Modern Workplace - Jan 12, 2022

The future of work. Six Modern Workplace trends in 2022.

Are you still working in much the same way as two years ago? Not very many of us can answer that in the affirmative, particularly if you are an office worker. The past couple of years have left their mark—both positive and negative. But where will we go from here? Will offices be consigned to history? Probably not. When it comes to where we work, there will be three main models in the future. First and foremost, there will be centralised workspaces, particularly in areas where working from home isn’t an option. Some businesses are putting all their eggs in the decentralised remote organisation basket, but most will offer their teams hybrid models to deliver the best of both worlds.

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Business Manager - Modern Workplace

E-Mail: christian.malzacher@bechtle.com

What needs to be taken into consideration? We’ve put together the six top Modern Workplace trends of 2022.

1. Collaboration is key. Modern Meetings.

Some of the team take part in meetings from home, while the rest are sitting in the meeting room on-site. This hybrid way of working will make itself felt in future meetings, but will create challenges for many companies. Meeting rooms have to be equipped with suitable technology to enable seamless collaboration across locations. Alongside high-quality webcams and microphones, the choice of platform is crucial for professional video conferences as it needs to enable those sitting at home to be able to connect as easily as the on-site teams.

The user experience is the focus here. The tools and the technology must both be intuitive and easy to use no matter the situation. How can my team collaborate productively across sites? Which equipment and technology is needed for hybrid meetings? How can we best support our team? (Change management and user adoption) These are the questions companies need to be asking themselves when putting together a Modern meeting concept in 2022.

In the Bechtle Digital Workplace Rooms, you can experience hybrid meeting scenarios live and receive vendor-neutral advice on your Modern Meeting concept to master the hybrid meeting world and take a load off your team’s shoulders.

2. It’s easy with the cloud. Modern Communication.

You get a call and you can answer it on any device—from a classic phone to a notebook. It’s all possible thanks to a well-thought through UC (Unified Communications) strategy that can see standard telephone systems completely replaced by cloud telephony or combined.

Make it as easy as possible for your teams to stay in contact—even in a hybrid world. If you use cloud-based VoIP systems, these should be comprehensively secured to detect attack points, protect your network and secure your phone system’s reliability. It’s important here that your concept is all-encompassing for all company locations as well as outside of your corporate network.

3. Develop a concept. The digital office.

Very few organisations have focussed on creating a connected, digitally accessible workplace. This is despite the fact that productivity increases considerably when employees are able to access a uniform work environment from anywhere and from any device without having to waste time logging in to various tools. This not only saves time, but boosts satisfaction among the staff. Companies need to take a strategic approach in order to create a modern digital office, harmonising all tools and related hardware to provide the best possible experience for the user.

A digital office is one thing, but the physical workplace shouldn’t be forgotten. Modern concepts that include quite areas for concentrated work as well as areas where (project) teams can collaborate have an enormous positive impact on effectiveness. It’s important not to forget suitable digital tools. Ideas such as flexible offices and shared desks require booking systems to enable employees to select their place of work and provide an overview of who is going to be where and when. In the best case, the numerous tools work perfectly with each other and thus reduce workload.

An example is the flexible event and room booking software, BELOS, which saves companies time and money, makes desk sharing and meetings easy to organise, gives employees a quick overview of free resources and allows them to be booked centrally. What’s more, digital tools take a load of your team’s shoulders thanks to automation and process optimisation as some work becomes unnecessary and errors are reduced, creating more time for more important tasks and improving levels of satisfaction within the team.

4. Virtual networking for enhanced collaboration. Extended reality.

Your team is collaborating from completely different locations and “meets” in a room and the press of a button? It’s possible thanks to modern technologies such as augmented and virtual realities that facilitate day-to-day collaboration and take meetings to a whole new interactive level. But even if your team doesn’t meet in the metaverse, extended reality tools help you work productively and save time and money.

Specialist technicians can, for example, view machinery damage live on AR headsets allowing them to assess the situation on-site and offer appropriate support. 3D models make it possible to see new products in (virtual) use, even if they are still in the development phase, and training courses can become more interactive and practical when the products and processes are brought to life by extended reality. This also enables teams to be trained in critical situations such as complicated medical operations and maintenance on running machinery without any risks. The advantage is that learning outcomes are improved, the time to get to grips with a topic is shortened and your employees can better engage with the course.

5. Save time and money. Modern deployment and management.

Your IT department is stretched to the limit and your team has to wait an eternity for new devices, software and updates. The answer? Cloud-native device management and administration are modern solutions that get your employees up and running quickly and free up your IT team. You can also easily configure workstations and quickly roll out new tools. However, in a dispersed, hybrid world of work, freeing up your employees is just one aspect. IT security should also not be forgotten. The number of hacker attacks is growing at an alarming rate and traditional security mechanisms are no longer enough to protect corporate data from unauthorised access.

Modern IT management should, therefore, include three aspects to minimise risk and boost productivity and those are multi-factor authentication, single sign-on and zero trust/conditional access. Make sure you take into account the topic of security from the very first day of putting together your Modern Workplace concept. To help find your way in the ocean of technical possibilities and various providers, you should seek the help of experienced experts like Bechtle. We are by your side from day one and offer holistic advice on modern deployment and management as well as IT security.

6. Change management. Putting employees centre stage.

Modern working means shining a spotlight on the people. Tools should make work easier and not present a challenge and it’s crucial that your employees are involved from the beginning of any change. Only through modern user adoption and professional change management will the Modern Workplace be a success. The introduction of new tools and the hybrid world of work means changes to which everyone will react differently. If these projects are simply passed down from on high, resistance will be quick to form. The key is in taking concerns seriously, providing information and communicating openly. Companies with little experience in change management or lac resources should think about getting an experienced partner on board.

There must also be a change in mindset at leadership level. These days, employees expect their leaders to treat them as equals. They want their contribution towards goals to be clear and take on responsibility. It’s also important that leaders ensure their team stays together even when separated across locations, give regular feedback, are there for their employees and promote the exchange of ideas. This is the only way that hybrid working can be a long-term success. Businesses need to ensure that managers become digital leaders, which tends to require a complete rethink of the leadership culture. It’s not easy for most organisations to bring about sustainable changes without some support. Bechtle is on hand to offer support to businesses on their path to a modern leadership culture—a crucial component of the digital transformation.

These six trends show that the Modern Workplace is so much more than the right hardware and digital tools. It’s much more about the people and having an overarching strategy, modern equipment working well together, the right mindset and having an open, future-oriented corporate culture. No matter if you are just starting out on the path to a Modern Workplace or have a concept you’d like to optimise, a well-thought through strategy and detailed roadmap are the keys to success. The Modern Workplace is multi-faceted and only the interaction of individual components can create a modern working landscape in which teams can develop to their full potential.

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This post was published on Jan 12, 2022.