The flexible workplace will change our business world

How does work look like in the future? Well, obviously we have written our Lancalot Manifesto which might make you guess how we see the future. We know, the manifesto and our profiles have created curiousity about what the Lancalot business could be about. You can be sure, we will let you know as soon as we are able to…

So, what is work in the future? Is it a task? Or two tasks? Multiple projects? And how is a workplace going to constitute? Will we need a desk in a fixed place? Will flexible desks replace your swivel chair? Will coffee-shops, airport lounges and day-bars become our main workplace touchpoints? What is the role of smarter working and telecommuting? How will co-working change our attitude towards our employer? Many question this blog will circle around…

Let’s start of asking what makes up a flexible workspace…

Working in the clouds today means that we do not need a physical environment like a room with a desk, cupboards or drawers anymore. Maybe accountants or controller might have one. But even then, I can think of other options. The rest of the company’s value chain will probably not necessarily need those brain and creativity limitations any longer. Those who resist might be the ones that love to position their glorious (and dusty) awards around them in a way that everybody can see them: those dusty sales awards, media trophies or customer service medals…

Mobile gadgets offer new freedom and fresh opportunities. Behavioral trends connected to new cloud development and technology bridge the transition for new work habits. And sustainable people rethinking what commuting to work means, have embraced co-working locations to save their employees time, create a new work-life balance. Thus, clever companies changed the industry in which people are doing their jobs. They offer more flexibility, more creativity and more empathy – for a “happy working” trend.

Today, the workplace is virtualized. Companies looking ahead of the future will acknowledge that the workplace gets redefined by networking, collaboration, conversations and nudging. With new mobile technology people expect their new personal gadgets to play an increasingly important part in their professional business. The mobile “desktop worker” has more opportunities than delivering their tasks from an office. They can work from wherever they want, at the time they chose, and produce as much as they can. As long as the location offers 3G or WiFi… True.

This development is also a chance and challenge for organizations and companies. Especially, for those people who are supporting their business roles, especially in IT.

A recent study by IBM’s Center For Applied Insights among 675 CIOs and IT managers of large corporates in Australia, China, India, Japan, UK, and the US now refers to this new flexible workplace movement. It offers insights into the success of those flexible workers and in which way it sets them apart. The workplace study states that the most successful companies implementing the flexible workplace are seeing 20+ percent improvement in productivity and cost savings.

The results support our above mentioned assumptions: 74% of CIOs and IT managers have given the flexible workspace a bigger priority than many other budget topics in the last twelve months. Most respondents go even further and expects to invest a significant amount in related attributes of the flexible workspace over the next two years. Why? Apart from the above facts, they see increased revenues and enhanced security challenges closely connected to it.

The study also advices that there are some important challenges that companies have to have an eye on when transforming to a flexible workplace business. It is not surprising that security is top of concerns for the IT heads.

Still, CIOs and IT managers see that improving collaboration is a new key asset. Strenghtening two-way communication and sharing between employees, partners, resellers and customers speeds up processes, saves time and leads to new business advantages.

The following infographic illustrates the main features in the transformation process to a flexible workplace business.

Is your company ready to become a flexible workplace business?

PS: How the flexible workplace affects the HR world, Lancalot will tell you soon…

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