This year, Polycom’s CEO Peter Leav unveiled the company’s vision of the Workplace of the Future. But how is the workplace of the future different from any Smart Work approach we hear about today? Most importantly, what does it really mean for you, your colleagues and your friends?
Workplace of the Future
The Workplace of the Future is not a physical place you go to, to do work. It is about embracing business transformation to improve performance, efficiencies and operations by integrating people, process and technology. Simply put, this is a new way of working which is relevant to all jobs, functions or industries.
To enjoy such benefits, businesses, government agencies, education and healthcare institutions must embed collaboration solutions into the DNA of their organisation to unleash the power of human collaboration. The Workplace of the Future has the potential of transforming not only the way we work, but also the way we learn and live today, tomorrow and in the future.
Workforce is changing
Bersin by Deloitte recently published the Global Human Capital Trends 2014 - Engaging the 21st-century workforce survey, which confirms key facts and trends affecting the new world of work today such as:
- Barriers between work and life have been all but eliminated.
- Employees are hyper connected to their jobs and always on.
- Many employees work in global teams that operate on a 24/7 basis.
- The balance of power in the employer-employee relationship has shifted.
- Millennials are taking center stage and have vastly different expectations.
- New cognitive technologies are displacing workers and reengineering work, forcing companies to redesign jobs to incorporate new technology solutions.
The same report suggests that this new world requires bold and innovative thinking. It challenges our existing people practices: how we evaluate and manage people and how we engage and develop teams; how we select leaders and how they operate. Organisations now face increasing demands to measure and monitor the larger organisational culture, simplify the work environment, and redesign work to help people adapt.
The Workforce of the Future
The workforce of the future, (not just millennials or Gen Y and X but any high performing team in any country, department or sector) demands collaboration tools and services which help them successfully achieve their goal or mission faster - not by working harder but smarter. Their workplace is not defined by a physical place they go to but by the way they work, communicate and collaborate regardless of location, network to device.
Business transformation requires a seamless integration between People, Technology and Process in order for organisations to enjoy new level of performance and innovation fuelled by new waves of agility, productivity and efficiency. The workplace of the future can only become a reality if the three key elements such as workspace, experience and workflows are tightly integrated and supported by a strong culture of collaboration.
My workplace, workspace and work style…
As a business executive based in Singapore, managing and leading a culturally diverse team of industry subject-matter experts spread around the world. The team is not just spread across cities but also across home offices. Collaborating regardless of location or time zone is a very enriching experience and exciting way to work. That said, my job would be extremely challenging without leveraging innovative communication technologies, collaborative workspaces and flexi-work initiatives available in the organisation.
From my personal workspace at home, I get to defy to defy distance daily. I can adjust my working hours and work style to perform at my best in all situations and time zones thanks to unified communication and collaboration tools. The picture shows my collaborative workspace in my home office with the devices I carry with me when I am on the move. This is quite a cutting-edge workspace compared to having a computer send emails and using a phone to make calls.
At the end of the day, regardless which device I have access to or no matter which network I can connect to, it is mission-critical in my role to be able to engage, communicate and collaborate with people in and outside of my organisation. Leveraging Polycom audio, video and content collaboration solutions, I host team meetings, manage projects, interview people, train partners or meet with customer. Distance, time and location have become irrelevant, but performance multiplied.
Inquisitive minds will find the workplace of the future an interesting approach to the way we work and how technology can help us achieve team goals and improve future performance. For me, it is about empowering and trusting people. The Workplace of the future unleashes the best of you. Whatever gets you to “work” every day, you can do it better, more efficiently and collaboratively, regardless of distance, location, device or network. So, what are you waiting for?