With the ever-evolving world of post-pandemic work, remote work has become the norm for many companies. As of 2023, 12.7% of full-time employees work from home, while 28.2% work hybrid. While most workers are still working in office (59.1%), there is no denying the rapid normalization of remote and hybrid environments. The future of the modern workplace is remote work environments. Upwork estimates that by 2025, about 22% of the workforce will work remotely. Workers’ preferences continue to push the remote working agenda forward. With the flexibility, convenience and work-life balance that remote work environments offer, it is no surprise that 98% of workers express a desire to work remotely, at least part of the time. According to ApolloTechnical, about 16% of companies are already fully remote. These companies are paving the way for the modern workplace.
With the shift towards the modern workplace, it is easy for business technology and processes to become outdated and result in inefficient operations, affecting employee productivity and customer experiences. While 78% of senior executives believe that fostering a modern workplace strategy is essential, only 31% think their company is forward-thinking enough to do so, according to Harvard Business Review. This blog will outline some significant components of modern workplace technology and how it enables employees to work how they want and improve the quality and efficiency of work operations.
One of the critical components of a modern workspace is cloud computing for data storage, processing, and software delivery. Cloud infrastructure provides several benefits to businesses, including scalability, accessibility, and flexibility while allowing employees to access their work from anywhere with an internet connection. Many modern workplace technologies use the cloud to deliver their software applications. For example, Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions such as Microsoft 365, Google Workspace or Salesforce utilize a cloud service model to deliver their applications through a web browser. Similarly, Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) also utilize cloud service models. Cloud infrastructure allows businesses to scale on demand, deliver data and applications from virtually anywhere, and employ cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics.
Modern workplaces prioritize mobile and remote access and streamline IT management. Employees should be able to work remotely using smartphones, tablets, and laptops to access applications and data securely, enabling flexible work arrangements and on-the-go productivity. Remote desktop solutions and virtualization technologies can allow end-users to work how they want, whenever, wherever they want. Businesses can consider VPN and virtualization tools when managing user devices. Companies often need to create a Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) program or company-provided/ reimbursed device program, where laptops, computers or mobile devices are equipped with the necessary software and security configurations to enable end-users to work from home securely. Additionally, policies and guidelines for remote work expectations, internet security, and office peripherals (such as computer monitors, keyboards, and mice) should be considered when moving to a remote work model.
Communication and collaboration platforms allow users to work together seamlessly as though they were in the office. Technologies such as Microsoft Teams, Slack, or Zoom facilitate real-time messaging, video conferencing, file sharing, and project collaboration and can often integrate with existing VoIP systems. These tools foster teamwork and streamline communication, especially in remote or hybrid work settings. Furthermore, cloud collaboration and storage solutions such as Google Drive and Google Workspace, OneDrive and M365, and DropBox allow employees to store, share and work simultaneously on documents. Project management and to-do list software like Asana, Trello, Jira, Todoist and Microsoft To-Do allow teams or individuals to track and manage tasks and projects.
A fourth component of a modern workplace is a robust cybersecurity stance. Although cloud providers typically offer strong security measures, organizations are still responsible for securing their data and applications within the cloud. This requires a shared responsibility model between the organization and the cloud provider. Moreover, with remote work, cloud applications, and cloud infrastructure come a new set of security risks and compliance policies that companies need to consider to protect their valuable data. Some strong security measures to put in place include multi-factor authentication (MFA), strong password policies, data encryption and backup, and more. Employees without cybersecurity awareness also tend to be the weakest link for cyber attackers to target, and cybersecurity training and awareness programs can help mitigate security risks from phishing, social engineering and deceptive content.
Part of a modern workplace includes embracing AI, automation and analytics to increase efficiency, reduce costs, enhance decision-making and improve work effectiveness. AI-powered technologies like chatbots, virtual assistants, and predictive analytics are integrated into modern workplaces to automate repetitive tasks, provide insights, and enhance decision-making. This streamlines workflows and improves efficiency. Furthermore, analytics can deliver data-driven insights and help businesses make informed decisions regarding boosting productivity, reducing errors, optimizing workflows, and adapting to the changing market. These three tools are becoming increasingly integral to companies looking to stay competitive and agile in a rapidly evolving business landscape.
The modern workplace is undergoing a significant transformation driven by the increasing adoption of remote and hybrid work models. Technology is at the forefront of this evolution, with cloud-based infrastructure, remote work options, collaborative technologies, robust cybersecurity measures, and the integration of AI, analytics, and automation playing pivotal roles. As businesses adapt to these changes, they can unlock greater flexibility, efficiency, and innovation while meeting the demands and preferences of today’s workforce. Embracing these technological advancements is not merely a choice but a necessity for organizations aiming to thrive in the modern era of work.