In part 6, we find out how complete connectivity will play a critical role in the successful workplaces of the future.
First time here? Catch up with the rest of the posts in the series.
‣ Start with the introduction in part 1
‣ Read about the first principle and why future communication will be open by default in part 2
‣ Head here to see why the workplaces of the future will be mobile first (and full of bots)
‣ Take a look why work communications will be more expressive than ever before
‣ See how the tools you use in the future will be integrated, not isolated here in part 5
The fifth principle: Connected Workplaces
The fifth principle that we've identified is the expectation that the workplace of the future will be connected. In fact, in the workplace of the future, everybody will be connected to everybody.
"The static, desktop-based way of working no longer reflects the reality for millions of people around the world."
Today, communication inside companies is often restricted to people who have an email address and a computer. But we know that this static, desktop-based way of working no longer reflects the reality for millions of people around the world.
And this isn't just the case in developing economies, where the next billion people to come online will never set eyes on a laptop or PC, but in the developed world where jobs are increasingly fluid and decentralised.
Connect your employees
One estimate suggests that by 2020, 50% of the US workforce will be freelancers with no fixed 'place' of work. Then, there are all the other parts of large organisations that are often cut off from central communications – the millions of people working in factories, shop floors, out in the field or even at sea.
With mobile, we finally have the power to connect everybody across an organisation, giving a voice to all the people, who until now, have been beyond the reach of traditional IT.
This is about much, much more than connecting teams. The beauty of Workplace is that the very same product works for everyone – whether you're the CEO of a major corporation crisscrossing the globe, the marketing team back at HQ, a regional team in a satellite office or a buyer, salesperson or field agent constantly on the move. It's a single product with exactly the same features and benefits.
Take a look at this video to see how the mobile-first approach is a crucial step towards connecting everyone.
Connect the unconnected
Combining universal appeal and usability is one piece of the connectivity solution. Another is using technology to bring everyone – even people with little or no access to the Internet – into the conversation.
And it's exciting to see examples of this already with Workplace. Airtel – a major Indian telecoms company – has recently joined together 6,000 franchisees without access to a business email address using Workplace. Myanmar's Yoma Bank has used Workplace to significantly improve information sharing and communication amongst the 80% of staff not currently online. As business tools continue to evolve, their ability to connect everyone will be a yardstick of their success or failure.
Connect and transform business culture
By truly connecting companies from top to bottom, we can transform culture. According to Deloitte, 69% of C-level executives say company culture – especially transparency in internal communications – is critical to their organisation's ability to realise its mission and vision. Workplace isn't just a tool for productivity and collaboration; it actually enhances culture by driving employee sentiment and engagement.
"The best products won't just be designed around one of our future trends; they will embrace the convergent, interconnected nature of the expectations reshaping the world of work."
Not only can we connect everybody within a company; we can connect teams across different companies. Multi-company groups dramatically increases the speed and ease of collaboration between people at different companies. So whether you're a client and media agency, a leaseholder and facilities manager, or any other kind of business that works with agencies or partners, you can set up Groups so easily to connect everybody you need in an open environment.
In fact, multi-company groups shows that the best products won't just be designed around one of our future trends. They'll fundamentally embrace the convergent, interconnected nature of the expectations that are reshaping the world of work.