Raconteur Future Workplace – Tech Fact, Not Tech Friction

paper version of article featured in The Times

Check out our latest article within the Raconteur Future Workplace report, distributed in The Times – Tech fact, not friction.

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Raconteur Future Workplace – Work-enabling technology in convenient workspaces empowers employees to excel.Improving the employee experience is in the top three focus areas for global HR leaders who want to support business growth in 2019 says Gartner. It makes complete sense: a happy workforce leads to improved productivity, greater talent retention and ultimately better customer experiences.And there is solid research to back this up. Jacob Morgan revealed his findings in the Harvard Business Review showing that companies that focused on employee experience had four times the average profit and more than twice the average revenue of those who didn’t.

Despite this evidence, the modern workplace doesn’t seem to be working when it comes to supporting workers, optimising space effectively and providing technology that enhances positive experiences for employees.Without sensible, work-enabling, technology, workplaces merely create friction – what McKinsey & Company call ‘organisational drag’. With one-size-fits-all workplaces simply no longer possible; workspaces increasingly need technology that enriches rather than enrages. It finds the average company loses 25 per cent of its productive capacity simply by putting people together in one place, dealing with all the inefficient policies and processes this entails (technology deficiencies included). Not only this, its research finds that with each additional 10 per cent increase in staff headcount, firms lose two per cent in productivity.This all creates a strong case to create personalised working experiences for the workforce, designed to support individual as well as provide the best environment for everyone.

In the latest Cloudbooking report (Link) we found more than half (52 per cent) of staff dream of interacting with workplace technology that offers the same sort of personalised experience they already get in their personal lives from the likes of Google or Uber. The reality is – from a significant 59 per cent – that technology is not working as they expect (and actually prevents them doing their jobs properly). If only they had bespoke technology-enabled experiences at work; this is what 61 percent agreed would make them happier about coming to work each day.

While this may not be a huge surprise, the extent to which there is such high expectation about technology making working life easier, possibly is. At Cloudbooking we beliece ‘Experience’ is what employees crave; and good experiences at that. Most workplaces today simply aren’t ‘working’ but technology is now seen as leading the change to make things better. Just as consumer technology is designed to be customer-centric, the workplace technology your business adopts must be employee-centric. It should solve the challenges of your workforce and be something your employees can’t live without.

This isn’t workplace fiction; it is workplace fact. And it exists for one simple reason: it’s what employees really want. In the same way we welcome eBay notifications about auctions ending soon; or Facebook reminders telling us it’s a friend’s birthday, we are living in a time where relevancy is king. If technology is out of sight but serves a purpose, people are clear: bring it on!
Take the relatively (in theory) simple task of attending an external meeting. It’s booked in an employees’ online calendar, scheduled for a few hours time, across town. But, unbeknown to them, transport problems are creating havoc. How much easier would this employees’ life be if tech informed them of this, and suggested that if they left now (rather than when they’d initially planned), they’d still get there on time? Or, what if, mid-journey, AI predicts they’ll still be late, but that a co-working space – with spare capacity – was just a short distance away? At least they could decide to still have a Skype call instead. The tech would update the other attendees and book everything for them.
For CEOs and facilities managers, this is actually good news. With the type of technology infrastructure Cloudbooking provide – including technology that monitors where people go, which spaces are occupied, how often, and by how many – decisions can be made more strategically using data. We believe this means employers have the opportunity to create even better experiences, with staff feeling like they’re being set free by technology rather than it being their master.Read more here:  Future Workplace
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