First, let's consider the impact of the workplace on employee engagement. The Steelcase Global Report sums it up nicely: "Workers who are highly satisfied with their workplace also demonstrate higher levels of engagement." In addition: "Highly engaged employees have greater flexibility to make choices about where and how they work."
The rise of the digital nomad
The modern workplace is evolving rapidly. Especially in terms of where and when people work. And we're not just talking about taking a laptop home to catch up on admin here. Quantum leaps in technology are pushing remote working in exciting new directions.
Digital nomads, for instance, are a new breed of ultra-mobile freelance professionals. Mainly millennials, these travel-hungry, tech-savvy workers are taking location independence to new extremes. Whether Skyping from a coffee shop in Vancouver or writing code in a campervan on Bondi Beach, all digital nomads need is a Wi-Fi signal, electricity and their mobile devices.
Of course, not everyone has the freedom to lead such a nomadic existence on the open road. The point is, the workforce in general has come to expect a great deal more choice in terms of where, when and how they work. So, what's the enabler?
The right tech for the job
85% of adults in the UK now own a smartphone. Yet organisations are still providing employees with twice as much fixed technology, like landlines and desktop PCs, compared to mobile options.
With the advent of the 4IR, we firmly believe that people expect the tools they use at work to be better connected, better performing and more up to date than the devices they use to manage their personal lives. After all, when it comes to remote working away from their office, the devices people are using become their office.
"The change brought about by the Fourth Industrial Revolution is inevitable, not optional. And the possible rewards are staggering". This quote, which appeared in our first blog, is very apt for many organisations who have built modern workplaces, such as Cheshire Police.
Fighting crime in the 4IR
Policing hasn't changed a great deal for about 150 years. But recently, bureaucracy and restrictions became a major challenge. The good news? New technology is freeing up officers from Cheshire Constabulary to work in their communities, help the public and be more visible. Microsoft Surface running Windows 10 is often described by officers as "a fantastic piece of kit". Now they can do everything they do in an office, on their Surface, in the field, where they choose to work.
Thinking outside the office
It's time to rethink the nature of the workplace. A world extending beyond the confines of buildings. Where employees will be always connected - anytime, anywhere - and collaboration and co-creation are as important as individual user productivity.
With Microsoft solutions, you can help customers create an environment that will unlock their employees' greater potential. Now you can provide all the cloud-based productivity tools, real-time collaboration and security they need. Plus, you'll be able to upsell tools, skills training, apps migration, and managed services.
Your next instalment
Watch out for the third post in this series, covering the evolution of business applications. In the meantime, you'll find our webcast series on the modern workplace here.