While working from home is not for everyone, working from everywhere soon will be. As digital innovation continues, the differences between working in the office, a coffeehouse, your own backyard or even at the beach will soon fade away. People won’t have to work remotely if they don’t want to, but the office is already becoming just one of many locations where work occurs.When you’re working with your team, even in different locations, what’s most important is a shared state of mind. That state of mind is much more important for productivity than shared office space.
Here’s what makes it possible:
Services first: The “cloud” is a new buzzword but the real revolution is not the fact that things are stored differently, but it is about making services universally available. While many workers still love their physical spaces, and there are good reasons for it, the digitization of all work services makes work more flexible.
Mobile only: The term ‘mobile first’ is another popular buzzword but the real breakthrough is going to come when we are ‘mobile only.’ Once every service is available for people on the road and those in the office, we can finally break the chain to the physical world. This change will not come without challenges, though. Not every job will be suitable for remote work. Some employees need to be physically near every aspect of their job; others simply need that stability to feel emotionally engaged with their organizations.
In any case, technology provides a unique opportunity to bring us closer together than ever before. We’ve come a long way from mandatory physical meetings — with real-time mobile connectivity, we can finally be “near” each other no matter where we are. We’ve come a long way from phones and intranets to real-time mobile connectivity.The key to this innovation will be optimizing how people work together. If you think the last five years were filled with change, just wait for the next five.
Research offers four strategies to make better use of digital technology and bring your office into the future:
Eliminate barriers. “Digital availability and workplace mobilization make it easier for us to access our work at any time — and to act on the information available. IT professionals too often have the urge to control, but the more effective strategy is to give employees the tools they need to take control themselves.”
Eliminate fear. “New technologies bring fear and apprehension: fear of change, fear of risks, and fear of control or competency. While it’s wise to not dive in headfirst without proper research, acting on fear could prevent your company from realizing its innovative potential. Today, mobilization is such a massive disruption to every industry that a failure to embrace the change would be a terrible mistake.”
Eliminate wastes of time. “Time is our most valuable resource, yet we allow so much to be wasted. Technology makes standard activities like processes, approvals, communication, and accessing information fast and simple, meaning people can spend less time on tedious administrative functions — and more time using the skills that make them valuable.”
Eliminate wastes of attention. “Humans have short attention spans, and the longer you waste their attention, the more disengaged they become. Mobile technology allows for continuous engagement, but that power can be wasted if the information provided is not valuable. Every action, process, or piece of information should be designed to maximize both engagement and productivity.”