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Are you thinking about future office technology, or how it impacts those that aren’t even in the office? Remote workers, in-person employees, hybrid technologists that spend their days in multiple offices all over the globe, 2022 truly will see it all when it comes to what the modern workplace and office space needs in terms of technology to accommodate all of the workforce. When the pandemic first hit, most companies didn’t even have this situation in their most thorough of plans. The pandemic has moved us at least 5 years forward seemingly over-night in terms of office technology needs surrounding the remote worker. We must evolve our spaces to attract, retain, and provide resources for the best talent available for our organizations.

Microsoft conducted a study in 2021 which will be published shortly that found 70% of their workers expressing a desire to maintain the flexibility of working from home routinely and coming into a corporate office only as necessary, or as a last resort.  What we have learned in this past year about supporting the home worker is that having collaboratively being able to communicate from anywhere is vital to the business continuation planning for most companies. Those that do it well, have thrived during a uniquely challenging time, while those that haven’t have quite often stumbled into more difficult challenges.

If the last few years have taught us anything, they’ve certainly taught us that we must collectively try and look at the employees and their production through a more forward-thinking lens. In a post-pandemic world, it is not only a necessity, but vital to organization survival that every employee is supported from both a safety, comfort, and productivity standpoint, We must re-imagine the workplace now before it’s too late and we fall behind. Consistency is the buzz word of success in this instance.

Experiences & Processes Must Be Consistent

Think about early adopters of the many software ecosystems we now see in the workplace maybe it’s Salesforce, or Google Analytics, or even Office 365 or G Suite. They were ahead of the curve when the rest of us had to catchup. They had communication structures in place that made it easy for them to simply worry about business, not the software, when everyone else was worrying about the software. Processes were already in place for conducting business and things were highly efficient for these early adopters as a result. The process is what matters most in this instance and it is afforded by the technology in place. This is really the backbone of the successful transition to the future mix of in-person and remote work.

During the pandemic organizations based on brick-and-mortar store-based sales with weak e-commerce or lacking in omnichannel sales struggled to implement technologies to support their call centers remotely and achieve things like positive customer reviews, or encouraging internal metrics. Worse yet, their revenue numbers often declined. This was also the case for those companies that didn’t have remote-work processes ready. Many companies struggled not only to get the appropriate technology in place, but had no idea how to implement it, and even worse yet no idea how to train their employees on it or build their own workflows once it was in place.

As we continue to grow the remote workforce, and some return to the office alongside of them, we will face many challenges in the short and long-term in formally adopting, and standardizing these processes and strategies. In the modern workplace, employees will have little tolerance for an office environment that hinders their ability to easily connect and collaborate globally, whether it is at home or in their headquarters. However, the underlying fact remains that our processes, data, CRM platforms, accounting technologies and more must flow reliably and securely.

When we start thinking about how this relates to AV, we must remember that employees are looking for flexibility above all. The technology must not interrupt the process. and in many instances must be portable, fully-integrated with other systems, and be easy to use in a multitude of locations. The software as well as the equipment must be the same and allow for smooth communication of all data points across locations globally. The person sitting in their living room should get the same experience and the same data as someone sitting in a headquarters in Chicago and a remote participant in a Toronto office.

In addition, we must also account for scalability. As companies rebound and grow again post pandemic, the technologies we use must be able to scale with that growth. Whether that takes the form of people coming back to offices with more small conference rooms with connected technologies, or it means sending out tech to remote workers to better collaborate at home, we must find and use both hardware and software solutions that do no disrupt the worker, nor the flow of business. If you’d like to discuss this topic and learn more about the hardware offerings and workplace design, please reach out to us we would be happy to chat!