FINDING SPACE FOR THE DIGITAL WORKPLACE
At the turn of the 21st century, acclaimed futurist Ray Kurzweil predicted that 20,000 years of progress would happen over the next 100 years. In reality, technology has transformed how we work even faster than Kurzweil thought – especially over the past two decades.
According to PwC’s The future of work report, 53 per cent of survey respondents expect technological breakthroughs to transform ways of working further within the next five to 10 years. The new infrastructure and workforce promises significant opportunities for organisations that adapt to the demands of the digital revolution. Will yours be one of them?
A 2017 study by McKinsey & Company found that around 30 per cent of tasks across 60 per cent of occupations are likely to be computerised in the next few years. The Bank of England’s Chief Economist also warned about the impact machines, robots and cognitive computers will have on up to 15 million UK jobs and 80 million US jobs.
Company leaders can prepare for automation by upskilling their teams. This could be in the form of workplace mentoring schemes, online training software or weekly seminars. From graduate recruits to middle managers, proactively filling the digital skills gap through robust, purpose-built training programmes will prepare staff for the latest technological changes.
Investing time into teams will boost productivity, ensure long-term growth and help companies prosper. Part of achieving this will be looking at where people work as well as how they work. By 2030, 10 per cent of the largest companies in the US will be virtual corporations, with less than 10 per cent of their employees working in an office at any given time. Companies must ensure they have workplace tools available for those working remotely.
Sixty-four per cent of business leaders believe they would improve productivity if they slashed commute times too. By choosing flexible workspace options like workspace-as-a-service, and therefore having offices in cities all over the world, employees can spend more time tackling their workload and less time on the road. Such locations aren’t for long-distance travellers alone: 57 per cent of workers tell us they work remotely to remain productive while travelling to and from meetings.
Invest in a digital workplace strategy
Leaders are already pursuing ways to integrate tech solutions like social media tools and virtual meeting systems into their workflows. They’re automating processes entirely in areas like training and recruitment, which allows staff to spend more time on innovation. Unified communications break down barriers and transform the employee experience to be more collaborative – fostering growth, innovation and efficiency in the process.
Building an effective digital workplace strategy requires setting out clear business objectives and technology priorities. The right digital tools should lower barriers to contribution and participation across the workplace and empower employees to take a more collaborative approach to key operational tasks. This can only be achieved by executing change management effectively and by providing the necessary training to staff. Success in achieving the defined business objectives should be measured and reviewed throughout a probationary period.
When businesses struggle to connect to key digital infrastructure, the productivity and morale of their teams suffer. Early last year, around 75,000 companies representing more than 4.5 million employees came together through their chambers of commerce and wrote a letter to the UK government about how poor broadband was impacting their businesses. Having access to the right equipment and technologies wherever you are ensures maximum productivity.
Create a robust data strategy
Data is fast becoming the critical foundation for decision-making and market analysis. Across all sectors, the rate and efficiency with which companies handle and process data is now a driving factor for competitive advantage.
As machine learning, robotics and cognitive analysis grow in sophistication, automation is enabling businesses to re-evaluate how they structure their workforce. According to a report by Deloitte, one manager saved 43 minutes a month for their company by instituting improved workplace tools. The company estimated that with over 30,000 managers this would add up to an annual productivity increase of $12 million.
Research firm Ovum predicts that machine learning will play an important role in data preparation and predictive analysis for businesses as big data grows more prominent. By 2018, the US is expected to face a skills shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with deep analytical abilities, and lack 1.5 million managers and analysts who know how to use big data to make decisions effectively.
As digital infrastructure has been required to carry more and more data, software virtualisation has become an important tool in managing the increasing complexity. Software-defined networking (SDN) enables cloud and network engineers and administrators to respond quickly to evolving business needs. With this infrastructure in place, organisations can efficiently manage data as they scale their operations across markets and integrate their services with new platforms.
For professionals who are keen to act quickly to refine and improve their operations, choosing the right workspace means choosing excellent digital connections and associated technical infrastructure. Working somewhere that’s conveniently located and equipped with all the proper IT will help you and your team focus on solving problems and pursuing new opportunities.
The right technology and infrastructure is vital for your business – today, tomorrow and the day after that. That’s why here at Regus and Basepoint, we work hard to make sure you stay seamlessly connected and ahead of the game.