the new workspace: can work and freedom go together?

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It’s not a question for philosophy class, but a real issue facing business today. Just yesterday, my office was pretty easy to understand: a PC, a network cable, a landline and a mobile phone. Then things started to change: first came open plan offices, and then, all four walls seemed to disappear altogether. Talk about vertigo!

My workstation is not simply my PC anymore. It’s also my mobile or any other device in my reach, like the family tablet. 

response times are now as important as quality 

Today, everything is speeding up. Responsiveness is now just as important as quality when it comes to work. To help us keep pace with these demands, new tools have emerged to make our daily lives easier. The revolution is already underway. My work performance am no longer dependent on the tools my company gives me. I can now work in any situation, wherever I can and whenever I want. I’m totally free. But what does this mean in concrete terms?

  • I spend two hours a day in public transit. I use this time to read my email, and organize and clean up my inbox. When I get to my office, I’m ready to work right away. I find out which projects are urgent and then I prioritize my work for the day 
  • a sudden business trip pops up when I’m supposed to be at an important meeting? No problem, I can still travel light because I no longer need my PC to keep working. My tablet enables me take part in the online meeting organized by my team
  • with instant messaging and status indicators, I have the best tools available for handling urgent situations. I can reach everyone I need to, send or receive information almost instantaneously, all without bothering anyone with a phone call. Even better, I also reduce the number of emails I send and receive. Everyone’s happy!
  • when telecommuting, all my tools are at my fingertips, from my contacts to apps to documents

40% of employees use at least three devices throughout the day

I’m not an isolated case. Today, 63% of employees work from outside the office at least once a week. What’s more, 40% of employees use at least three devices throughout the day. Over 16% telecommute. Having all your data in the Cloud and synced on all your devices gives you an intense feeling of freedom and peace of mind. 

learning new ways of working is everyone’s responsibility 

To get the most out of these new tools, you have to stay attentive:

  • permanent internet access is an absolute essential for this new freedom. Thanks to 4G, Wi-Fi hotspots are available around the world and fiber-optic is emerging in our cities. Internet access is thus becoming a commodity
  • The line between professional life and private life is becoming blurred. Now everyone has to find his or her own way to balance work and personal life. 

To sum up, learning to make the most of these new technologies is a real challenge for businesses. Support from management and operational teams is crucial employees to learn how to properly use these tools and to keep this new freedom from turning into a gilded cage. Learning new ways of working is everyone’s responsibility. 

Juliette

PS: You can also read this blogpost in French here.

Crédit photo : © lassedesignen - Fotolia.com

Juliette Didon

Responsable marketing opérationnel des solutions de communication unifiée et de collaboration au sein d’Orange Business Services. Hier dans les contenus numériques, aujourd’hui dans les outils collaboratifs. Mon leitmotive : décrypter les nouveaux usages et promouvoir les nouvelles technologies qui améliorent le quotidien et tissent des liens entre les gens…