The demise of the 9-5: What will the future of the office look like?

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The workplace of the past had well-defined structure, employees would come into a physical space with hierarchical management and specified core working hours. With the gig-economy flourishing, the traditional work environment had to become competitive to remain attractive to retain talent. 

Traditional workplace practices have been transformed due to the working habits of new generations; which has been enabled by the change in technology allowing individuals to work in any location but still allow open communications and collaboration. This revolutionary technology has defined the future of the workplace by creating a remote working culture. 

The changes can be seen as the demise of the office, but these are the five key ways new technologies has brought positive change to the workplace.

Collaboration

Teamwork even with remote workers has improved significantly with the introduction of new tech. 

With increased channels of communication there is a way to connect with colleagues with increased flexibility beyond long face to face meetings and the inbox. With these new channels there is also an increase in communication with clients and external stakeholders. 

A collaborative workforce is needed to share knowledge, ideas and increase creativity. Having easy and open communication channels allows employees to share quickly without eating into their worktime. 

Efficiency

Time management in the workplace has considerably optimised with the introduction of new tools, allowing to see what available resources are needed and used for tasks, improving worker productivity. 

Combined with easier communication it is easier to understand where emphasis on projects need to be placed. The connection between employees and external stakeholders can be managed through constant streams of communication. Allowing for quicker turn-around times for results. 

This efficient way of working has been enabled by the introduction of tools that monitor time spent on projects and what resources are used. This information can also be used to plan and strategize future work.  

Security

With new technology comes new risk.  

A potential downside in the modern workplace is security. Many companies are targeted with phishing attempts and hacks and business data can be compromised. However, there are many measures that can be placed to ensure that devices are secure and aren’t easily accessible to the wrong people. 

Having strong policies and procedures in place can ensure that workers are equally responsible for the protection of sensitive information. 

Profitability

 Innovations have impacted the bottom-line. This is great news for both the company and its employees. 

Increased productivity that comes with the improved time management, the ease in collaboration and communication; that ultimately creates a quicker turn-around in results all feeds into a more stable and financially healthy company with less waste. 

From a employee prospective there is increased job-security, potential pay-rises and benefits that come with the growth of a company. 

Happy workforce

With the improved flexibility for the workforce allowing individuals to adapt their working styles and have a better work-life balance. Employees are much happier, happier employees tend to work harder and have more of a drive and motivation. These factors will help overall improve a business and its objectives as it will have a more loyal determined workforce. 

The traditional workplace may have allowed greater emphasis on control for the employer but in reality, the shift of remote-work and technology that allows flexible work-patterns has created a better synergy amongst colleagues and more creative and streamlined approaches to the task at hand.

So even though the demise of the 9-5 is the current problem employers face. The technology that is needed for an effective  future workplace structure already exists. Employers need to embrace the change to ensure they are ready for the workplace of the future and that employers are able to  attract and retain staff who will have the expectations of a fully flexible environment. 

Jon Loftin is Head of Unified Communications at PowWowNow