Transforming workspaces in ANZ

Today’s workers want to work on their own terms. Millennials have entered the workplace during the internet era, so they don’t know a work world without connectivity and mobility.

Today’s workers want to work on their own terms. Millennials have entered the workplace during the internet era, so they don’t know a work world without connectivity and mobility.

In Australia, there will be more millennials in the workforce than any other generation by the year 2020. They have very different expectations from older workers: ten years ago, activity-based working was simply not the norm, while today the millennials generation of workers considers instant voice and video communication with colleagues from half way across the world a given. They expect the workplace to empower them to be more productive. They think of digital collaboration as something as normal as simply showing up to work each day – which for some could also mean virtually!

All this makes keeping them, and keeping them happy, more difficult than ever. They are very demanding of their employers and as such, employers need to respond to their expectations to drive productivity, job satisfaction and loyalty.

Digital transformation must take into account the workforce

That is not to say that companies throughout Australia and New Zealand have not embraced the cultural shift that is happening in the workplace, in making the move to digital. According to research from Pure Storage, 57 percent of businesses across Australia and New Zealand are already deriving more than half of their revenues from digital streams.

But besides this digital transformation commitment, more priority should being given to attracting, training, retaining and maximizing the potential of employees, There is no doubt that the rapid rise of millennials in the workplace has prompted a need for a more technology-savvy engagement from employers to meet their expectations for faster, smarter organizations that provide great end-user experience in their jobs.

Enabling collaboration and communication with colleagues

This has led to the transformation of the workspace in the workplace. The new workspace will be defined by what millennials want, which is based around real-time unified communication and collaboration (UC&C) plus actionable insights. The workplace must enable employees to do as much as they want in as little time as possible, and provide them with methods of instantly connecting, engaging and collaborating with colleagues. This means great workplace connectivity married to fast, smart and secure applications.

The new workspace must also allow millennials to work on a myriad of devices -  their smartphones, tablets, laptops or PCs, whatever helps them get the job done – and enjoy a seamless working experience. Because they see no great demarcation between personal and work life, all devices have become multi-purpose for both personal and work activities.

The onus is on business leaders, CEOs and CIOs, to recognize and act on this trend, to transform the workspace and operate a new digital workplace, or risk being ignored by the best millennial talent and left behind by those that do.

The new workplace must remember security

In pretty short order, millennials will be the first generation to engage with virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) in the digital workplace and consider it perfectly normal. The Internet of Things (IOT) will be second nature to them, and enterprise mobility will simply be a given. With that in mind, companies must consider the risks inherent in the digital workplace’s opportunity: having devices and apps at the heart of organizations presents massive potential, but they can become a security nightmare for the IT department if not securely managed.

Organizations will need to ensure that security processes across all applications and devices are up to scratch, with sufficient levels of security to protect sensitive data and prevent any breach from breaking workplace momentum and productivity.

Digital transformation in the Australian and New Zealand workplace is all about changing established ways of doing things: we want to get the maximum out of technology to empower all our workers and in turn drive loyalty and happiness for them. That’s the way to ensure happier employees and ultimately happier customers in the short and long term.

You can transform the workplace in your organization. Download the PwC report, Shaping a smarter workplace, to find out how.
Kevin Griffen
Kevin Griffen is Managing Director, Australasia for Orange Business. He has over 30 years' experience in the IT and communications industry and is currently responsible for strategic development across Australasia. Outside of work, Kevin is a keen supporter of women in sports and has coached a number of soccer teams to success.