Every workplace is being disrupted by digital technology. The automation of work is being realized through cloud computing, AI driven software, mobile-first communication and more.
New enterprise apps and platforms are introduced every day, alongside new and improved features offered by legacy vendors who are aiming to maintain their edge in the marketplace. Considering the rapid rate at which digital technology is advancing, emerging trends ensure that our workplace of today will look very different tomorrow.
Employees and employers alike are welcoming new technologies, eager to see how they can be applied to optimize efficiency, collaboration and employee satisfaction. As the digital workplace expands and evolves, the future of work is being transformed by the adoption of new tools and services.
1. Shaping the Employee Experience
The ‘top down’ approach no longer determines the ideal digital workplace. Executives may have ideas about how and when employees should work, but new digital tools are proving that the most productive and collaborative workplaces are those where the employees decide what works best for them. Shaping a great employee experience is increasingly important as studies are proving that the most productive employees are those who feel happy and valued.
Human Resources has been transforming alongside the digital workplace, and is widely adopting new ways to enhance the employee experience. Tracking employee metrics results in data-driven alterations to the workplace to ensure employees feel valued by the organizations they work for.
Employee engagement platform Culture Amp, for example, is a platform helping companies receive honest feedback on satisfaction and productivity. It provides analytics and action planning by using metrics to design an organization-specific work environment. Advanced analytics include text analysis and heat maps to help determine when and where employees are at their best, as well as what drives them.
Happy employees are likely to be those who define the way they work through choosing their tools of choice to collaborate and communicate with others.
Companies like Glassdoor allow employees to anonymously rate things like company culture, opportunities to learn and advance, and overall company transparency. Widespread feedback reveals that transparency is becoming increasingly important. Future Workplace conducted a study finding that 85% of HR leaders saw the need for transparency in welcoming a younger generation into the workforce, but only 46% felt the organizations they work for are openly sharing company information and communicating with employees on a regular basis.
These metrics are important in helping HR determine what matters to employees so that they can attract and retain top talent while continually creating a better employee experience. Defining employee metrics is new and will become finer tuned as methodologies become even more sophisticated.
2. Digital Trends are Defining the Future of Work
The tools that employees currently use on the job are reshaping how the workplace functions, and even what it looks like. As generation Z enters the workforce, there is an expectation that organizations will adopt tools to help optimize collaboration and productivity. These tools are continually evolving, requiring employees and employers to remain agile and willing to pivot.
3. Artificial Intelligence
There is much discussion concerning how Artificial Intelligence (AI) will disrupt entire industries. Companies like IBM and x.ai currently offer Intelligent Assistants to help take repetitive work away from employees so that they can focus on more productive work.
Talla is an AI-driven assistant that can help basic HR functions such as answering commonly asked questions, conducting new employee onboarding and even polling employees to determine satisfaction. According to the World Economic Forum, $1.5B was invested into AI-focused companies in 2016, and that number is expected to grow quickly as AI becomes more mainstream. There’s no question that AI will become an important part of the digital workplace, and people are eager to find out if AI will completely take over human tasks or just assist with improving them.
We increasingly expect immediacy in the marketplace and the workplace. Automation technology removes tedious tasks taking up valuable time that could be better spent. Chatbots are showing up in the workplace and are used to answer common questions, deliver humor to lighten the day, and provide reminders of company events or important milestones. Chatbots are already being used to conduct employee satisfaction surveys.
5. The Blended Workforce
Various collaboration platforms allow for easy growth of what’s becoming known as the ‘blended workforce.’ The combination of employees that are full-time, part-time, freelance and consultants. These work arrangements require flexibility in how and when people communicate. Platforms like Slack, Trello, and G-Suite for example allow everyone working on the same project to communicate and collaborate in real time. These tools help to build long term, trustworthy relationships between all stakeholders.
6. Secure Information Sharing
As the workplace evolves, the Intranet naturally evolves with it. Companies are relying more heavily on their Intranet as an accessible, secure way to do everything from sharing information to defining company culture. The Intranet is where transparency can be achieved, with all employees having access to the information they want and need no matter where they are.
When it comes to testing new technologies, many companies have concerns about security, longevity, and what will most effectively improve efficiency alongside employee satisfaction. The Intranet is where more companies are turning to trial new technologies, openly discuss them, and to learn what is and isn’t working for them.
7. Changing How We Work
Understanding which digital trends will truly reshape the future of work remains unclear. Organizations must ask themselves what digital workplace trends work for them and how will they go about adopting them. Many of the changes that occur will be largely user-driven, meaning they’ll come from the bottom up, rather than being enforced from the top down.
Happy employees are likely to be those who define the way they work through choosing their tools of choice to collaborate and communicate with others