Throughout history, the concept of an ideal workplace has constantly evolved, from the Action Offices of the ’60s to the rise of office cubicles and the introduction of computers in the ’90s, and the recent adoption of remote and hybrid working.
Novel technologies underpinned many of these changes, which is no different today. New technologies enable businesses to change their work, leading to better outcomes for employers and employees.
This article will delve into the modern workplace and how businesses can build and make the most of the contemporary workplace.
What is the modern workplace?
There is no definitive definition of the modern workplace. However, most businesses and thought leaders share common aspects between definitions.
These include digital technologies, remote and hybrid work, data-driven processes and an emphasis on employee experience.
People are at the forefront of the modern workplace, with digital technologies supporting and enabling people to succeed and creating better business outcomes.
Benefits of the modern workplace
There are many benefits to the modern workplace, both for employees and employers.
The modern workplace increases employee productivity in many ways. One way is through flexibility in work location, which ensures employees can work wherever they are more productive.
Many technologies associated with the modern workplace are also explicitly designed to increase productivity within the workforce
As the modern workplace is centred around people, many changes and technologies are designed to improve the employee experience and make work easier.
This, therefore, leads to higher job satisfaction and happier employees, creating a healthy company culture.
The modern workplace uses the latest technologies and tools through a long-lasting digital transformation journey.
This process of adopting new technologies, as well as the features of the technologies, increases organisational agility and allows businesses to act and react quickly to changes.
Challenges of the modern workplace
Whilst there are many benefits associated with the modern workplace, the transformation process is not without its own set of challenges.
A common roadblock businesses encounter is resistance from business leaders and employees. Any large-scale change must have buy-in from the top. Therefore those in management roles must understand how the modern workplace can benefit the business.
Similarly, for the modern workplace to be successful, employees should be involved in the process from the start.
How businesses can build a modern workplace
As with all projects, the first phase of building a modern workplace is research and planning. Businesses should assess their current work and what works well and what doesn’t.
Many businesses already use potent technologies, but potentially not to their full extent. A perfect example of this is a Microsoft 365 subscription.
This subscription includes many tools and features that can enable the modern workplace. Still, training needs to be created focusing on the technology to get the most out of the technology.
Once a business has assessed its current workplace, it should then set clear goals that they aim to achieve.
These goals may include increased productivity, improved employee engagement, better agility or more robust communication and collaboration.
These goals will help define what changes need to be made within a business and what technologies can support these changes.
After this stage, businesses can create a strategy for changing processes and implementing new technologies.
The strategy should be a phased approach, ensuring employees are kept in the loop at each stage. Depending on the IT experience within a business, some businesses will look to a trusted third-party IT provider for their expertise in deploying specific technologies.
Whenever workplace changes occur, businesses must monitor KPIs against the goals set and make adjustments to improve outcomes.
This increases the likelihood of success whilst improving agility and adaptability.
Communication and Collaboration
The modern workplace requires a technology solution that enables employees to communicate and collaborate from anywhere, on any device.
Several solutions are designed for this, including Slack, Google Workspace and Zoom.
However, for most businesses, the ideal solution is Microsoft Teams.
Teams is a unified communications platform that provides a single space for employees to meet, chat, call and collaborate.
Microsoft constantly releases updates to make Teams more suitable for the modern workplace.
Teams are also included in all Microsoft 365 subscriptions, making it a cost-effective solution.
Standard technologies within the modern workplace
Hybrid meeting rooms
As the modern workplace is built with flexibility in mind, meetings often take place with virtual and in-person attendees.
Ensuring all attendees have the same experience can be challenging, so many modern businesses have opted for hybrid meeting rooms.
These rooms include facial tracking webcams, omnidirectional microphones, and digital whiteboards. Microsoft Teams also has features specifically designed to increase inclusivity within hybrid meetings.
For businesses that have on-premises infrastructure, it is possible to migrate these legacy workloads to the public cloud.
This enables businesses to take advantage of the benefits of the cloud, such as cost savings, scalability, increased security flexibility, and the ability to access services from anywhere.
Moving workloads to the cloud can vastly improve productivity and agility. However, it often requires the assistance of a trusted third-party IT provider.
Employee experience platforms
As the modern workplace focuses on improving the employee experience, it is logical to implement a technology platform dedicated to the employee experience.
Microsoft’s answer to improving the employee experience is Viva, a platform designed to foster an organisational culture where people and teams are empowered to do their best from anywhere.
Within Viva, four modules are working together to aid employees’ productivity, well-being, and education.
How to get started
It is an exciting time for businesses as there are many opportunities to improve processes and implement technologies to make the most of the modern workplace.
If businesses are successful, this can lead to increased profitability, more engaged employees and a more agile business.
If your business is looking for an IT provider to help you make this move, contact us today, and we will be happy to help.