The modern workplace isn't just about the office. But, as the country slowly comes out of pandemic-induced lockdown, it’s also not just about working from home either.
The modern workplace is about using digital workplace solutions to create a space where people can do their best work – no matter where they are. It’s about building and facilitating a hybrid, creative environment where employees can excel with the tools, support, and development they need to succeed.
Offices aren’t dead. Humans are social creatures, but more businesses than ever are shifting towards a hybrid working environment and new technology is affecting that. COVID-19 has accelerated this idea of a ‘modern workplace’ and businesses are asking ‘where were we going’ and ‘what does it look like now?’ Things have fundamentally changed.
How things are changing in the workplace
The world has adapted to immeasurable change, but that change will last beyond the pandemic. Rather than simply returning to normal, businesses are recognising that COVID-19 left a lasting impact on the way people work.
However, the remote working environment isn’t sustainable. New technology is being employed to create a hybrid working environment that is the new digital workplace.
Hotdesking - Desktops are dead
Work has become less rigid. Today's new digital workplace is no longer about sitting at a single desk for hours on end. It’s about creating a space where people can co-locate and collaborate moving forward.
Hotdesking requires great technology to work from hardware like laptops and tablets, to a management system that helps you keep track of everyone. The quality of personal devices has now reached a point where desktop PCs are becoming a thing of the past.
So we can expect a new look to the office layout. One with more pods and fewer rows of desks.
Booking systems - Who needs to be where?
Tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams make remote working meetings incredibly easy and efficient – the modern hybrid meeting room needs to evolve to meet that. Room booking systems can help facilitate meetings across different working environments. But depending on the type of meeting, you might need different means of interaction. Splitting the types of meetings into strategic, tactical, and operational, we can see they encompass everything from purely remote meetings to a hybrid style.
- Operational meetings that cover status updates, reporting, or project check-ins make more sense remotely and are often more efficient over video conferencing.
- Tactical meetings are there to progress execution against an agreed plan or solve problems that can easily accommodate a hybrid approach.
- Strategic meetings that focus on the long-term goals and objectives of your business are best in person – strategic planning benefits from a shared space, disconnected from distractions and focusing on your plans.
The modern workplace needs to be able to accommodate different spaces for different requirements and utilising booking systems to connect people in both the office and remote environments makes it easier to have the meetings you need to have.
Zero trust networks
Connectivity is crucial to creating a seamless working environment. Networks used to be locked down like fortresses thanks to impregnable on-premises security. But attitudes are changing.
If employees can happily work in coffee shops, how do you guarantee security? A zero-trust network works on the basis that your device understands the area around it is hostile – everything is trying to break into it at all times anyway. And while you don’t just let anyone onto the network, the network needs to be fast to harness the true effectiveness of the cloud.
This also helps make your business more agile in the face of disaster recovery. Rather than needing backups and server restoration, employees can simply go home and continue working because backups are cloud-based, not on-premises.
Changing your culture - It's time to trust your employees
The modern workplace isn’t just about technology. It’s about modern ways of managing people and running a business. It’s important to create a space where people can manage themselves – you can’t be everywhere at once, especially in a hybrid environment. Instead, it’s about giving employees the tools they need to feel empowered to create their best work in their role.
Business leaders are losing those in-person touchpoints. It’s not as simple to see stress levels anymore, and it’s key that data supports you in your interactions rather than replace them. People have struggled in different ways during lockdown, so don't underestimate the needs of your employees.
In some ways, technology has made us less connected to our colleagues at work, and facilitating a hybrid working environment where people can talk to one another again is taking steps to right those changes, where technology helped make people more isolated.
Increase in productivity - People, not robots
Remote working meetings are happening all the time, with agendas packed from morning to afternoon with video calls. Businesses have seen an increase in productivity, but at what cost?
30% of people think they’ve been more productive since the start of the Coronavirus lockdown in the UK. - Micro Biz Mag
With all the meetings going on, it can be difficult for employees to find focus time – the time they need to actually do their job. Efficiency might be up, but what’s the cost to output quality overall? People need to be fulfilled on human needs to deliver creative ideas, not churning out work in a robotic fashion.
The idea of a modern workplace starts at that mindset – that it’s not just about technology, it’s about people. Digital workplace solutions simply enable that idea.
Improving the work/life balance
Technology and hybrid working environments enable you to work around people’s lives in a way that’s flexible, empowering those people to work perhaps where they couldn’t before.
Because everyone has been in the same situation, the remote working environment feels more human. Employers are adapting and adjusting to the needs of their employees as though they were just that – human. Whether their employees have children or animals, working from home has made the importance of supporting that all the more apparent.
By embracing the personal side of employees, you get more out of them. By aligning your business to the values of your employees, they will continue to work better for you as advocates of your company.
Tech doesn't make a leader
Technology marches on, and without a strategy and a vision, technology will leave you behind. Vision is everything. Technology enables people to become great leaders, but it won’t make them one. Business leaders still need to understand the human side of their business and ensure new technology benefits the culture of the modern workplace and the people who work there. As cloud migration experts, Wirehive can help you make the most of the best digital workplace solutions, starting your transformation toward a modern workplace that works for all.