Digital Workplaces: Trends Shaping the Future of Work

Efficiency is the veritable key for businesses to differentiate themselves from the closest competitor in the market. But productivity (of employees and infrastructure), which directly affects efficiency of a business organization, is often on the receiving end due to mismanagement of resources. Lately, IoT technology, in addition to other IT solutions, has proved itself to be quite effective in eliminating such bottlenecks. This helps in driving greater fluidity into operations and unlocks the true potential of a business organization.

For instance, RFID-based tags can recognize an employee vehicle and automate the opening and closing of car parking barriers to bring greater time efficiency. If that particular employee is running short on time for a meeting aligned away from his or her usual place of parking, the monitors can instruct the professional to find the closest elevator and reach there on time. Similarly, beacons, sensors, and actuators can be, and are being, used for wide-ranging processes to improve the overall efficiency of organizations.

Employee Empowerment & Enrichment

Today’s businesses, which are increasingly becoming digital, are also recognizing the fact that individual professionals can be more comfortable with disparate technologies, solutions, specific applications, and means of communication (such as hangout, FaceTime, WhatsApp, etc.). The need of the hour is to reach quantifiable end results and enhance KPIs to ultimately have a unified collaboration, instead of unified processes or communications, which can directly or indirectly hamper these KPIs.

An employee might even have a desire to work using his or her own laptop, instead of a company-provided device, so that it is easier for the person to manage work and personal life using a single device. It is anticipated that employees will gradually be given the freedom to choose their own solutions, applications, and devices using concepts such as BYOA (Bring Your Own Application) and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). But, this will again transfer the onus onto IT professionals to shun the approach of merely tracking the uptime of the environment, and will mandate them to understand the functioning of these dynamic modules vis-à-vis the overarching objective, while also ensuring that there are no leakages and associated vulnerabilities.

Evolving communication

Video technologies are facilitating seamless communication that meets and at times, exceeds our expectations. Today, the developments around Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality give us a strong indication of how our workplaces in the future might possibly look. As an example, critical resources have to travel to offshore destinations for business meetings and brainstorming initiatives where their mere presence and inputs are required.

The whole endeavour, however, consumes substantial time and cost of travel and causes productivity loss. To counter this challenge, we can see an evolved version of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality along with its integration amongst global organizations. Doing so will create a digital representation of the original environment, such as a meeting room, and help accomplish the principal objective of such endeavours.

Project-based employment will thrive

Every organization faces several constraints in terms of workforce and infrastructure, which creates room for inconsistency and creates friction in business operations. Employers will increasingly adopt the project-based route by hiring contractors and MSPs to outsource short-term and long-term work commitments. This trend is also driven by the increased demand to bring greater specialization, influx of cloud infrastructure, and the need to increase business output while decreasing the overall overheads.

The narrowing-down approach also enables businesses to scale or downsize their operations with greater flexibility as and when they need, while decreasing the workload of its in-house resources and augmenting its operational efficiency. It also creates better synchronization of a company’s across-the-board processes and boosts the overall resource utilization.

Use of AI for time-intensive jobs

Exhaustive, time-consuming, and repetitive tasks are one of the most significant factors that cause fatigue amongst employees while also introducing a layer of errors and omissions within work. The next wave of automation will drive all of the repetitive, exhaustive, and time-consuming tasks and free the organization’s resources, so that they can focus better on other business functions where their individual area of expertise can be tapped, rather than managing repetitive and fatigue-causing operations on a day-to-day basis.

Here, the cognitive capabilities of Artificial Intelligence will also become pivotal and bring greater precision as well as efficacy and help in adopting the most optimal tactic for in-house operations and customer-facing challenges.

Enhanced organization wide security

The burgeoning IT infrastructure is simultaneously increasing the network perimeter that needs to be protected. A recent report by Microsoft and Frost & Sullivan indicated that direct, indirect, and induced costs incurred by businesses in Asia-Pacific will potentially reach $1.75 trillion this year.

It also indicated that such cyberattacks had tangible job losses across seven out of ten (67 percent) organizations that experienced it. Today, a business enterprise not only has to defend its core infrastructure from external and internal threats, it also needs to ensure that the comprehensive network comprising individual nodes are protected both as a singular and as a collective entity, since any of these nodes can be used by a cyberattacker to penetrate deeper into the network. Going forward, enterprises will focus more on data and network security to retain business value and employment as they lead digital transformation.

We are gradually traversing into a future where digital technologies are becoming a core component of not only how we work, but also our day-to-day lifestyles. As the adoption of digital technologies across various industries increases, it is equipping business organizations that are able to adapt, and utilize futuristic solutions for their best interests to gain a veritable edge against their competitors. This is enabling them to increase throughput without incremental cost of resources, risks, and infrastructure. It can be safely said that the future seems to be bright, but only for those organizations that recognize the ongoing trends and align themselves aptly according to them.


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