For a long time now, business leaders looking for a competitive advantage in their industries have looked to workplace modernization. It’s not hard to understand why – the better the technology you have, the more productive the workplace you’ll manage, and by extension, the more profitable your business will be. But in light of the last two years, it’s interesting to look at how many companies’ approaches to modernizing have changed. Putting new technology in an office setting is one thing; remote and hybrid work environments are another challenge altogether.
According to Forbes, we have moved rapidly toward “the future of work” in 2020 and 2021. Dinesh Malkani, founder and CEO of Smarten Spaces, noted that the COVID-19 pandemic led many organizations to fast-track strategic initiatives around digital transformation, and unsurprisingly, they’ve reshaped their strategies to focus on safety and social distancing, as well as flexibility of work. He pointed to survey data showing that 73% of employees today have a desire for flexible remote work options post-pandemic.
“The modern office was designed around productivity at its core,” Malkani explained. “But the COVID-19 pandemic triggered a fundamental shift away from this assumption. Almost overnight, safety took precedence over productivity. As organizations shut their offices to protect their employees, cubicles and cabins gave way to kitchen tables and bedrooms in what was the greatest experiment in working from home in human history.”
The old-school office building isn’t completely a thing of the past, but it’s definitely phasing out. Remote and hybrid work are becoming the norm. Here’s a look at three top priorities for organizations today as they rethink the workplace:
- Safety. Allowing employees to work from home is obviously the most effective form of social distancing. But even when people are in the office, their employers can pull out plenty of stops, including using IoT sensors to limit occupancy in buildings and AI to identify areas that need to be cleansed or sanitized. There are all sorts of possibilities.
- Efficiency. When you give people a high level of work flexibility, you let them answer the question for themselves: How can they work at their most efficient? Whether this means staying home or using new in-office strategies like hotdesking or flexible scheduling, employers should be open to trying everything.
- Collaboration. Whether people are at home or in the office, the goal remains the same: To get all of them to work together effectively and get things done. This means it’s an imperative to give them all the right technology – for communicating, for sharing files, for tackling projects together, and more. Physical proximity is no longer an excuse. Everyone, everywhere, should have the capability to work together well.
Especially where that last point is concerned, Zones is here to help. We have a Remote Worker Solution that’s designed to simplify IT for your distributed workforce – and collaboration is a key part of that solution. We can set your employees up with invaluable tools like Office 365, Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex, and more – and we can also serve as a one-stop shop for IT supply chain configuration, logistics, and implementation. Whatever challenges you’re up against when it comes to modernizing work, we can help. Connect with us today to explore everything we can do for you.