5 Digital Workplace Trends
In the age of digital transformation, the nature of work is changing. New technologies are transforming the workplace as businesses evolve to fit the demands of the digital world. What does the future of work have in store? Here are 5 digital workplace trends taking over the office.
1. Working Remotely
Remote is where the world is headed, with remote workers comprising 39% of full-time employees (Gallup). More work is increasingly being done outside of the office. Of those 39% of workers mentioned earlier, 15% of them work remotely 100% of the time. And according to IDC, over 96 million workers now use mobile devices to do their jobs.
Why the shift away from working in the physical office? The progress in mobile technology has made remote work not only possible, but extremely easy. Workers are now able to leverage mobile technology in ways that makes work possible from anywhere. And employees love the freedom working from home allows. With no signs of stopping, expect to see numbers of remote workers continue to rise in the years to come.
2. The Practice of Workplace Ethnography
Another developing trend, according to Gartner, is the use of workplace ethnography. This is a research approach where organizations conduct interviews, shadow employees, observe daily tasks, and analyze data and field notes. Companies then use the results to understand cultural dynamics and group relationships. This allows them to make informed decisions about company policies, workplace interactions, engagement and productivity.
Why is this research approach gaining in popularity? For the first time, 5 different generations are working alongside each other (From baby boomers to Generation Z). While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it can lead to generational complications, commonly surrounding technology, work preferences and communication. PMI reports that already, about 60% of HR managers at large companies say they’ve seen office conflicts arise from generational friction. In an attempt to prevent such conflicts from arising, more and more organizations are turning to workplace ethnography to help create spaces that are sensitive to such a diverse workforce.
3. Cloud/ Hybrid
Because of the increasing importance of adopting a digital business model, more and more businesses are switching to the cloud. According to IDG, at least 70% of U.S. organizations now use cloud technology in some way. And it’s easy to see why. The cloud is flexible and agile, two important qualities for a business to possess in order to keep with the demands of the digital world. It is also more cost effective, with the option of a subscription-based model allowing organizations to pay as they go.
Still not all businesses have fully switched to the cloud. There are a variety of reasons as to why this could be, the most common being resistance from leadership and concerns about security. So instead, organizations adopt a cloud hybrid, with resources being split between on-prem and cloud hosting. It is unclear whether this hybrid trend will continue or whether companies will shift to being completely in the cloud, but for now, hybrids are here to stay.
4. Artificial Intelligence
The presence of artificial intelligence in our everyday lives is steadily increasing. Your GPS knows the routes you take daily, and can update directions in real time based on traffic obstacles. Self-driving cars are becoming a reality, as tech companies continue to work out the kinks. And AI is heavily present in the workplace as well.
This is not new information. We know that factories have been using machines on the assembly line for years, with machines having the ability to spot, report and pull defective products from the line. But machine learning, and more importantly the Internet of Things, are evolving the way AI is used. Forbes recently released an article discussing the future of work, saying that “IBM and a number of startups are targeting intelligent assistants, also known as chatbots, or computer algorithms designed to simulate a human conversation, to recruit employees, answer HR questions, or personalize learning experiences.” If AI continues in the direction it is currently headed in, it is set to be a large force in the future of work.
5. Intranets as Digital Platforms
In the past, businesses have used Intranets as either external or internal facing sites, supplementing their needs with business applications and solutions here and there. But as technologies become more seamless, thanks to the IOT and the cloud, offices are moving away from “fragmented software that doesn’t communicate with each other, and towards an integrated digital workplace that works out of the box” (Claromentis). As DWG puts it, Intranets now “act as ‘front doors’ into the wider digital workplace.”
More and more companies are implementing digital platforms. They increase collaboration and productivity, acting as a one stop shop for all the tools employees need to work effectively. They enable the possibility of working remotely. And they encourage agile company culture and constant learning. Digital platforms are quickly becoming an invaluable tool for businesses in the digital age.
CMS Wire puts it best: “As digital technologies continue to play a starring role at work, it will become increasingly important to leverage new platforms and technologies to engage employees and build company culture.” Take advantage of these digital trends to propel your organization forward in the digital world.
We want to hear from you! Let us know how digital workplace trends are affecting your business, or if we missed any.
Emgage is currently working on a digital platform, which we hope to be released by next year. In the meantime, sign up for a free demo of our Intranet solution.