Research Report: Six Game-Changing Trends Driving the Collaborative Workplace of the Future

The workplace of today is increasingly collaborative, contextual and visual. There are several trends driving today’s workplace with workers increasingly being connected by digital collaboration technologies and an evolving work environment.

The converging forces of mobility, the cloud, consumerisation and globalisation have resulted in a workplace without walls or a physical address. A research report for Polycom by Aragon Research discusses these workplace trends in detail.

Work is now something that we do anywhere, anytime, and using any device. So, work is no longer just a physical place we got to, and the workplace of the future is global and mobile. With increasing globalisation, business leaders are learning how to acquire and use technology on their own without the help of IT.

These same global forces are pressuring businesses to be agile and cost conscious. Every technology adopted is based on the business outcome it will enable. So, the workplace of the future is also business-focused. We shall now talk more about the various trends shaping the workplace of the future.

The six game-changing trends driving the workplace of the future are:

1) Mobile devices and apps: Increasingly, workers are taking to and using mobile devices to connect with their colleagues and customers from anywhere, at anytime, and from any device. Research shows that by 2020, there will be about 3 trillion mobile devices in use. Businesses will be pressured to manage and secure these devices, especially as workers personally own many of them. Also, many workers, especially millennials are bringing their own devices (BYOD) to work. This also means that businesses need separate BYOD strategies to address the issue of the presence of corporate data on these personal devices.

2) Cloud computing: This is the new norm. Cloud computing is one way that businesses can get faster access to software and services. Software-as-a-service (SaaS) apps run in the cloud, so workers can access them from anywhere. When you use the cloud, it makes functionality instantly available in the workplace, including critical service like email, content management, productivity tools, and essential enterprise applications, such as accounting, HR, and sales management. Using the cloud you can also use real-time collaboration tools, such as video and Web conferencing, chat, instant messaging, and access to social networks. This helps the workers of today interact both internally and externally.

3) Social Business: The cloud has resulted in the rise of social communities for both business and personal interaction. Workers have always wanted to share things with others, and now they can do so with workplace communities that are entrenched in the work process, creating a social business.

4) Video Adoption: The growth of video in businesses is a major trend. It comes in all forms — real-time video collaboration and libraries of video content. Video is a new but important form of corporate document. It is a powerful tool that affects the way people interact. For example, at one end, a smartphone chat session may convey only a single face with choppy expressions and gestures. At the other end is an HD video that can make remote participants in a conference, class or meeting look and sound as if they are sitting next to you. Video can break down boundaries, promote trust, and improve collaboration, learning, and negotiation. In fact, human interactions can change dramatically under the influence of video.

5) Connected Conference Room: During the next five years, HD video will be the new way to connect offices and remote workers. The conference room will become a “collaboration workspace”. Today, fewer than 10% of conference rooms are video-enabled. However, with increasing demand and the falling cost of technology, over 50% of conference rooms in large enterprises will be video-enabled by 2020. Increasingly, conference rooms will be connected to scheduling systems, digital whiteboards, lighting systems and innovative approaches to room layout and furniture.

6) Open Workplace: Increasingly, open workspaces are a growing trend. The shift to more open work environments is designed to break down barriers to collaboration. Businesses are beginning to realise that enhanced collaboration among workers often leads to breakthrough ideas or innovations.

So, now you know that most important trends that will influence the workspace of the future. And these trends will determine the key steps that organisations take to enable this workplace. Here’s to efficient, visual and effective collaboration!

For more information on how to set up a collaborative workspace, contact Actis at 022-30808080 or  at contact@actis.co.in.

(Content and images courtesy: www.polycom.com)

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