Digital technology has changed the world forever and accelerated by the pandemic, enterprises across the board had to adapt to the rapidly accelerating tide of digital transformation. Moreover, this recent onset of digital trends is fueling today’s shifting, agile, and modern workspace, through a slew of technologies and innovations that have made our office lives easier.
The key word today is flexibility, and companies wishing to thrive in the future must stay ahead of the curve by implementing strategies to meet the needs of the modern worker. This means they need to look at managing a digital environment and workspace that strikes that critical balance between satisfied customers and happy employees. It means they need to find the solutions that drive collaboration across hybrid and remote teams. They need to find solutions that promote wellness, not only for the environment but for their staff members. And they need to look at the role cybersecurity plays in cultivating a productive and safe digital workspace. Of course, being September, and the onset of spring in South Africa, there’s no better time to relook at workspaces to implement these key changes.
Health and wellness
Employees are important to all forward-thinking businesses. A workforce that is made up of content employees is what sets an organisation from its competitors. Good employers are always looking for ways to elevate employees’ working experience, promote their general well-being, and make them want to stay around. Health is important, and today’s workspace vendors are taking ergonomics into account, and trying to eliminate health issues and low productivity that happen as a result of sitting for prolonged periods of time. Some workspaces have become smart enough that they encourage employees to stand up and move around more, by incorporating occupancy sensors. Other market leaders have introduced antimicrobial protection, understanding that as people’s needs have changed, companies need to adapt too. Germs such as bacteria can bind to textiles and surfaces, on the bag employees carry from home to the office, or the keyboard and mouse they might share on hot desks or with their colleagues. This is why antimicrobial protection has been introduced by leading workspace manufacturers to help staff members meet new cleanliness challenges at home, in the office, and on the go.
In terms of cybersecurity, running a team of distributed and remote employees and devices across a digital workspace will no doubt raise major cybersecurity concerns, particularly in the ‘bring your own everything’ era, which is seeing a slew of unsanctioned devices and apps connect to the corporate network. Concurrently, the widened attack surface has seen a major increase in phishing and ransomware attacks, as well as data breaches and attempted hacks. In today’s new world of work, security practitioners are having to navigate unchartered waters, and a wide range of new, complex, and sophisticated threats. This is why in a digital workplace, device security must never be ignored, as any weaknesses can be used by determined cyber adversaries to gain a foothold on the network and get their hands on the company’s most private and sensitive data. Devices, which form part of an employee’s workspace, often house a wide variety of valuable information, which, if in the hands of cyber criminals, could lead to lashing by the regulator, as well as catastrophic reputational damage. Even employees that are not privy to the company’s crown jewels can be used as a stepping stone to a more important target, which is why all devices must have built-in security, which fortunately all the leading brands do.
Collaboration and mobility
Today’s workspaces also need to promote collaboration and mobility, as keeping distributed teams connected has the benefit of maintaining communication to run a productive and effective workforce, regardless of where they are situated. In addition, it also provides a valuable means for individual team members to maintain human contact and get to know their colleagues, which in turn, improves the employee experience. Mobility is a buzzword that has been trending for some time, but particularly in our post-pandemic era, as it was the key to enabling organisations in every industry to keep their doors open. Mobility and collaboration are what empower workforces to work from any device, at any time, and from anywhere around the world, and for businesses, embracing mobility in the workplace can be incredibly valuable, and can facilitate them in many different areas of their operations. Reach to clients can be increased, employee efficiency can be maximised, and productivity enhanced to new levels. This is why we have seen a dramatic shift in workspace vendors enabling users to have as much computing power as possible at hand around the clock, by introducing increasingly powerful specs for their mobile laptop PCs. This is seeing desktops shrinking, and the line is blurring between fixed and mobile workspaces. Thin-and-light form factor devices are also starting to grow in popularity, as vendors find the balance between performance and the power needed for distributed workforces.