A combination of technologies and new approaches to workflow, Future Ways of Working (FWoW) are the building blocks of effective workplace collaboration and an important component of maintaining workplace morale.
Like fingerprints, no two employees are the same. Some thrive in small, intimate settings with few colleagues while others get great ideas during noisy group brainstorming sessions - but they’re all at their best when given the flexibility to work where and when they want.
This is doubly so for millennials, who according to a Deloitte report will comprise 75% of the Australian workforce by 2025. Growing up with connected devices, younger workers expect workplace technology to measure up to the cloud-based, mobile native services they use at home.
However, the sheer variety of solutions and practices can make formulating an effective strategy difficult, and a poorly planned rollout can be disruptive to day-to-day operations.
To modernise your workplace, it’s important to first analyse what your particular needs or objectives are, before creating a strategy that aligns with those goals and working with key stakeholders to design a smooth organisational rollout of your new ways of working.
An effective Future Ways of Working strategy is one that makes it easier for employees across an organisation to work together. It’s imperative to have one solution that works for the entire company. However, it can often be difficult to find a single solution that meets the requirements of different workflows, especially if slow corporate adoption has led to the spread of shadow IT in one or more departments.
To craft a unified strategy, your first steps should be focused on identifying your transformation goals and understanding how it will interact with your team’s existing workflows and technologies.
To build this understanding, specialists should liaise with senior management, business stakeholders and subject matter experts to review your people, workplace and technology to fully realise the opportunities afforded to you by different ways of working.
“Fresh eyes” can be an enormous help in evaluating your core business goals, and external assistance can identify innovative ways for you to move your business forward in ways you may not have considered.
Seeking help can save you from capsizing in unchartered waters and steer your organisation and staff towards a more connected future.
The next step is to establish a plan for bringing your people, workplace and technology together. It can be a complex process, especially with companies boasting a large workforce, but you can make it easier by ensuring that the transition is as smooth as possible and
that employees receive clear communication about the benefits of your new systems - not just how to use them.
A clear plan will also help your company to shake off ties to outdated, restrictive workplace technologies and give staff the freedom to collaborate both physically and virtually. It’s good practice to help your staff understand that there will be a change to their workplace communication and provide training for an easy take up of new technology and strategy.
An effective method of building departmental buy-in is to recruit “cheerleaders” for the new solution in each team, who receive special training which they can then pass on to their colleagues.
In today’s increasingly complex workplace, the physical environment needs to be seamlessly connected to the virtual, to allow for flexible collaboration between all employees – including remote staff and freelancers.
Once you have selected the right technology and solutions to match your company’s requirements, seek the guidance of an experienced technical team to assist with implementation.It’s also worthwhile to establish a measurement framework to take stock of your success in relation to your business goals, make changes as needed and track overall progress.
Into the future
With forward planning and the careful selection of solutions, Future Ways of Working empowers your staff to be more efficient on their own terms, through remote connectivity, integrated collaboration, connected physical spaces and communal data access.