It is widely recognised that the capabilities of the workforce are constantly evolving, and that the technology used in the workplace is adapting quickly to suit new methods and strategies. After all, it wasn’t that long ago that company communications were sent by post, presentations were made using overhead projectors and client details were kept in folders and drawers. But it’s also vital that organisations understand just how important it is that they keep up with these developments in order to find, train and retain the strongest possible workforce.
Some of the most promising individuals in the talent pool come from a millennial generation accustomed to a particular way of working. Away from the office, they’ve grown up with instant access to well-organised information, as well as the ability to respond and react to this information immediately. It follows that when they join an organisation, they’re looking for a streamlined and collaborative approach to working that is responsive to their needs and to their methods of information management. When organisations find ways to connect with these ideals, they also find that productivity, and ultimately the potential for business success, increases.
For some businesses, certain processes will have been a staple of their place of work for years. Any attempts to evolve and adapt might meet with some resistance from existing employees, but those firms who hand over the task of modernisation to IT outsourcing companies like Acora will find the process smoother for all involved.
Advances in technology have opened multiple channels for communication between organisations and both their employees and their clients. Such a collaborative, community-focused approach not only provides opportunity for growth for the business, it also reflects new working practices that a younger workforce are more accustomed to.
The Mobile Workplace
Mobile devices dominate almost every aspect of modern life for the millennial generation, with an array of applications designed to assist with day-to-day tasks, facilitate access to information and encourage open channels of communication between themselves and their peers. Yet many organisations are not utilising the benefits of the technology in the workplace, and by extension are not supporting a workforce which has developed alongside this social and mobile technology.
Flexibility and work-life balance are increasingly important workplace values for the millennial generation. Productivity clearly benefits from less rigid working practices, with a reported 39% rise when flexible working opportunities are provided for employees. Mobile technology also provides the means for staff to engage with training and development programmes at their own pace, and mobile training courses can engage with the preference for instant interaction and reward. As the trend towards remote working takes hold, the provision of mobile devices for the workforce allows for a better work-life balance, an ideal held in high regard by younger employees.
IT outsourcing provides a way for businesses to ensure that the benefits of mobile technology can be introduced efficiently and practically, ensuring the continuity of business, stable security and robust policies for the workplace.
Social networks have altered the way information is received and engaged within recent years, and the popularity of these platforms has promoted a new way of communicating and collaborating in the workplace which focuses on instant access to information as well as cross-functional teamwork. Like a company newsletter without the associated costs, social media can ensure communication flows in all directions: top-down, bottom-up, and side-to-side. As a workplace tool, these platforms also alleviate the pressure that comes with a single channel of communication to help a younger workforce organise and prioritise information according to their preferences.
Streamlined communication channels represent just one benefit of the social workplace. For a younger workforce in the habit of connecting through status updates and document sharing, wikis and micro-blogging platforms offer various advantages over the oft-abandoned content management systems implemented by a business. Information and knowledge can be captured and shared efficiently, while the job of writing, updating and managing the repositories can be divided between the workforce to encourage community ownership and avoid the loss of knowledge if a member of staff moves on. IT outsourcing can ensure that such platforms are easily integrated into existing processes to consolidate the skills of the workforce and to organise and maintain resources in a manner already second nature to the millennial generation of workers.
The habits of social and mobile working should not be broken by businesses looking to adapt to the rapidly changing workplace culture. Clients and customers are recognising that the most-forward thinking companies are open to the influence of their younger personnel, encouraging collaboration and multi-channel communication in order to drive new business strategies. With IT outsourcing providers like Acora, elements of the workplace can be adapted to become more in line with this new breed of employee, whilst still providing the all-important ability to manage, monitor and maintain the workforce.