It is common knowledge that disruption has heavily impacted the ways in which businesses and their employees now work.
Cloud services and mobile devices are just two technologies that are now commonplace in the business environment, and the opportunities they have created within the workforce mean more employees can work remotely while communicating in real-time with colleagues.
According to Fronde, in order to attract and retain the best talent, organisations must be responsive to these changing operating modes.
Encouraging greater workplace flexibility and collaboration - with the appropriate technologies and policies in place - is key, the company says.
The more flexibility and collaboration within an organisation, the more engaged employees will be.
“Organisations need to use collaborative technologies, such as cloud-based applications and mobile devices, to help employees work across different time zones, communicate in real-time, and share and work on documents together, from anywhere in the world,”explains Don McLean, managing director, Fronde Australia.
“Many employees already use two or more devices to work throughout the day. These may not all be corporate issued,” he says.
McLean says businesses must recognise the prevalence of these technologies, rather than resisting them.
“Many of Fronde’s clients are seeing great benefit in incorporating mobile collaborative technologies into daily operations, supported by the right policies and IT to make sure the devices are used appropriately, their full capability,” he explains.
Deloitte and Google’s research on ‘The Collaborative Economy’ quantifies the value of great workplace collaboration and flexibility. The findings suggest that companies that prioritise collaboration are five times more likely to experience an increase in profit, and twice as likely to be profitable.
McLean says technology is a key driver for businesses adopting collaborative and flexible work models to improve employee engagement and business performance.
“The more staff feel empowered by their workplace environment and technologies, the less turnover the organisation is likely to experience, and the better its return on employee spend. It’s better for staff, and for the bottom line,” he explains.
“To make a collaborative work model successful, particularly in businesses with a large portion of existing legacy IT infrastructure, the messaging and drive for change has to come from the leadership team,” says McLean.
“By giving teams a licence to be collaborative, and supporting them with the best technologies, business leaders will see a change occur organically.
“Organisations are more likely to experience faster adoption rates and business success when the benefits of the technologies are apparent to all levels of the business,” he says.
When implementing technologies that facilitate collaboration and workplace flexibility, businesses should look to engage a service provider that can help with this transition, says McLean.
“The provider should work with the organisation to develop best practice policies and IT systems for the collaborative technologies on a case-by-case basis, as a personalised approach to these technologies is likely to promote greater employee engagement and workplace flexibility.”