Is your workplace ready for the future of work?
The way we work is changing. As my colleague, James McMahon, said in his post a few weeks ago, “digital business transformation initiatives, combined with changing user behaviour and virtual work cultures, are forcing organizations to rethink the way employees work”. Being able to deliver a seamless employee experience is critical to engage staff and help them be as productive as possible.
When we talk about employees in the context of workplaces and working environments, most people will likely think of a permanent, salaried employee. But what about interim, or contract, workers? They’re making up an ever-growing part of the workforce – in the European Union, it’s the fastest growing employment segment, with a 45% increase in freelancers from 2004 to 2013. The future of work isn’t just digital – for many, it’s contract-based, short term, with multiple employers.
Quick, managed access to experienced talent
Whatever the good and the bad of the gig economy, it’s easy to see the attraction of freelancers to businesses, particularly those looking for ways to be more agile, flexible and efficient in the digital era. Quick access to skilled, experienced talent, without the relative cost of having them on as permanent staff. That’s all happening today, but do these organisations have the workplace to accommodate them? Not just desk space either. How are they onboarded, what devices are available, how much time does it take to set up a user? An hour might not seem like much time for a single freelancer, but what if you’re bringing on a whole team? Suddenly the whole process needs to be much faster to get them up and running.
And once they’re onboard, how quickly can they be up to speed? What are they accessing? Some individuals may only need access to certain applications, while others may be involved in works which touches many different parts of the business, with the requirement for corresponding access. Being able to control this access, while still delivering a seamless experience (probably one that covers a freelancer’s own devices, to save on technology not always in use), is critical for security, intellectual property and corporate governance. Once the project is complete, there needs to be a simple way to block, or at least freeze, access, without impacting any requirements for onboarding on future projects.
Helping one of the world’s largest media companies become more agile
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is one such organization that is evolving to capitalize on the future of work. Long used to deploying contractors for productions and projects, in recent years it has seen the rise of disrupters like Netflix and Amazon threaten its audience share as they both exploit shifts from traditional TV viewing to OTT streaming and invest significantly in their own content. The BBC is faced with the familiar conundrum of established, non-digital enterprises – how to innovate, become more agile and response, while optimizing cost, to maintain and grow market share in the face of new digital-first entrants. In the BBC’s case, it needs its content to be able to compete at a time when Netflix can invest £100 million in the award-winning The Crown, or the $250 million Amazon allegedly paid for The Grand Tour.
To do that, one of the areas the BBC has been focusing on is attracting the best and brightest talent. Its new production arm, BBC Studios, is headed by Mark Linsey, who said recently it “means attracting the right creative talent, and that means being able to offer the incentives and rewards that the rest of the market can. It’s also giving the opportunity for creatives to work with more than one broadcaster.”
Part of that is making the talent experience seamless. As part of the BBC’s digital transformation, Atos is providing staff with simple to use, quality tools and systems, helping them continue to make world-class programmes and services, while delivering savings of over a third of current costs to the BBC. This covers a range of core technology and services staff use in their everyday work, including laptops, phones, business applications, hosting services and a technology helpdesk. It also gives the BBC more control and flexibility over its technology choices, enabling the broadcaster to adopt new technology as needed, giving staff the tools they need while continuing to make the organisation more efficient.
Evolving workplaces for evolving work trends
As the nature of work and the very notion of what being an employee evolves, so too does the requirement for what a workplace is. By deploying a truly holistic, end-to-end digital workplace, organizations can not only engage and inspire their permanent employees, but make themselves more attractive to interim talent, tapping into larger pools of resource to build exceptional teams quickly, without exposing themselves to unnecessary costs or security risks.
Next time we’ll be looking at how digital workplaces can harness data to deliver the holy grail of organisational effectiveness – productivity.