Businesses face complex problems today. Here’s how the ‘modern workplace’ combines productivity, simplicity and collaboration to solve them
The challenges facing businesses today are the most multi-faceted and complex in corporate history.
There are fresh employee expectations, a widening skills gap, productivity short-fallings, a need for more collaboration and a widening multi-device environment.
Cutting through the deep-grass of these issues is what liberates businesses to operate on their core functions and building success.
The trickier question is how to do that? The answer lies in the concept of the ‘modern workplace’.
What is the modern workplace?
The modern workplace is about using technology to provide employees with modern tools and flexibly. It is about enabling higher engagement and productivity through hardware and software offerings.
Microsoft is driving the importance of the modern workplace because it states that when employees feel enabled to do their best work, they are engaged and satisfied. Providing employees a digital, flexible workplace results in better business outcomes.
Ryan Asdourian, senior director, Windows and Devices BG (Business Group) Lead at Microsoft said that the concept of the modern workplace is unique to an organisation and to each specific person.
“It is about empowering people to be more creative, quicker, faster, more productive and more collaborative,” he said.
“We are enabling people to work anywhere, play anywhere, be anywhere and be as productive as they would be in other places. We are enabling people to do things in new ways and be more efficient.
“How we empower customers and organisations using the modern workplace is a combination of both the devices and the software technology that helps companies become more modern, more innovative, more collaborative, more productive and achieve more,” said Asdourian.
The modern workplace is best achieved by utilising technology which increases productivity, enhances simplicity and utilises collaboration across multiple devices.
Productivity is the engine of human progress, according to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella – it is what propels society forward. For Nadella, the promise of technology is to help us get more done, with less effort.
Microsoft has set the goal of creating a highly productive environment where technology empowers employees to achieve more, while also never getting in their way.
This can be achieved by ensuring employees get a consistent experience no matter what device they use, how often they use it, or what platform it runs on. For example, an employee can use a Microsoft Surface product as a laptop in the office, switch the device to a tablet while on the move and use the cloud and Microsoft 365 to consistently access their projects.
“When the technology becomes more and more invisible, you are enabling people to move faster,” said Asdourian.
“When you enable people to move faster and be more productive, you have taken that next step in the modern workplace. It is a continuous moving of ideas.”
The reduction of complexity is vital for businesses as it keeps employees focused, increases productivity and makes it easier for colleagues to collaborate.
More predictable processes can be implemented in an environment which has enhanced simplicity. For example, Microsoft has unified management across its users, devices, apps, and services, to increase simplicity.
Brad Anderson, corporate vice president of enterprise mobility and security, in his blog ‘Making IT simpler with a modern workplace’ from April this year stated that “complexity is the absolute enemy of security and productivity”.
“There is a real elegance in simplifying; it means having fewer things to manage, configure, integrate, secure, and (simply put) break down. This means fewer things that can go wrong and there are fewer places where a misconfiguration can create an entry point for an attacker,” he said.
Anderson suggested this could be achieved by enrolling in Windows Analytics, planning and executing Windows AutoPilot deployment, and using the Security & Compliance Center and the Compliance Manager to track regulatory compliance and controls.
Microsoft has noted the shift away from “me-centric” work to “we-centric” work, where people form teams quickly, solve problems, and are empowered to collaborate, early, often, and by default.
The cloud also plays a huge role in this process, as employees can access working documents across various devices and work together.
Asdourian said the Microsoft Surface device family utilises these principles: “Recently, I was drawing out a sketch, and I can’t draw very well, but [you can] bring out the more creative thoughts when drawing out a business plan by using the whiteboard that is built in on the Surface. I then got people to collaborate with me on it [and it] brings stuff to life quickly.
“It’s a different way of working, that’s what our customers tell us too. Surface brings a new way for our customers to work and brings it to life in different ways.”
In conclusion, as businesses wrestle the challenges of today with a workforce looking to collaborate in a multi-device environment, the concept of the modern workforce uses technology to solve such issues by boosting productivity, simplicity and collaboration.