We are in a rapidly changing world thanks to leaps in technological development and a population shift. Workplace trends are being driven mostly by the multiple working generations and the whole concept around digital transformation.
By 2020 more than half the workplace will be millennials. They are looking for more collaborative workspaces, want a greater sense of purpose and a deeper connection with the company’s purpose. We need to provide the environment and tools to enable them to do just that. They want the flexibility to work from anywhere on any device at any time. They were born with a mobile phone in their hand and so their communication style is very different. Inspiration doesn’t have a fixed address anymore.
We are seeing employers who want to harness ingenuity by giving people the environment where they can do critical thinking and be creative. In the past, this would have been done on a whiteboard, with pen and paper, then someone would take a photograph and email it around. This isn’t going to align with everybody; it relies on people being there in person, but the millennials want to be able to work from home, put their ideas down on a device and share them.
It’s not just an organisation’s employees working together. With contractors or third parties who are brought in for just a short time, how do we bring in these people without the boundaries and restrictions of the past, for example, that people must be physically in the office? Experts aren’t necessarily even in the country.
TRANSPARENCY & SECURITY
With cyber attacks in the modern workplace, it’s crucial that devices, solutions and software enable you to work, but also keep you protected. These breaches can be sophisticated. With our latest Surface LTE you don’t have to worry about connecting to unsecure wi-fi or agreeing to a third party’s T&Cs, both of which expose individuals and organisations to potential risks.
Devices today mean you are not bound to an office. Mircosoft’s new Surface Pro with LTE Advanced allows you to work anywhere, with touch capabilities, secure productivity, fast and powerful LTE connectivity and long battery life. It’s also important to have a platform for collaboration from anywhere on any device. Modern devices enable diversity and inclusion, allowing people to participate, regardless of disabilities, like vision impairment.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) can enhance what we do – for example, AI is already built into PowerPoint. Formatting a presentation now takes a few minutes, rather than hours. PowerPoint Designer uses AI to help you with your design. AI is also built into Microsoft’s security graft to protect and read the billions of data points that need security.
AI is set to become stronger and Mixed Reality (MR) more sophisticated. MR involves a live view of a physical, real-world environment where elements are ‘augmented’ by computer-generated input. Already used in city planning, it has potential elsewhere. HoloLens is used for commercial applications, but it may play a part in workplace practice. Some workers already use HoloLens for remote assistance, for instance, so a lift expert can remotely assist a technician, even if they are miles apart. These forms of mixed reality will help bring people, objects and rich data together seamlessly. It’s another example of tech doing away with the borders of time and space, empowering workers to be more free-range and productive.