The way we work is changing, fueled by a growing diversity of views and expectations across the workforce. Employees are demanding consumer-like experiences in the workplace, with greater flexibility around where and how they work. And a new generation of tech-savvy employees that has never known a world without a smartphone is poised to enter the workplace. They expect to work as they want, when they want, using the technologies of their choice.
Office of the Future
The workplace of the future may not be an actual office. Workers want the flexibility to work somewhere that inspires them to do their best and be most productive. That means work now takes place in a diverse array of spaces around the world, from coffee shops and park benches to homes and hotels and everything in between.
While working from home appeals to 85% of employees, traditional office environments still have their place. Eighty-six percent of employees feel face-to-face interactions will always be important. In fact, 71% of the app generation believes it’s important to connect in person with coworkers. However, the newest generation is accustomed to a different type of face-to-face communication: asynchronous and instantaneous in a mobile environment.
Combined, these trends point to new work environments designed to bring together employees, spark conversation, and trigger innovative ideas. Modern offices must account for workers needing to transition easily from one task to another: from large-group brainstorms to solo projects; from laptop to mobile; from office to car to loft to coworking space to coffee shop. Simply put, companies need to support the shift and desire for increasingly portable and mobile tools that make it easy to work both in and out of the office. Since the office of the future can really be everywhere, it is up to business leaders to the digital workforce.
Technology for the Digital Workforce
When employees want the freedom to dial in or log on whenever, wherever, however it suits them best, companies need to reimagine what it means to be available, connected, and engaged. For teams living in an “always-on” work reality, connectivity is essential. The app generation wants digital tools that untether them from the office and desk, and help unleash their creativity and productivity. 75% of this generation wants to use the latest technology at work, increasing pressure on IT leaders to introduce and deploy technologies with consumer-like experiences.
Technology that is intuitive, supports every work style, and feels like a natural extension of face-to-face communication will drive the work of the future. No wonder 78% of IT leaders believe collaboration tools will be a necessity given the rise of remote working and distributed workforces, and 59% are treating the adoption of new communications platforms as a top priority. By introducing the right new enterprise tools to power productivity, these IT leaders can weed out redundant – and often unsanctioned –communications and collaboration tools used throughout the business.
IT of the Future
IT leaders have long called upon technology to enable workers with the tools they need to be efficient and productive, with an eye to reducing costs. Now they are doing the same to help redefine the way work gets done. By simplifying IT infrastructures, reducing the number of applications, and providing workers with easy-to-use, single-app alternatives, leaders can dramatically transition IT from an operational function to a driver of innovation and fresh approaches.
Fortunately, advanced tools enable collaboration and communication in cloud, reducing the need for a physical office or toggling between multiple apps. By adopting and deploying cloud-based collaboration and communication tools, IT leaders can provide the flexible communications ecosystem that connects the generationally diverse workforce. No matter where they are located, workers will be able to work, interact and collaborate using accessible tools that seamlessly integrate with their work environments.
Providing mobile, secure, IT-sanctioned options to connect co-workers wherever and whenever they choose as they navigate an always-on workplace enables a thriving ecosystem of collaboration. The result is an energized workforce, the ability to harnesses all worker talents, and the ability to convene people as needed to get work done.
Making Work Work for Everyone
As the workforce becomes more generationally diverse, forward-thinking IT leaders are viewing end users as technology consumers rather than employees. Hand in hand with this, they are investing in technology that offers consumer-like experiences shaped by simplicity and usability. Making work work for everyone demands a new way of communicating, using technology that empowers the modern worker.
No wonder so many organizations are deploying unified communications – a fusion of voice, text, content, and video – to support seamless collaboration between remote workers and other business stakeholders. By integrating multiple communication tools in the cloud, Unified Communications as a Service enables collaboration via global voice, video, and messaging demanded by the modern workforce.
Leading CIOs are proactively championing the use of modern tools and technologies to enable the future of work and bring the digital workforce together. Many of them find that Unified Communications as a Service is the best way to drive their businesses forward.