Modern Workplace Mar 8, 2019

Do companies really need to adopt a modern workplace?

By 2025, 75 per cent of the global workforce will consist of millennials. This cohort has grown up in a digitally connected world, communicating with friends and family on Facebook or WhatsApp, sharing snapshots of their lives on Snapchat and following trendsetting brands on Instagram. Their background shapes what they expect from an employer and workplace.

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Research on millennial employees, conducted by TechSmith, shows that visual communication is essential. The majority of those surveyed indicated that they understand information faster and remember it longer when it is communicated visually. The study also concluded that many companies struggle to keep up with these new trends.


For companies, the repercussions of poorly structured communication can bear financial risk. According to HRDQ, small companies (100 workers) lose an average of 17 hours per week clarifying inefficiently communicated information. That amounts to $528,443 each year. A Holmes Report found that, for larger companies (100,000 workers), the cumulative cost of lost productivity due to communication barriers amounts to $26,041 per employee. According to Holmes, successful communication requires much more than simply providing accurate information. The recipient must be able to identify with, understand and be motivated by the message. Furthermore, “[l]eaders also need to leverage channels and media their audiences use so they know their communications are getting through.”


Millennials don’t just shape communication at the office, their arrival in the workforce has also changed the perception of what constitutes an ideal workplace. To acquire and retain the best talent, companies must understand what motivates applicants. The Deloitte survey entitled “Winning Over The Next Generation of Leaders” reveals the top three factors millennials consider when choosing a new job:

  • A good work/life balance
  • Opportunities to progress/be leaders
  • Flexibility, i.e. remote working, flexible hours

However, introducing new communication methods or flexible hours can be a daunting step for companies. Department heads may wonder how to ensure that work is still done on time or even how to measure the return on investment of their decision. In addition, decision-makers must get themselves up to speed with different information technologies, security requirements and other rules and regulations. Carefully selected software like Microsoft 365 and hardware like the Microsoft Surface not only help to devise a secure, modern workplace, they also strengthen communication with and between millennial workers.


How to get started with creating a modern workplace.

This study shows that a carefully planned mix of software and hardware results in a positive financial impact. Combining Microsoft 365 and Surface devices supports productivity, creativity and efficient IT management within companies. The return on investment for this combination was 12 per cent over three years, compared with just 1 per cent when using non-Surface hardware. Workers were not only able to use their time more efficiently, around 75 per cent reported higher satisfaction and viewed their company as a top employer for implementing Microsoft 365-powered Surface devices.


Bechtle offers various versions of Microsoft 365 (E5, E3, Business and F1) as well as Surface devices. Microsoft describes Microsoft 365 as an integrated solution that combines the industry-leading productivity of Office 365 with advanced security and device-management features to protect your company.


Microsoft 365 Business was developed with small and mid-size companies in mind. Microsoft’s terms and conditions limit the number of licences that can be purchased to 300. It bundles Office 365 and Windows 10 Business to offer companies all the tools they need to manage their business and increase productivity. Tools include, for example, the familiar Office programs Word, Excel and PowerPoint; e-mail management including a calendar; document management and sharing; Microsoft Teams to support collaboration and transparent communication; and more. Device management and additional security features are provided thanks to the integration of Windows 10 Business and Microsoft Intune in this package.

 Microsoft 365 E3 and E5 are a combination of Windows 10 Enterprise, Office 365 and Enterprise Mobility + Security. Because these plans are meant for organisations of any size, the number of licences is not limited to 300. By implementing Microsoft 365, organisations obtain far-reaching security features such as Azure Information Protection (helps protect and control the exchange of work-related information outside the company; Azure Information Protection can also help meet certain GDPR compliance requirements) and unlimited e-mail storage, in addition to numerous other benefits.


Microsoft 365 F1, similar to the E3 and E5 plans, combines Windows, Enterprise Mobility + Security as well as Office 365 services. It was developed primarily for service and production workers who don’t work at a PC but still need to communicate within the company, for example when it comes to scheduling, work documentation or other organisational aspects. F1 features reflect their workday, for example limiting their inbox to 2 GB or doing away with voicemail.

Renata Ana Avlas
IT Consultant