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A Blueprint for a Fluid Workplace: Unifying the Technology, Culture, and Workforce for Driving Business Outcomes
Rakshit Ghura Vice President & Global Head - Digital Workplace Services | September 8, 2020
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Imagine yourself waking up in a 1960s workday. Obviously, it would drive anyone crazy, but just for a moment, think about your work life during that particular day. For starters, you can’t head straight to Starbucks for your coffee or have your cell phone buzzing in your pocket with office mails. But what else could be changed in terms of work and what are the driving forces behind this work transformation?

In today’s time, the complete work structure, culture, process, and content have changed. Work is now:

  • More collaborative and team-based
  • More cognitively complex
  • More dependent on social skills
  • More based on pre-set deadlines
  • More dependent on technological competence
  • More mobile and less limited to geography

In the modern age, there are higher probabilities of you working with a company/organization that is known for its unique work culture due to technological innovations and market competition. The organizations of the modern world are marked by the following characteristics:

  • Leaner and more agile
  • More oriented toward finding value from the customer’s perspective
  • Finely tuned to dynamic and competitive strategy and requirements
  • Less hierarchical in structure and the decision-making authority
  • Constant reorganization to maintain the competitive edge

Given the high pressure, volatility, and economic complexity, organizations have no option but to become highly adaptive when it comes to synchronizing their workforce. They need to be aligned with evolving market dynamics, customer requirements, and technological advancements. Such alignment, in turn, will give rise to a fluid workplace.

Organizational adaptability is not just a luxury but a necessity. Businesses need to be proactive and flexible enough to swiftly respond to the market situation and client demands. The adaptability demanded of individuals, teams, and organizations spring from new and innovative leadership models, based on revised organizational structures. Technologies like artificial intelligence and automation are going to impact the jobs and roles of the existing workforce while creating a separate need for specialized skills. For any organization, the future workforce isn’t just going to be the organization’s employees. Rather, it’s going to be a mix of hired employees, part-timers, freelancers, consultants, contracted external workers, and of course, technologies.

The adaptability demanded of individuals, teams and organizations spring from new and innovative leadership models

The HR department is going to play an important role in building the future workforce as it will manage the relationship between humans and AI through AI-based tools. This will enable skill-based staff hiring, real-time work allocation and staff allocation, and real-time responses to changing business requirements. The workplace will be transformed into a digital workplace where unified communication tools and cloud-based platforms are going to enable cross-functional teams across different departments for seamless work engagement.

Impact of an Emergency such as COVID-19 Pandemic on Enterprises

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on work flexibility and adaptability. There has been a sudden rise in companies opting for working from home and deciding to make it a norm. While organizations are trying their best to enable this work-from-home culture, there are certain apparent challenges that need to be addressed if this culture of work flexibility is going to stay.

When the pandemic struck, organizations with a well-established remote working plan found themselves in a better spot as they were already in their comfort zone. All that was required at their end was to keep their workforce healthy, motivated, and well-connected to maintain productivity.

Organizations with a semi-remote model are running against time to either revamp their existing remote working infrastructure or scale up to meet the requirements of current challenges. The workforce is acquainted with this work culture but can get pressurized with sudden changes in daily activities and pace.

Organizations with minimum to zero remote work options are the ones facing the maximum brunt of pandemic-induced lockdowns. With a strong dependency on legacy infrastructure, such organizations have no immediate solution. Even if they somehow manage to source an efficient remote infrastructure, training the workforce and getting them accustomed to the same is a huge challenge in itself.

Major Challenges that Require Immediate Solutions

If we talk about an agile, flexible, and leaner work culture, or a fluid workplace for that matter, there are many challenges that businesses need to address before they adopt complete work flexibility and become a fluid, digital workplace. Some of the major challenges include:

IT infrastructure to enable and support a fluid workplace: A lack of IT infrastructure and essential communication, experience, and productivity solutions that prevents a seamless remote working experience

Adoption and adaptability: The ability of organizations and employees to adopt and adapt such remote working solutions that further facilitates various processes

Remote productivity: Concerns about productivity when the entire workforce is working remotely

A New Future with HCL Fluid Digital Workplace

Right now, there is a strong need of a technology based, human-centered workplace that can set the direction for a new work culture. HCL Fluid Workplace is an adaptive, scalable, and connected solution that helps organizations address the unprecedented challenges of remote working by maintaining productivity, ensuring security, and providing a seamless experience.