Updated: Apr 8
Introduction to a Connected Workplace
Chances are, you’ve seen a lot of the words 'connected workplace' splashed across LinkedIn and various social media channels. It is an umbrella term that has been coined to describe anything from physical space, digital transformation, communication and collaboration between people within an organisation.
In today’s blog, we discuss the importance of a connected workplace and look closely at how people and tech can work closely together to create the ideal ‘Workplace Ecosystem’ – making people more productive and businesses more successful.
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2021 has completely altered these concepts in many ways across different industries and has demanded organisations to re-strategise their processes, tools and culture in order to implement new ways of managing and monitoring workforce productivity and collaboration. Today, a 'harmonious' workplace ecosystem looks completely different to what it did a year ago and continues to change - and as it does, we are watching organisations and their people become more agile as the purpose of their offices evolve with the future of work.
What is a Workplace Ecosystem?
If you think back to your early science lessons, you may remember that an ecosystem is an environment made up of a community of different organisms that interact with one another in order to thrive. A Workplace Ecosystem is just like that and digitisation has made it easier than ever to create an environment that is productive and efficient, as well as a culture that allows employees to prosper in their jobs.
According to WorkDesign Magazine: ‘A successful digital workplace ecosystem offers a dynamic network of spaces and environments where employees and on-demand workers will feel engaged, effective and supported by the right digital and physical resources.'
Cushman & Wakefield's data demonstrates how leaders and employees are facing critical challenges and identifying key successes that will shape the new normal in the workplace. They found the new normal will be a Total Workplace Ecosystem:
The workplace will no longer be a single location but an ecosystem of a variety of locations and experiences to support convenience, functionality and wellbeing
The purpose of the office will be to provide inspiring destinations that strengthen the cultural connection, learning, bonding with customers and colleagues, and supports innovation
Current footprint sizes will remain steady, balancing social distancing’s relaxing of space density with less office space headcount demand in the new total workplace strategy.
Why is Connected Workplace important?
The Connected Workplace is important because it drives digitisation and the success of a business. Peter Miscovich, in WorkDesign Magazine writes: "Corporate leaders all over the world over are seeing how a vibrant digital workplace ecosystem can fuel productivity and satisfaction". With 41% of employees considering a change in career or leaving their current roles, a successful workplace ecosystem is essential.
3 steps to a successful workplace ecosystem
1. Prioritising People and Investing in the 'Whole Employee'
Getting it right begins with putting people first. We introduced the concept of a 'human-centric workplace' where organisations and their leaders are using data to understand what changes they need to make in order to support their workforce. They must consider factors such as the tools they provide, office space, flexible working arrangements and culture. The two years we spent primarily communicating with colleagues virtually, made it very evident that real-life connection, collaboration and camaraderie cannot be replaced by tech. Either physical or digital employee experience requires a blend of technology and human interaction with colleagues made possible through flexible workplace arrangements.
2. Immersive Workplace Environments
Flexibility and the choice to work from anywhere in the world are quickly accelerating and becoming commonplace. However, employees prefer to have the choice between the home and the office and still want to have a space to gather. Miscovich writes: "Employees thrive in dynamic settings where they can be inspired by one another—or in quiet spaces if that’s more productive. High-performing digital talent will work best through a blend of flexible workplace arrangements, including creative, immersive work environments that balance collaboration areas with spaces dedicated for concentration and cognitive work activities."
The ability to choose when, where and how they want to work, elicits feelings of trust between employee and employer. It also leads to greater attainment of work/life balance and helps keep workers engaged in their roles.
3. Eliminating Workplace Challenges - Remote or in the Office Space.
Challenges that arise during the workday, directly affect an employee's workplace experience. As a key part of the smart workplace trends we concluded, a successful Workplace Ecosystem should be able to eliminate most of these challenges and in turn, provide a much more streamlined experience and lead to productivity. For example, remote working requires reliable connection and therefore tools and solutions should be provided for employees to carry out their responsibilities without disruption.
Read more about how smart workplace technology can eliminate workplace challenges Easy and secure access to materials, documentation and important files are also vital to employee productivity and their overall experience within the workplace. By digitising and shifting to a paperless office, companies can ensure they are reducing the workload and time wasted on searching for the files needed to carry out tasks. It also reduces the reliance on tedious manual processes that are time-consuming.
Without these distractions, people are able to get on with their workload and focus on the parts of their job that make them feel the most successful. A connected workplace eliminates manual processes, optimises workflows and allows efficient collaboration with one another in the hybrid working world.
Our approach to the Connected workplace ecosystem
At Vpod Solutions, we believe that tech and people should work hand in hand to create the ultimate workplace ecosystem. This is why we design solutions that are powered by smart technology and cater to the human experience. These are the three main approaches we take:
Vgreet is the key to an intuitive and connected workplace. From visitor check-in to check out, our Digital visitor management system provides an end-to-end solution for businesses that considers both visitors and employees and their user journeys. With customisable journeys and powerful integrations, Vgreet has features that meet the individual needs of a workplace and therefore can play a big role in connecting the workplace as well as being a solution that enables a successful workplace ecosystem.
As people look to head back into the office, agile lockers have emerged to maximise office space utilisation so that they can provide employees with the environments they want and need, in order to keep the office a place that is productive. Collaboration spaces, meeting rooms with the right equipment and even quiet concentration spaces are essential in keeping the workplace relevant.
Our locker range combines smart technology with precise manufacturing to allow businesses to reduce the number of lockers they need and save on the expensive floor space they occupy - creating a more agile working environment. Our multi-purpose Smart locker VLocker, is able to process the workflows of different locker banks all within a single locker bank. It allows businesses to maximise their locker utilisation, minimise costs and save on space.
Virtual concierge software, Dialog, keeps businesses and customers connected over any device, at any time, anywhere in the world. Dialog allows your experts to handle video as simply as they would audio and connects them to your customers through a simple and easy to use interface. Dialog delivers an engaging experience for both customers and employees while boosting productivity, centralising resources and maximising value. Our AV Solutions also provide better collaboration as they utilise the latest in transformative technologies as well as future proof digital workplaces. Another completely customisable solution, Vpod works closely with organisations to understand their needs and in turn provides, rich communication and collaboration tools that ensure a quality and consistent user experience in meeting, conferencing or huddle rooms. This enables collaboration across a Connected Workplace or team, no matter where an individual decides to work - and therefore enables flexible, hybrid working with functionality, connection and collaboration.
Our solutions are built with maximum flexibility, they connect and integrate with not only each other but also your existing customer workflow. We also take pride in working with selected partners who are leaders across the tech industry, committed to supporting organisations with the tools they need for digital transformation and quality workplace experiences. With our partners, we have developed a connected network of industry-leading workplace technology providers to help organisations solve the challenges they face. Our ecosystem of integrated technologies connects the workplace and provides powerful tools that enable users to be efficient and productive in the workspace.
Benefits of a Vpod's Connected Workplace
As the workplace ecosystem continues to evolve, it is important that organisations work closely with their people to understand their needs. Communication, data and insights as well as adopting a hybrid and flexible culture, are key to driving a connected workplace.
The main benefits of the Connected Workplace are
1. Departments can collaborate easily and efficiently as all requests are carried out on one, streamlined platform.
2. All departments are connected to action items, and collaborate complete tasks together. Creating a hybrid working culture, where people can be productive from anywhere in the world.
3. All tasks can be completed in an orderly manner, completely organised and leaving nothing left unfinished.