Widespread digital connectivity and increased mobility has radically changed the traditional nature of work. No longer are we tied to a physical place of work, even time differences become less of a barrier, as talent pools across the world become accessible from the global office.
Simon Jackson, Senior Vice President of Sales EMEA, NEC Display Solutions Europe GmbH, looks at the factors to be considered when establishing The Global Office.
Generational shifts are driving the change in the landscape as millennials lead older generations to embrace new technology. But the future is in the hands of the centennials, or Generation Z, the oldest of which are now joining the workforce; it is their influence, as true digital natives, which will reshape the world of work.
Attitudes towards the meaning of work are evolving; monetary rewards are becoming less of a focus as more emotive qualities come to the fore. The younger members of the workforce measure success in terms of living a meaningful life with security and balance a key driver. It is this dramatic shift in attitude which is feeding one of today’s big trends – agile working.
Agile working is about supporting your workforce in maintaining best productivity both for the individual and for business success. As today’s workforce are choosing employment based upon the flexibility and technology it offers over salary, an element of business agility means empowering the workforce to operate from any location. Flexible, future-proof and user-centric must therefore be key elements in the modern workplace.
The new shape of work means breaking down barriers, enabling productivity to ensue in any place at any time. Global digital connectivity means that anyone can join the workforce, regardless of their location thus opening opportunities beyond the major conurbations. No longer do you have to ‘go to work’, we are the work. This has huge implications for the shape and size of IT and AV provision both within an organisation’s physical environs and beyond, in order to support a more productive workforce.
Remote collaboration tools are a vital enabler to share talent across geographic regions with access via laptop, tablet or smart phone providing the essential flexibility. Gathering talent across time zones however will naturally present challenges, yet cloud-based applications enable collaboration to take place asynchronously to support a continuous stream of productivity. Providing and supporting the necessary tools and infrastructure to nurture the changing shape of productivity is vital if organisations want to be commercially competitive whilst remaining attractive to a new breed of workforce.
A standardised approach
As working practices change and the workplace evolves, businesses need to maintain a standardised yet adaptable approach to AV installation design, ensuring a smooth transition as needs alter and business expands in the future. Consistency of experience can only be achieved when familiarity breeds contentment for the user. This should be gained not only through standardisation of technology but also the support services associated with installation and maintenance. Delivering that across EMEA can be a challenge, adding other global locations even more so but the world is not getting any smaller.
It’s not just the end user who benefits from this standardised approach. For the integrator, products will be more familiar meaning less training will be required and costs associated with deployment and support will reduce. Integration will be simplified through common controls and interfaces. Ultimately, integrators and installers will become more agile, major projects will be completed in shorter timeframes and room efficiency will increase, leading to better customer satisfaction and a major competitive advantage for those who embrace the standardisation approach.
A period of transition
Many organisations are already moving towards the utopian ‘global office’; it’s a period of transition as wider refurbishments present opportunities to enhance the communications infrastructure, enabling them to enjoy the benefits of an agile working environment. Multiple meeting spaces will be fully equipped to support best outcomes, adaptable to support meeting objectives, without restriction. Remote workers will be empowered to collaborate via home offices, client premises or whilst on the move.
Already a major focus for organisations, sustainability will continue to influence business practice making remote collaboration a mandatory working practice rather than just an appealing option in a bid to reduce emissions related to travelling. Meanwhile, as our centennials begin to strengthen within the workforce, the technology will be in place to satisfy their exacting work/life ethic.
We are now a living example
I doubt many of us have been unaffected by the coronavirus in one way or other and whilst most people’s experiences have been inconveniences rather than the true impact of those on the front line, it has highlighted what an important role AV has to play in a crisis of this scale in ensuring we remain in communication with one another.
It’s not just about AV during a crisis of course, the current global health scare serves as a strong reminder to us all that we don’t always need to jump on a plane or drive up the motorway to get the best out of a meeting. Sure it’s difficult to replicate ISE and other trade shows without face to face meetings and the networking opportunities they provide, and there is often a compelling argument for a f2f meeting, but I’m also sure that we default all too often to physical meetings when with the right AV technology you can save money, carbon footprint, and most importantly the rarest commodity of all – time!
It’s an old drum, but it still needs banging – especially at times like these.