There’s a place you can go to experience the modern Workplace, and see how the environment, technology and culture come together and inspire.
Workplace House in Farringdon is a collection of specialist organisations showcasing how spaces can be optimised based upon the activity to be undertaken. Making the most of whatever space you have available – managing the usage and creating a workplace that people want to come to is critical.
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I’m curious to know what evidence there is to show that the promise of location freedom has been realised.
We’ve seen a big drive for flexible working and a technology rush to support this, yet I’m unconvinced that the journey has been started by many businesses to date. I believe that this is still to be undertaken by most businesses and by and large is currently no more than a tactic to ensure that workers can be effective should they find themselves unable to get to the office. Why do I believe this? Well it’s my belief that most business leaders are still stuck in the paradigm that workers cannot be trusted and if they are not in the office then they are probably not working. Is there any empirical evidence to support this view or present a more positive picture I wonder?
The whole concept of Work is changing – there are many reasons why this is happening, but changing attitudes to work coupled with agile working policies underpinned by technology innovation are probably a few of the key factors.
Work for all of us used to be a place that we went to – a commute to the workplace, followed by an 8 hour stint of work, and a commute home. For many people though, this has already changed perhaps forever – work for many is an activity that can be conducted wherever you are – at home, at a customer or partner site, or in a coffee shop and even whilst traveling (if using public transport). The technologies in play today make this a reality for many organisations and their staff, allowing enhanced collaboration and sharing with Unified Communication platforms such as Microsoft Lync – soon to be called Skype for Business at the vanguard of such a technology wave.
Whilst there are many people and organisations at the leading edge of this technology adoption curve, there are many more people and businesses unable to disaggregate location and technology, and are stifled by lack of investment in infrastructure and IT especially over the past decade or so.
Mobile devices – Tablets and Smartphones have played a significant role in freeing people from their cubicles – the ubiquitous iPhone and iPad have had a profound effect on the way we are able to work. Many other competitor technologies have emerged subsequently and the explosion of such mobile and powerful devices has only served to accelerate the growth of flexible working.
Clearly, this presents some significant challenges to the enterprise’s IT departments relating to security and access. Mobile staff need access to corporate assets from their remote locations, and the trend towards people using their own devices in preference to the corporate provided ones all need understanding and managing and all of which is addressable with the right integrated solutions.
The good news is that this journey can be embarked upon at a pace that will not cause the IT and financeteams to have nose bleeds, and once planned, can be elegantly executed at a pace that suits the challenges at hand