Recently, Microsoft – one of the most influential tech companies in the world today – announced a new product, known as Microsoft Places. They stated that the purpose of the new solution was to make the management of a connected workplace easier. This begs the question, what exactly is a connected workplace?
Connectivity is something that is greatly valued by businesses. When most people hear ‘connectivity’, they immediately think of technology – e.g. internet connectivity, mobile connectivity, and now workplace connectivity. We reached out to some tech companies to talk about what workplace connectivity is, and why it is important these days. One of the companies who spoke with us was TechQuarters, a Microsoft Partner that specialises in managed IT services London companies have been relying on for years – but especially during the last few years, because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Evolution of the Workplace
It cannot be denied that notions of the workplace have radically changed in the last two years. In a post-Covid world, the idea of a physical office almost seems old fashioned.
Of course, nothing can really replace a physical workspace where colleagues can speak and collaborate in person; but if there was one positive thing to come out of Covid-19 for businesses, it was the revelation that flexible working practices not only work, but can facilitate even greater levels of productivity than forcing attendance in a physical workspace. According to TechQuarters, Microsoft and many other leaders in the tech and business worlds feel that there is no going back, and flexible / hybrid working is the future of business.
What is a ‘Connected Workplace’
So, what exactly is a connected workplace? It all comes down to hybrid working, and the integration of technology with workflows.
Some people really do get more work done when they are working from home; whereas others have been itching to get back to the office. Virtually every sector is capable of supporting remote and hybrid working – as TechQuarters can attest to given their experience providing IT support financial services companies, retail companies, manufacturing companies, and many other types of companies used to facilitate remote work. There are definitely challenges that need to be considered, however – such as how to keep both remote and office-based employees connected with one another? How to keep schedules aligned?
Most of these challenges can be solved with certain tools and solutions. A good example would be smart meeting rooms that have webcams, microphones, speakers and displays integrated into them, thus enabling people to use the meeting room in person and include remote colleagues as well. Another example might be using scheduling software to book hot-desks.
Benefits of a Connected Workplace