The rise of social, mobile, data and cloud technology has transformed every aspect of our personal and business lives, making them increasingly connected and digital. We live in what is known as the digital era. One area that has seen deep transformation is the workplace. Indeed, gone are the days when the workplace was a physical space employee occupied during regular office hours. Today’s always connected instant access environment has blurred the lines between the physical office and the place where work actually happens. To accurately reflect changing work experience and employee’s expectations, leading organisations have begun to implement a completely new working environment, the digital workplace.
In this article, we will look at some of the top trends that will impact the digital workplace in 2019.
It’s all about the cloud
Everyone talks about cloud constantly and cloud is the underlying technology powering most of the digital workplace. A majority of businesses have adopted cloud for systems like their productivity suite, emails, storage and CRM. 2019 will be the year more businesses move their communication and collaboration systems to the cloud. According to Gartner, 90% of IT leaders will not purchase new premises-based UC infrastructure — up from 50% today — because future cloud UC offerings will be far ahead in terms of features, functions, portals, analytics and dashboards. Organisations looking to remain competitive in a fast-changing digital marketplace view on-premise solutions as clunky, outdated and an obstacle to a truly digital workplace. Cloud communication and collaboration are key to shaping a successful digital workplace and will bring numerous benefits including flexibility, mobility and the ability to work and communicate from pretty much anywhere on the globe.
Recent years have seen the rise of the mobile worker with 1.6 million employees in the UK regularly working from home, and most staff working flexibly at least some of the time in two-fifths of businesses internationally. Modern technology has freed them from the office and enabled them to work from wherever they choose, whenever they choose. Employees are no longer bound to their desks, where they are expected to adapt their specific needs to a one-size-fits-all, legacy IT system.
Beyond telephony and video, it is crucial to offer employees seamless ways of communicating and collaborating regardless of location, time and devices used. Click To Tweet
In many cases, technological advancement in businesses has been driven by the use of technology in the home. Workers using the latest smartphone, device, or productivity apps in their personal lives expect the same level of functionality in the workplace. This is especially true of the tech-savvy millennial generation, which carries the same products and applications they use at home to power their work lives.
Relationships have more of an impact on your workforce than you’d think. In fact, one study found that out of 1,000 employees, 66% felt that the relationships they had with colleagues made them more focused and productive. Another 40% said that the relationships they had with their team members were what they loved most about their career.
In an environment where employees from the same company work in different locations and sometimes time zones, it is critical for businesses to help build and maintain relationships and interactions between employees and partners. Beyond telephony and video, it is crucial to offer employees seamless ways of communicating and collaborating regardless of location, time and devices used. In order to succeed in this new digital age, businesses need to expand and promote communication and collaboration outside the physical office space.
Real-time messaging and file sharing solutions like the RingCentral app allows for stronger connections between staff members.
Today’s workplace requires a toolbelt of apps and programmes in order to work efficiently and effectively. While apps provide some efficiency through increased connectivity, they also add chaos to workflows and productivity. According to a recent global study by RingCentral and Cite Research, ‘more than two-thirds of workers say they waste up to 60 minutes at work navigating between apps, while 17 percent waste even more’.
The cultural change taking place in the workplace is in full swing—a movement towards collaboration and unified experiences that overcomes app overload and leads to a state of workplace zen where focus, productivity and working “in the flow” reign supreme.
Supporting global locations
As businesses are becoming increasingly digital, they are equally becoming increasingly global. Consistent access to the internet, smart technology and the cloud mean that we’re all more connected today than ever before. The lines between geographic boundaries are blurring and organisations can easily spread from one country to another. The key to success in globalisation isn’t just making sure that people around the world can access the same services. Effective scaling comes from a strategy that maintains quality, reliability and performance standards regardless of where your business moves to next.
As the workplace environment continues to change, and the average employee evolves with it, it’s vital for today’s forward-thinking companies to reconsider how they can empower their teams and delight their customers. A cloud-based communication strategy is an ultimate way to unlock the scalability and flexibility required for globalisation, ensuring that your workforce can maintain the same audio experiences wherever they are
The world is evolving; cloud communications means that your business can transform to evolve with it.
Originally published Dec 25, 2018, updated Jan 30, 2020