As modern tech transforms the average workplace, employee engagement becomes the primary driver of success.
Thanks to an ever-evolving and tech-oriented state of business, the modern workplace is being transformed to accommodate much smarter and contextually driven solutions and experiences. It has helped to provide immense value to the concept of a “smart” corporate campus, which puts the spotlight on employee engagement, at least much more than it ever has been in the past.
Much of this is obvious and can be seen in how today’s corporate properties are developing. They are focused on the integration of newer, more aware technologies such as IoT, AI, data-driven operations and, of course, mobile experiences. Let’s not forget about indoor mapping and wayfinding either, which is also incredibly important to the employee experience these days.
But many organizations are too focused on the transformation process, without truly understanding what it all means. It’s difficult to imagine how the average workplace is going to change in the coming days.
What can we expect to find in these environments? What kinds of experiences will be prioritized? More importantly, what trends are going to shape the workplace of the future?
Welcome to the Future of Work
One of the most important concepts to understand is that today’s landscape is being shaped by a merger between physical and digital experiences, or surroundings. Thanks to the rise of numerous modern technologies, employees stand to benefit greatly from a variety of omn-ichannel experiences. Those interactions will be delivered through platforms such as IoT, mobile, location-aware tech and Bluetooth beacons, dynamic digital signage, and much more.
More importantly, this event has — and will continue to have — a profound impact on the state of corporate workplaces. It’s a way for the modern business to differentiate itself from the competition, not only by creating a more convenient workplace for employees, but also more streamlined and contextual operations. In other words, the participating businesses realize a boost in productivity and output on many levels, further improving their bottom line.
This merger between physical and virtual spaces, if you will, is powering several trends:
The Rise of Contextual Communications
The merger between physical and digital worlds presents an opportunity to create and sustain a smarter, more aware environment. But what does that mean? What does that translate to in the workplace?
It means that contextual communications are now possible. But it also means that they are more relevant, more accurate and much more efficient. Twenty-six percent of employees think email is a major productivity killer, revealing just how important it is to get the communication channel and platform correct.
With contextual opportunities, employees can receive mobile notifications based on where they are on or off property, and what they happen to be doing at any given moment. They can be served alerts about upcoming events, daily specials in the cafeteria, important conference or meeting changes, and much more.
Smarter, More Modular Work Environments
As the average experience changes and employees adapt along with that, it stands to reason that the way they work will also see a major shift. Many workers now spend time either off-site or even at home. This is great, but it also puts a lot of stress on the work environment itself, particularly when it comes to assigning work areas. Up to 40 percent of office space can be vacant at any given time.
Thanks to many of the newer technologies, workplaces have become much more modular and dynamic. They are now being developed using a purpose-driven design, prioritizing function above all else. 7 percent of U.S. employers now offer flexible workplace options, but that number also reflects a 40 percent increase over the past five years.
These new spaces adapt to real-time employee preferences as recorded by a digital system. The spaces are tailored to the company’s needs and foster collaboration. The same systems can be used to reserve, reassign and restructure various spaces on the property.
Increased Personalization Support
Smart technology solutions also mean more data flowing in about various elements, including operations, worker behavior, property usage and much more. This incoming data can be used to better inform processes and deliver more personalized experiences to employees. It makes an inherently difficult process that much simpler and more streamlined. 63 percent of marketers say data-driven personalization is the most difficult online tactic to execute.
High-tech, personalized environments will become commonplace in the corporate world. It means that employees spending time within a particular space will be able to adjust environmental settings based on their needs. The lighting, climate and temperature, desk height, amenities and much more will be customizable.
Increasingly Data-Driven Operations and Streamlined Feedback
Another benefit of the constant and real-time data streams is the option to inform regular operations and collect much more actionable worker feedback.
This creates a new kind of work environment, where employee sentiment plays a much bigger role in how things play out. And thanks to smart venues and mobile technology, there are more ways to source feedback from users in real-time.
Administrators can also share results internally and use this data to drive action. An impressive 89 percent of HR leaders agree that ongoing peer feedback and check-ins are key to developing successful strategies.
Efficient and Productive Workflows
The new workplace boasts simplified clutter-free workflows and tools. Digital tools are a part of this, carefully curated to aid with existing processes, and employees are encouraged to further streamline their work. This leads to a better environment overall. It helps to explain why 70 percent of employers have improved their physical environments to encourage healthier behaviors from their workforce.
Also, because a central hub of information and communication is integral to a smart campus, the sharing of data and collaborative projects are much more effective. Employees can interact with one another — and their leaders — using a mobile-oriented network. It’s akin to having a secure, work-focused social network for internal use.
A Better Way to Evolve
The workplace experience is becoming more and more important in the business world, so much that it’s now considered to be a competitive differentiator. As such, it’s used to source and retain top talent in the field and is even used to both secure and engage partners and investors.
Employees stand to benefit from the movement because these new trends are very worker and engagement focused. The idea is to provide a happier, healthier workspace while also improving productivity and output. An exhaustive report from The Engagement Institute points out that disengaged employees cost U.S. companies about $550 billion per year.
Some companies are already getting a head start by developing smart venues at their locations around the world, which goes to show just how effective these trends are.