The Driving Forces Behind the Modern Workplace Revolution
How can you ensure you get the best from your workplace transformation? Bear in mind these two key drivers, and you'll see the benefits of new technologies
There has been a rapid change in the workplace throughout the decades, and now modern technology and office culture are combining to cement higher levels of productivity. As the framework of the traditional workplace shifts rapidly, business leaders are beginning to notice, and take advantage. Whether small or larger changes overall, there are two core factors to incorporate in your business strategy, to ensure you get the best from your workplace transformation:
Flexible Working Policies
When true flexible or agile working policies are introduced, business leaders report an increase in productivity levels within their teams. Being able to provide your workforce with the right environment and flexible choices is now considered paramount to success.
According to a study by YouGov, only 6% of workers in the UK work the standard and traditional 9-5 role. With the rise of agile and flexible working, this is hardly a surprise.
Globally, there has been a rapid rise in agile working, with employees demanding a better work/life balance. This is at the top of the agenda for organisations who are making talent attraction and retention a priority.
“Companies are continually looking at how they can use technology to create more flexibility. This is increasingly important when we consider the different generations in the workplace and how they like to connect with work when not physically in the office.” – D&I Expert and Judge Charlotte Sweeney.
According to a study by PowWoNow, 70% of workers strongly believing that flexible working would make a job more attractive to them. This is reflected in the 2018 Global Talent Trends study by Mercer, which found 51% of those surveyed wish their employer offered more flexible work options.
Back in 2016, a study by FlexJobs found that “working parents ranked workplace flexibility ahead of salary. A whopping 84% of working parents said work flexibility is the number one most important factor in a job”. However, we’re increasingly seeing that flexible working isn’t just about being a working parent – flexibility is beneficial for everyone, and with advances in technology, it’s now easier than ever to achieve.
Keeping up with the wants and needs of your workforce can be a challenge, but there are small changes you can make to ensure a productive and happy workforce.
Future Technology Enablers
Welcoming innovative technology into your workplace can help take you to the next level of productivity. For over 200 years, as a society, we have been innovating and creating new technology. That’s exactly what we’re continuing to do as we explore the future of the workplace. Just as the early 2000s began paving the way for agile and flexible working, we are now seeing today’s workplaces embracing new technology with a passion and enthusiasm that wasn’t evident before.
Smart buildings are here to stay – connecting our workforce through apps, workplace management systems and the Internet of Things. The big four technologies: augmented reality, machine learning, AI and virtual reality, are already embedded into our daily lives, but the next generation of these technological advancements are taking shape, too.
Augmented reality is projected to reach revenue around $120 billion – Digi-capital
It won’t come as a surprise that some of the biggest names in technology are at the forefront of augmented reality development. Pokémon Go, created by Niantic Inc., is a multi-player game where users connect via their smartphones, allowing Pokémon characters to be found. When the optional augmented reality is switched on, characters appear in your reality, giving users the experience of interacting in real time. This may be a game, but the technology available to enhance our workspaces is equally as exciting – think of augmented reality meetings, being able to see architectural designs and plans, models and 3D structures or even customers, suppliers or colleagues right there in the meeting space with you.
“Users seem to be embracing VR not to try to escape reality, but rather to make products and environments more real for them, so that they can save time and feel empowered to make well-informed decisions anytime, anywhere." – Maya Christova, Director, 3DENTITY
Virtual reality is nothing new, but the advancements which have been made in the last few years make this technology a relevant and practical solution for many of today’s workplaces. The gaming, property and tourism industries have welcomed VR with open arms, incorporating it into their everyday working environments. It is predicted that by 2020, the VR market will be worth an estimated $30 billion, and by 2025, 500 million VR headsets will have been sold.
Virtual reality creates a 100% digital world, allowing the user to be fully immersed; the possibilities for the workplace are enormous. Imagine bringing global teams closer together, giving your workforce the ability to be fully immersed in global locations, simply by collaborating with VR.
Artificial intelligence may seem like science fiction to some: Hollywood portrays human-like robots, or androids rising up against the human population, but in reality, AI has a huge influence on our daily lives. Social media, SIRI, video games, smart cars, fraud detection and purchase predictions are already enhanced by AI functionality.
“Everything we love about civilization is a product of intelligence, so amplifying our human intelligence with artificial intelligence has the potential of helping civilization flourish like never before – as long as we manage to keep the technology beneficial”. – Max Tegmark, President of the Future of Life Institute
Reports have shown there may be mixed feelings on the use of AI in the workplace, however, a recent study by Dell Technologies and Vanson Bourne reported executives believe 82% expect their employees and machines to work as "integrated teams" within the next few years. Business leaders need to ensure AI is accepted into their workplaces, and involve their workforce to help identify those automated processes which can easily be unified with artificial intelligence processes. Just like machine learning, this technology requires human management.
The workplace revolution is undeniable, and it’s bringing the next generation of workplace technology to the forefront. Artificial intelligence, machine learning, augmented reality and virtual reality are all able to ensure our future workspaces become efficient, smart and productive. Businesses who are incorporating smart design with innovative technology into their workplaces will no doubt reap the benefits.
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