Digitally-connected workplaces are required for today’s market and necessary for future-proofing in the enterprise
2020, the era of… workplace experience. You’ve likely used or heard similar phrases over the past few years such as the ‘year of employee engagement’ or the ‘year of customer experience’.
These type of sayings tend to give off the idea that movements fit neatly into a 365-day cycle, and then come to a penultimate conclusion. Everyone spends the year focusing on one element of business, and at the end of quarter four, success is achieved... or not.
In reality, that’s never the case, not even close. All of these ‘experiences’ or movements are constantly shifting components of a successful business. They are never static and never truly resolved — certainly not within 365-days. An organization focused on one of these components that has not met with success over a year still has plenty of opportunities to do so in the future. Nothing is ever truly over.
Workplace Experience (WX), specifically, is a continually evolving trend that is shaped by rising innovations, alongside ever-changing employee needs.
The Reality of Modern Trends: No Finish Line, No Conclusion
Naturally, the next question is what trends persist in the future of work? If the ‘workplace experience’ trend is always moving forward, what are some individual focus points that organizations should always be concerned about?
The concept of fostering a pointed company culture is nothing new. Its benefits have been apparent for a long time, as well. If and when you can get everyone on board internally, including through direct engagement, it results in a better experience for the customer.
Today’s market just makes it so much more necessary, however. There are so many job opportunities in the world, and good, reliable employees tend to migrate to “good” companies. If a positive and wholesome experience is available, then it takes precedence over nearly any other aspect.
That’s precisely why companies that offer a positive and healthy culture tend to attract and retain the best talent. It’s exacerbated even more by the growth of the ‘gig economy’ where individuals hold most of the power.
Even the largest companies are forced back to basics, which starts with reviewing their foundation to ensure they have created a workplace environment that people actually want to participate in. Positive, desirable and healthy company culture that is in-step with modern trends contributes to a thriving workforce.
In the workplace, facilities are quickly becoming smarter about each person spending time within its walls. Digital access points, beacons, and location-aware infrastructures are learning about who you are, where you are, and what you like. Everything from preferences to professional objectives are used to offer up remarkably personalized content and experiences. Technologies like machine learning, big data and location services help foster new strategies to this end.
With this information, workplace experience managers and campus operations can create experiences that interact with the end-user. Imagine receiving alerts or information about the days menu or coffee break specials solely based on where you are located across the campus, and this pivots as you move throughout your day. Similarly, when connected with other smart devices with IoT capabilities, the possibilities exponentially increase with physical touchpoints across desks, lighting, heating, and other spaces/environments.
Alternatives To Intranets
Company-focused intranets are growing less practical by the day, and most are already extinct. This is because they are inherently static. They require us to access via desktop or use old systems and tools that don’t allow for real-time and even on-the-go internal communications.
Between meetings, meals, commuting, and even more meetings, it’s hard to find a moment to sit down, login and access let alone respond to information. That’s why employee communication and collaboration must become more agile and accessible, mobile-first.
Modern solutions must incorporate elements of social networking to shift focus to work and company culture, much like you’d find in various external/social communities. Professional networking forms the basis for even the simplest of cultural experiences, and it must be an ongoing movement.
News and current events remain one of the most prominent sources for company sentiment. People can glean insights into what a company feels, thinks and plans as far as the future of the business and beyond. But just as intranets are static, so too are traditional news outlets within a company (think employee newsletter).
Today’s content needs to be easily accessible, available at anytime, and relevant to each person’s interests. Not everyone wants/needs the same information and yet we’re still delivering everything to everyone.
Why not give your employees the opportunity to refine the content and news they receive based on the topics or people they are most interested in hearing from.
As a general rule, the more meaningful and relevant content that’s available, the more connected employees tend to be with the brand. They actually feel like they are part of something not just a cog in the wheel. Radio silence has the exact opposite effect. So it’s unequivocally, a continuous process that must be maintained throughout the lifetime of a business.
Today, employees spend as much time away from their desk, as they do at it. Whether they’re bouncing from one conference room to another, commuting, or merely visiting the on-campus cafeteria, remoteness has become a staple of the modern business world.
For that reason, it’s vital to deliver the kind of on-the-go experiences that support the professional lives these employees are living. Productivity is consequential when managing day to day activities. And as more and more operations become available to this subset of the workforce, digital tools that offer remote access are the only way to reach them.
The go-to tools for setting up conference rooms, scheduling time and appointment slots, communicating with colleagues, and just about anything else corporate-related, will all be mobile-friendly, if not mobile-exclusive. This includes advanced capabilities that rely on location services to identify desk and conference room availability that is proximity based, availability-based or even size-based to fit individual appointment needs across an entire corporate campus.
So many tools purport to offer the end-all-be-all experience, handling everything and anything that’s needed in the modern corporate workplace. There are so many disparate needs in the average workplace, however, that it’s just not possible.
Maybe one solution genuinely could offer 75 percent of the resources employees and managers need? Regardless, that additional 25 percent needs to come from somewhere. Wherever it comes from, all adopted solutions need to support a healthy, connected campus environment that does away with a siloed approach.
Creating a healthy ecosystem of partners and technologies that can work seamlessly from a central hub is necessary to succeed in today’s digital-centric landscape.
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Welcome to the Digital, Dynamic Future
What many of these concentrations signify is a dynamic future where the businesses of tomorrow must rely on a library of ever-changing technologies. From communication and social-networking tools to enterprise calendar management, the ideal platform must be able to support all of these features and more.
The ‘connected campus’ is not a concept best left to future generations, but something that should be taking hold today, right now. Because the future of work demands it.