The Future of Work
- Sitting hunched over the PC in my cubicle; my desk cluttered with ignored pieces of paper, scribbled notes, and personal items to remind me of life outside the office.
- Sipping a grande hazelnut latte at my usual desk at the local Starbucks, frantically typing away on my laptop.
- Squinting through Aviator sunglasses, as I struggle with the sun’s reflection off my tablet’s screen; I look up for a moment and take in the fresh sea breeze and the golden glow of the sand below me.
Which of the three scenarios above sounds like ‘work’? The first one, right? Truth is, it doesn’t make a difference: any of the three scenarios could be perfectly equal. That right there is the beauty of the digital revolution.
In a previous blog post, (https://www.accordantsolutions.co.uk/thinking-digital/), I wrote about the importance of thinking digital and what steps could be taken in order to encourage adoption of a digital mind-set across the workplace. In this post, I will be focused more on how being digital has elicited a whole new meaning to the word ‘work’. While there are certain areas that have not yet, (keyword: yet), gone mainstream, such as Virtual Reality (VR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), there are several areas of digital that have already transformed the way we work and the way we look at work. Gone are the days of rigid corporate ladders and resistant workplace structures. We are now in the time of lateral thinking and free-flowing ideas. The future is no longer the future. The future is today!
In 2013, the number of connected mobile devices exceeded the number of people on the planet. Let’s think about that for a moment – That is extraordinary! This has, subsequently, led to countless new tools and applications hitting the workforce that enable us to do what we need to do, using these mobile devices. Let’s look at a few examples:
- Slack – the biggest and fastest growing business messaging application out there. Enables us to have instant contact with colleagues and managers, nullifying bureaucratic bottlenecks for communication.
- Trello – One transparent project board where tasks can be created, viewed, tracked and managed.
- Google Hangouts – Instant web conferencing at the click of a button to negate the need for spending valuable time commuting to meet in person, not to mention reducing the need and hassle involved in securing meeting rooms.
- SharePoint – A collaborative document management system where authorised members of the team can edit and track files to enable one single point of truth.
Just by looking at a few examples, we can already see how these tools and applications are enabling us to take our work anywhere with us. So whether it’s at the office, at Starbucks, at home or on the beach, it doesn’t really matter, (just make sure you have internet access!).
Our Own Experience
At Accordant, we understand the importance of the digital era, and so have adapted, with the use of several tools, to transform ourselves and stimulate innovation. We have recently adopted Slack as our primary communication tool. Within just a few months, the benefits have been clear. Collaboration is at an all-time high, the team is closer together, and messages and threads can be accessed instantly, regardless of where we are. Keeping an open mind is perhaps the most important aspect of digital transformation and, at Accordant, we are always looking for new ways to innovate and make the whole experience of ‘work’ better for everyone involved.
And we are not alone. Slack has published research and statistics from thousands of its users, and here are some of the results:
- 32% increased productivity
- 25% fewer meetings
- 80% increased transparency in the team
- 79% reported an improved team culture
- 89% say they feel more connected to their team
The benefits go on and on.
Where Are We Going?
PwC recently published a report on its view for the future workplace. It predicted that we will enter one of three worlds of work:
- The Blue World – corporate is king and organisations continue to grow larger
- The Green World – companies care and social responsibility dominates corporate agenda
- The Orange World – small is beautiful as companies break down into collaboration networks of smaller organisations
It is not easy to project where digital is going to take us in the future of work exactly; even PwC has taken an agnostic stance. However, what is easy to gather is that wherever it takes us, it’ll make the whole experience a lot simpler and more pleasurable, both for the employers and for the employees.
Another Mai Tai for me please; the sand is getting a bit too hot!
(Image: publicdomainpictures.net / all-free-download.com / vera kratochvil)