Workplace of the future should drive mobility and automation

A flurry of research has indicated that the workplace of the future will involve more mobility, automation and a need for robust infrastructure

The workplace is changing with more flexibility a feature and that is set to continue with employees bringing more technology into enterprises to help them with their work.

There has been a flurry of research today from various different sources looking at just how the future is going to be different and how technology will shape the way we all work.

A major study of just what the future of work is going to look like has been commissioned by Ricoh and it concludes that the workplace will see increasing automation, even more flexibility in working hours and even more productivity happening outside the office.

One of the desires of managers is to get staff away from their desks and screens because of the belief that they would be more productive if their time was freed up and that means there will be more challenges to the traditional desktop market.

But it will be a while before the old Victorian workplace values completely disappear with the research finding that many global executives are worried about losing control if more people work from home.

From a channel perspective the interesting findings are not just the opportunity to pitch more mobility tools and services but also to help customers introduce even more automation to help give them the chance to turn staff back onto developing the competitive edge.

But there is going to be a challenge if more staff are working remotely with ensuring that teams of workers are able to communicate and collaborate efficiently and there will be a need for robust technology to ensure that can take place.

According to Unify's Humanising the Enterprise study many workers are already feeling frustrated with the tech challenges they face trying to talk to colleagues and there needs to be more investment to create a seamless user experience.

"As companies change the way they work from silos into holistic all-encompassing units, so will employee expectations about how they engage and connect with each other,” said Robert Keenan, head of portfolio management, at Unify UK & Ireland.

He said the issue was one of particular importance for some of the younger members of the workforce, who had grown up using digital technology to collaborate.

“This isn’t just confined to the millennials; employees across the age spectrum are striving to find new ways of working and collaborating. It’s up to the enterprise to enable this through technology. If they don’t, employees will simply circumvent enterprise tools and use consumer applications instead, leaving you open to security risk and even worse the fundamental loss of productivity," he added.

Following on from the Ricoh and Unify reports was some analysis from Frost & Sullivan, which has found that more technology has to be used to make sure that the operation of a business can be researched in real-time.

“With global economic pressures to lower the cost of operations and services as well as improve business efficiency and productivity, enterprises are adopting technological support to effectively bridge the gap between business operations and customer demands,” said technical insights industry analyst Swapnadeep Nayak. “In line with these trends, several disruptive technologies such as data management, analytics, social media, mobiles and cloud computing are converging to meet evolving needs.”

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