Spending one’s own time casually chatting with friends is one of life’s pleasures. It just so happens that, ironically, work all too commonly ends up a conversation piece. In those exchanges one might hear about fun office features; from straightforward canteens to wine bars and massage rooms. Google, of course, infamously fitted a slide into their Zurich premises. True, none of these things could really be construed as a negative influence. Neither, however, do they conceivably fit into a concerted workplace strategy. What value do they really add to a business, for the investment that was made in installing them? This is hugely significant for both small businesses who need to make investment count, and for big businesses who are making bigger investments and consequently have more to lose.
A definite workplace strategy concerns how an office building is designed in terms of the value it creates. Such a strategy too often goes overlooked in favour of off-the-cuff gimmicks. So what should this truly entail?
What Is Workplace Strategy?
The concept of workplace strategy is actually older than one might think, dating back to the mid-1980s. In some respects, it has since become a popular – albeit vague – idea in business. However, relatively few companies approach it in the methodical, commercially-minded fashion required. Workplace strategy is not about simply creating a “cool” working environment to entice millennial recruits.
The cornerstones of an effective strategy are connections, efficiency and – more recently – choice. How does a feature of the workplace make internal communication, or business activity, easier and swifter? These have always been crucial factors to consider in business. How much freedom do employees have to determine their own working patterns, in terms of when, where and in what way they operate? Contemporary research indicates that this issue is increasingly important; choice in a working environment drives the collective productivity of workers. These three pillars construct the basis of modern workplace strategy.
Ultimately, business strategy always revolves around people. So should the workplace. It is important to understand the sensibilities of a workforce – their motivations, goals, and collective culture – to create a successful community and a spiritual bond between company and employee. If we take connection, efficiency and choice as our three difficulties, they all broadly have one solution: technology.
Of course, this is a broad brush of a term. What specifically adds to a workplace strategy? If it is connection that a business seeks, then technology provides a modern platform for interaction. That might be face-to-face communication through audio-visual software. It might denote cloud-based IT platforms for documents, so that multiple users can work on them – even simultaneously. Possibly it refers to greater use of IoT, allowing employees to make greater working use of their own connected devices. The latter of these leads us neatly to the efficiency question.
Efficiency relates to how quickly data can be accessed, interpreted and used. The aforementioned cloud platform plays a key role in making that data easily and quickly accessible. Moreover, further cloud-based analytics are taking precedence in analysing data blocks and making employee decision-making easier. These things should be underpinned by a scalable connectivity solution that enables a changeable number of people to reliably, and securely, access the data they need.
The issue of choice refers to how the individual employee works. Once again, this is a problem alleviated with the use of a cloud desktop platform. Such a platform makes crucial company data accessible from any location in the world, through any device the user possesses. This allows the staff member complete flexibility over their working style on a day-to-day basis. The result is widely considered to be a significant spike in morale, regular collaboration and general output.
A Long-Term Strategy
Perhaps the biggest consideration for a workplace strategy is its lifespan. How long will the issues be relevant to a workforce? Will the solutions themselves stand the test of time? In technological terms, the key to a long-lasting solution is scalability. Can it adapt, in terms of capacity and capability, to a changeable workforce? That is the true acid test. It almost seems needless to say that the other crucial factor is reliability. Is it a solution that will consistently serve workers’ needs whenever it is needed? The cloud offers the optimum blend of both, and addresses the three workplace strategy cornerstones mentioned above.
In an increasingly consumer-tech-driven community, we have to consider the impact such technology could have on business. No modern workplace strategy is complete without it.
Viastak work to support businesses looking to leverage technology, in order to streamline the way they operate. We believe in creating flexible, dynamic enterprises that are equipped to deal with the demands of the modern global economy. To find out more, please get in touch.