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Purposeful office design is much more than the look and feel. To create a place of work that truly serves us, we can use technology to understand human behaviour, facilitate communication and collaboration and make our workplace experience seamless.
Technology can enable us to shape work habits, more easily navigate the workplace, and bring us closer to our peers in the right setting at the right time.
However, the rise of hybrid and remote working models means that the workplace landscape blends physical and digital spheres, borders and time zones more than ever before. As a result, the ‘working experience’ is a complex melting pot of habits and routines that technology can help to work together seamlessly. The benefits are both qualitative and quantitative, to increase efficiency and keep us socially connected to our colleagues, for example.
Most of us have over 20 different apps on our desktops, each with their own slightly different purpose for organisation, project management or communication. Consequently, our attention is fragmented between the people, processes and applications that demand it. Instead of bending to adapt to our work environments, technology helps to turn the tables. To support individuals in the workforce and the wider business world, here’s how you can harness technology within the workplace:
‘The office should be a magnet, not a mandate’ – Chuck Robbins, President & CEO, Cisco
The most successful offices are purpose-driven, where every design decision aligns with individual and business beliefs, values and needs. The office is more important than ever, and employee mindsets have shifted as hybrid working models have grown in popularity. But, whilst many businesses will choose to adopt a hybrid model, teams now appreciate the office for what it offers; an opportunity to learn, collaborate and connect in person.
Data from Cisco revealed that 88% of workers are frustrated with their office-based experience at work. When workers choose to come into the office, they face barriers and obstacles when they arrive. However, working from home often carries technical difficulties and exclusion from a collective meeting experience. The first step to overcoming these frustrations – or roadblocks to a seamless experience - is to understand where they’re coming from.
Research from Lenovo suggests that technology is the key to driving purpose in the workplace. In business, we can use technology of an assistive or generative nature to finesse processes, facilitate creativity and give valuable time back to the businesses and employees that embrace it. Then, presence within the workplace becomes purposeful, and barriers to entry are removed.
Bringing your people along on the journey is just as important as making improvements to your tech stack. Once you’ve cemented how your workplace supports business purpose, you can leverage technology to champion it, helping employees to understand why it’s beneficial to them. Workplace technology can help to reinforce purpose and bring people together without compromising on working experience, whether you’re at home or in the office.
According to data from generative AI platform Glean, we waste at least two hours per day, on average, looking for the information we need in order to perform our roles at work. Intelligence technology can help us to overcome inefficiencies in business and a lack of time in our schedules. AI is shaking up our world with the accelerated development of new tools that seek to help us become more agile and work smarter.
But, what might artificial intelligence and machine learning really be capable of in the workplace, and how do we make it work?
Using technology, we can collect data about our individual habits, productivity and the health conditions of our work environment at any one time. Then, we can learn from it and determine areas for individual improvement and optimisation. Ethically collecting and processing data is key, so openness and transparency around how it can benefit everyone’s role and wellbeing at work is vital to gain trust and buy-in from your people. Automation, analytics and IoT-enabled devices help to optimise resource allocation, enhance efficiency and reduce overhead costs, accelerating time to value.
It’s important to remember that AI is still the new kid on the block. There’s so much that, as a global collective, we need to develop and regulate before we can start to reap the rewards of its full potential. In the meantime, we can embrace change, use technology to our advantage and give our employees the tools and information to do the same. This convergence of innovation transforms the physical workplace into a dynamic hub of productivity and creativity, fostering an atmosphere where teams thrive, ideas flourish and the workplace stands for more than just work.
Convenience is key, and employees benefit from a seamless working experience. So, the big question that businesses need to answer is how they can use technology alongside design and business process to achieve a harmonious and interconnected hybrid working model.
By embracing intuitive communication tools, virtual meeting platforms, and project management software, organisations can bridge geographical gaps and instill a sense of unity among hybrid teams. Real-time interactions and shared digital workspaces erase the boundaries between remote and in-office employees, cultivating a cohesive work environment. Implementing cloud-based applications, secure remote access, and versatile mobile tools dismantles the barriers of location, putting an end to the frustrations of disjointed workflows.
Businesses have been reassessing their offerings and dreaming bigger. They’re questioning how they can expand on the blending of the physical and virtual workplace by facilitating easier collaboration, giving everyone a voice and deepening connections within teams. The result could look like a one-stop-shop for workplace communication, collaboration, organisation and optimisation.
We can use mixed reality and machine learning technology to better connect the workforce. For instance, hybrid scheduling enables you to come together in the physical workplace for the moments that matter; virtual ‘rooms’ ensure that everyone is engaged and involved, no matter the location; and navigation tools allow for easy wayfinding, booking of hot desks and meeting rooms, and ‘serendipitous meetups’. Technology gives workplace experts the power to analyse and optimise your space, combining people and place signal data to help you understand occupancy, popularity, what’s working and where you can improve.
The true strength of workplace technology lies in its ability to empower individuals to work seamlessly from anywhere. It is not just a solution, but a mindset to forge a future where collaboration knows no bounds, efficiency is maximised, and individuals work in harmony, liberating them from the confines of traditional structures.
An office space needs to enable three things to hold purpose: competence, belonging, and autonomy. It should also provide choice, connection, and efficiency to give employees value that they don’t get at home. Workplace technology is moving beyond mere integration; it redefines the very essence of work, wherever it’s conducted.
At Peldon Rose, we understand that workplace technology will continue to morph and grow, and change is happening quickly. It’s an exciting role to play as workplace experts helping businesses to make sense of, map out and leverage technology. It’s not just about staying ahead of the curve either, but harnessing the power of workplace technology to drive business forwards while enriching your people’s work lives.