What the modern workplace should look like in 2020, and why it doesn’t

You may have noticed that we’ve re-energised our blogging recently with more content about the digital workplace, and increasing productivity, collaboration, agility and all those wonderful benefits digital transformation can deliver.

Find out how to turn your organisation into a digital workplace fit for 2020 by downloading our guide here >

Every time we publish a blog we need to find a photo to illustrate the article, something that will inspire people to click on a link, and something that reflects the modern workplace. Here are a few examples of the kind of imagery that comes up when you search for ‘digital workplace’, ‘productivity’, ‘collaboration’ and other buzzwords. 

modern workplace 2020 digital transformation

Stock libraries are full of photos of people fist bumping and high-fiving each other as they seamlessly collaborate on projects, using multiple devices and drinking lattes in their supercool offices. The reality for many ‘modern’ workplaces is very different, it’s not so easy to find photos that reflect this experience but they’re usually of someone with their head in their hands staring at a laptop screen. 

modern workplace 2020 tech problems 

If this is a more accurate reflection of your office experience, it doesn’t have to be this way.  

While you may not have breakout areas, hotdesking, brainstorming spaces and other office interior design features that make your office worthy of a stock photo shoot, you can still have a productive and collaborative workplace with staff high-fiving each other over their laptops.  

The modern workplace is a digital workplace where your office exists in the cloud as well as in your premises. The digital element can overcome many of the physical challenges you may face that are barriers to productivity and collaboration. Such as an office that doesn’t have space for colleagues to work together on projects without having to book out a conference room or go off site. Or an office that can’t support your employees’ multitude of working styles, with some requiring total silence for specific tasks and others thriving in a busy and noisy open plan space. 

Digital transformation, in the form of migrating your documents, communication and systems to the cloud, can create workspaces for all these requirements – and resolve many of the productivity, communication and collaboration issues businesses face. 

Here a few common ones that you’ll probably be familiar with: 

Them and us: many departments within the business exist in silos where staff have no visibility of how they’re all contributing towards the business’s goals and all play a supportive role in helping other departments function. The ‘them and us’ mentality results in poor communication between different departments and employees, and a focus on individual targets not the overall business strategy. 

Communication and collaboration tools like Microsoft Yammer can provide a platform for employees to engage across the entire organisation.

Employee satisfaction: when systems aren’t joined up or the workplace isn’t fit for purpose your employer satisfaction rates can take a nosedive. Giving employees the right tools to perform at their best improves engagement and retention. So if your sales director can’t access the data they need from finance to set targets for next quarter, or if you’re Millennials and Gen Z employees are frustrated that they can’t use their own devices at work; you’ve got a problem.  

Conflicted versions: another bugbear for many employees is when they update a spreadsheet, document or system to get an error message that there’s a conflicted version. Then they must compare both versions and update manually, deleting one copy while praying that they’re not deleting the wrong one. Frustrating. Even worse is when you don’t know you’re using an out-of-date version, such as when you receive the ‘latest’ version from a colleague who then fails to copy you in when a new version is created. The impact of that could result in clients receiving the wrong information, erroneous brand content being shared in the public domain, and systems becoming increasingly conflicted without anyone knowing. 

Time wasting meetings: let’s face it, many meetings take too much time. Even when they’re constructive, on a personal level attending a meeting can take you away from other work for a significant chunk of time. Travelling to the meeting, waiting for the coffee order to be distributed around the boardroom table, comfort breaks or trying to dial into the legacy conferencing system can all waste time. 

Firefighting IT issues: many IT departments feel overwhelmed by the amount of firefighting they do and lack of time and resources they have to invest in more strategic work. Providing IT support for everyone else in the organisation, and customers, is a significant drain on the IT department and one that can be reduced by migrating to cloud solutions. Of course, people will still make mistakes, forget passwords and have other IT issues, but the cloud migration does reduce your maintenance burden – with the cloud company monitoring, maintaining, upgrading and patching their applications.  

Digital transformation can help address all the problems highlighted above, making your workplace look a bit more like this: 

modern workplace 2020 digital transformation-2

Cheesy I know, but if you would like a few more happy faces and a productivity boost in your office, get in touch to discuss how we can help transform your organisation into a digital workplace. Or download our free guide below to learn more about the benefits of digital transformation. 

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