Tony Simonsen, Managing Director, Australia and New Zealand, Polycom
It’s undeniable that workplaces are changing. It is the most interconnected time in human history with 40 percent of the world’s population – almost three billion people – online. In fact, connected devices will outnumber humans six to one by 2020.
Today, the focus for many companies is how to take that all important next step in their digital transformation. And they want business-focused solutions that will help create a true Workplace of the Future by improving workflow, experience, the workspace and ultimately, customer satisfaction.
In the recent Austrilia and New Zealand (ANZ ) Workpalce of the Future Report , We found technology-enabled collaboration is the key to this evolution, now and in the future. However, many businesses across Asia Pacific are ill-equipped for this new environment, creating challenges for leaders and IT teams.
The forces at play in the Workplace of the Future, including cloud technology, mobility, social, big data and analytics, can only be harnessed in a way that truly drives success, if your company has the culture and tools to communicate and collaborate effectively. While often it is left to IT teams to find and implement these solutions, they really need to be built into the DNA of a company.
One way to start this process is to train employees to use new tools so they become a part of their daily mind-set and work practice. This may require significant time investment upfront, however it will ensure companies are nimble and can adapt to future changes quickly to maintain an edge in the market.
Connecting Anywhere, Anytime
While traditional technologies remain the top forms of employee communication, four in five ANZ companies believe their knowledge transfer is sub-optimal. By refocusing on investing in and implementing videoconferencing and tele-presence technologies, teams are able to effectively communicate no matter where they are located.
This connectivity is also transforming how workplaces are set-up. In place of boardrooms, millions of smaller ‘huddle rooms’ are being constructed in offices around the globe. And in these spaces, IT teams are tasked with recreating an experience no different from meeting in person and where content is easily shared.
While this experience is critical, less than 10 per cent of the over 500,000 meeting spaces in ANZ have adopted video conferencing technologies. This is for one key reason – perceived ease of use. We need to break this misconception as these tools can provide a seamless meeting experience and are simple to integrate with other collaboration applications.
Connecting the Results
With a landmass the size of North America and a population the size of Mumbai, our geographically dispersed workforce provides the opportunity for businesses to reshape the workplace to better connect workers. Aligned with this is the important step of tracking results to validate planning and implementation.
Our research found that while 89 percent of ANZ businesses describe themselves as collaborative, only 24 percent actually measure the utilisation of existing collaboration tools. While great solutions are being deployed to enable efficiencies, metrics are vital to allow us to better understand areas for improved productivity and review adoption.
Right now, business leaders and IT teams need to prepare and determine what will be required in order to accelerate digital transformation and future-proof workplaces. By starting this journey towards a model of improved workflow, experience and the workspace now, companies can increase their competitive edge and create a resilient and agile model for the future.