When Mark Zuckerberg devised the concept of the multi-billion pound company in his college dorm, the social power of the Internet was very much in its infancy. But now, fuelled by the rapid growth of mobile devices, enhanced internet connectivity levels and the availability of hundreds of social platforms, the digital revolution is increasingly infiltrating all aspects of our daily lives.
With this digital revolution comes a whole new generation of digital natives, who are accustomed to and expect the latest and greatest technology. Organisations that aren’t prepared for this, or believe that they can carry on with traditional working methods, are in for a dramatic shock.
The arrival of this new generation into the workplace brings an array of opportunities for organisations, but many are living in fear of the arrival of digital natives. Most senior executives don’t share the same viewpoint and experiences or have the same understanding of the digital social world as their new, young employees – and having to adapt can be a scary prospect. But rather than fearing change, companies need to embrace it.
The arrival of digital natives offers a glimpse into the future. Working methods will undoubtedly have to change, not only increasing productivity and, in turn, ROI, but also creating a happierworkplace. Smart buildings will unlock office potential by enabling digitalnatives to work as they please. While mobile working frees up tech savvy workers who have become accustomed to having the world at their fingertips.
Office space plays a vital role in the overall performance of a business, and the traditional working methods of being tied to your desk have become ineffective and outdated. Laptops, mobile phones and shared platforms have eradicated the need for employees to work in a static environment. For digital workers, a pen and paper feels foreign and as the digital revolution continues to evolve workspaces will need to adapt their methods to accommodate the new generation.
There are 363m digital natives globally with more than 84 per cent of this group owning a smartphone, compared to 63 per cent of the total population. Organisations should equip their workspaces with tools to take advantage of this, for example being able to remotely book desk space, meeting rooms and cater to specificneeds liberates employees and saves time.
We are accustomed to fast-paced lifestyles, and an easy-going and relaxed office space allows employees to be at their most creative. Innovative touch screens, integrated working platforms and smart devices will create a seamless experience and in turn develop a stress freeatmosphere. Happy employees ultimately increase motivation and revenue.
Research suggests that flexibility at work is a defining factor when choosing a job, so creating a flexible work environment through workspace utilisation technologies will attract the next generation of workers to your business. Everyone wants to work for a company that embraces the latest technological advances and by not doing so you could, effectively, stunt the growth of your business.
Office space potential remains untapped and to rectify this companies need to realise that the next generation of employees have a different way of working. Today’s digital native works in a mobile world, where they’re in control of where and when they work. If you adapt your workspace to suit their needs, the bottom line of your business will ultimately increase.
Paul Statham is Managing Director of Condeco.
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