It is increasingly difficult to predict what waits around the corner for businesses. As workers and consumers, we are constantly inundated with new tools and new ways of working; social media, artificial intelligence, automation plus many more, have ingrained themselves into our everyday lives. Technology giants like Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and Google seem to define the modern workplace and have evolved at an unprecedented rate—Amazon and Facebook, despite being billion-dollar organizations, remain in the top 10 of Fortune’s fastest-growing companies for 2017. Meanwhile, expectations for what the future may hold, in terms of technology, range from the fear of robots taking over our jobs to the potential of merging the human brain with the internet.
Curating a culture of adaptability to better react to inevitable changes to the business climate will offer the most advantageous position to organizations. In this post, we explore if, and how, you can prepare for the future workplace.
Planning for the future workplace
The impact of mobile phones has allowed the world to be more connected than ever, potentially at the expense of ‘real’ contact. The workplace is becoming more individual as workers place more dependence on technology to connect with one another rather than making personal contact at work—compounded by the fact that more people work outside of the office during working hours than ever.
The dramatic increase in the amount of data that is generated and consumed is shrinking the timeframe for which we expect a response—emotional, intellectual, or otherwise. There is more emphasis on short-term gratification and instant answers than ever before. The workplace is reflecting this sense of immediacy in many forms. The millennial workforce switch jobs more frequently than generations past, and there are higher expectations regarding how quickly we can search and find information.
These are not inherently negative changes. But it does create a challenge for organizations that continue to operate within the traditional confines of IT. Organizations that cannot facilitate things like remote working and instant communication risk losing their workers to companies that do, as this increasingly becomes the norm.
Bringing your technology and workers into the modern workplace is not like flicking a switch, of course. Substantial change often comes down to your enterprise culture. This will determine whether any change you make to the workplace, whether it’s around technology or working behavior, will be sustained. An adaptive culture can be attributed to innovation, a lack of hierarchical structure, collaboration, teamwork and supportive leadership. More broadly speaking, it is the process of enabling your own workforce to be more flexible, collaborative, and communicative—empowering people to take more control of their own work, and in doing so, supporting the individualism of the modern workplace.
The changing enterprise may be hard to predict, but you can be sure that there is no stopping it. Your business needs the tools to enable an adaptive culture if you want to keep up with the pace of change.
Flexibility is in the cloud
When trying to accommodate a workforce that is more individualized than ever, one that expects access to information as and when they need it, a cloud-based IT infrastructure can be the difference.
Work anywhere, at any time
With the cloud, your systems, programs and data is accessible anytime, anywhere. For workers, this means they can access their files and information while on the road as easily as they would at their desk in the office.
The cloud is immensely scalable, able to fit the storage and operation requirements of the business around your needs. If your company suddenly needs to hire 100 new employees, for example, the cloud bypasses the need to invest in new servers up front. Instead, you just add the new employees to your chosen system and they immediately have access to the same tools as everyone else.
Not only is it easier for workers to access their files, but the cloud makes it easier for them to share with colleagues and collaborate on them. From working simultaneously on files to conference calls and company message boards, cloud tech gives workers the means to better communicate and collaborate with one another, creating more opportunities for companies to branch out from rigid, traditional IT practices into new ways of working.
The future workplace is built in the cloud
The future of work will always be difficult to predict, blurred by the constant potential of technology. The term ‘cloud computing’ was coined only about 10 years ago. Now, almost every business is based in the cloud, or contemplating a move. So, while we may not know what the future holds for the workplace, we can just about guarantee it will be based in the cloud.