
Let’s take a look at a few businesses who have commited to change and innovated their digital workspaces.
Ride-sharing service Zipcar, moved away from traditional their desktop workspace in favour of mobile working.
Despite becoming a trailblazer in the sharing economy industry, the creators found that their desktop-based experience no longer reflected the modern user or their company culture.
In a bid to modernise, Zipcar got rid of their rigid office structure and promoted a more mobile business.
By enabling their employees to step away from a traditional desk setup and embrace mobile technology, Zipcar gave their team the gift of agility. Their employees can now work from home, complete tasks on the move and step away from rigid working environments.
To encourage internal innovation, the DWP launched a gamification platform. The goal of the game was to stimulate innovation by awarding points to users who submitted ideas that could improve working practises. Further points were given if they invested their time to develop these ideas.
Like many innovative companies, KPMG understood the importance of catering to a millennial workforce. With this in mind, the company adopted a transparent communication policy, focused on building a social environment and implemented mentoring programmes.
By engaging in transparent communication and flexibility, KPMG now has a workforce that spans five generations, with millennial employees making up the majority.
Unilever launched an interactive AI programme to help fine-tune their hiring process. Instead of submitting CVs and cover letters, candidates complete a series of neuroscience-based games to measure inherent traits. Successful candidates then participate in recorded interviews, which are analysed by machine learning algorithms.
By turning to technological solutions, Unilever have revolutionised their hiring process in a time-efficient, economic way.
‘We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims.’
As we know, the world of work is changing at rapid speed.
The way we live is evolving - the way we work should reflect this.
But, as a business owner, it can be a lot to take in. Where should you be focusing your efforts?
Here’s what you need to remember:
At the forefront of the modern workplace is technology. It is thanks to the digital revolution that these incredible developments are even possible.
Without telecommunication, remote working would be too challenging
Without advanced IT, security BYOD would be impossible.
Without the cloud, the modern workplace would simply not exist.
However, investing in state of the art technology will only get you so far. To create the office of the future, businesses must fully embrace the attitudes of the modern workplace.
The modern workplace values flexibility, innovation and employee empowerment. Above all, the modern workplace sees change as an opportunity, not a threat.
Ready to start building your own modern workplace? Discover how our SmartPath program can streamline your journey.