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Modern Workplace / 4 minute read

Is Your Workplace a Den of Despair, or a Beacon of Light?

The Tale of an Everyday Office 

Let’s peek inside an office; it could be in a business park near you, or an industrial estate a hundred miles away, but you’ll probably recognise it. What do you see?

Woman entering an office building - could it be a modern workplace?

There’s a pleasant – but bored – concierge behind a tatty visitors’ register, looking at his iPhone. Not much to see here.  

Let’s go further; the magnolia monotony is occasionally brightened by motivational posters. Linda in accounts has some unusual headwear; she’s invested in ear defenders to stop her eardrums ringing from the noise around the office. It’s a nightmare concentrating, and she’s got another hour of re-keying data because their CRM system doesn’t talk to their finance system.

Meanwhile, the commercial director is getting angrier by the minute. He’s compiling a quarterly sales forecast, which was due last week. He might as well throw magic beans in the air and see where they land. The data has more holes than a colander.

Perhaps marketing will be more zen-like -  after all, don’t these creative souls spend time on the fun stuff? Not by the look of Nigel’s expression. His content team invested hours in a new eBook, and it’s just back from graphic design. Why, in the name of all things holy, did the designer use the first draft? Wasn’t she given version 7? But hang on, someone else is saying that’s not right either; it was version 8 that was signed off.

Time for a cuppa – alas biscuit free, and we slip into one of the meeting rooms. It should have started twenty minutes ago but, as half are dialling in remotely, the conversation mostly consists of “hello? Can you hear me?” and “can you see the screen yet?”. Fast-forward an hour, the meeting overran, and there’s confusion over what was agreed. Come to think of it, was anything agreed or was that just fancy words and some venting? Oh, and Carlos didn’t get a word in edgewise.

Let’s take refuge in the IT Director’s office. Like pretty much everyone else in the business, she’s intelligent and hardworking. But she’s also overwhelmed with a patchwork of legacy systems and cloud applications. Kate's expected to drive digital improvements, but she spends most of her time fire-fighting . The spectre of cybercrime wakes her up at night – seriously.

And the HR director? They’re studying the results of the latest employee survey, and it's not pretty. Most people aren’t clear on what the business strategy is, let alone the part they can play in it. The millennials are frustrated because they don’t get the opportunity to work from home. This is the most dissatisfied group, which is worrying as by 2025 they’ll be 75% of the workforce.

Okay, one final stop; we’ll stroll through to the factory floor. It’s one big silo; they even have a separate canteen and social evenings. There are tensions with the customer service team, who blame despatch for the high volume of breakages, which they think (wrongly) are down to careless handling. If the management team was able to step back and analyse their data, they’d find that one simple change on the assembly line would fix the issue and save £££s.

If any of this struck a chord with you, then welcome to the majority of workplaces today. Let’s face it, everything and everyone seems to be going at 100mph. On top of the day jobs, effecting and managing change is hard! But it’s also essential.

And it doesn't have to be this way. The truly modern workplace is not just a vision of the future; the technology to make things better exists now. But change demands a cultural shift too.

So, where do you go from here?

If you, or your organisation, have had enough and want (need) to change, then talk to people who change organisations - for the better, day in and day out.

At IT Lab, for example, we’re experts in designing and delivering Microsoft solutions to create the modern workplace, and getting the vital buy-in from your people to make it happen. If we had a motivational poster on our wall (a cool one, not cheesy), it would say:

Bring us your problems; we'll help you fix them. Tell us your ambitions; we'll help you achieve them.

And we mean it…

This starts with getting to know a little bit about you – complete our online assessment, and we’ll provide you with our tailored recommendations on where best to start. And no, we won’t charge you for it, nor will we bombard you with calls and emails just because you’ve shared some contact details. Once you let us demonstrate our experience and credentials, we’re confident you’ll want to get in touch with us.

Oh, and by the way, we have funky orange walls (and not a motivational poster in sight – our motivation comes from the difference we can make for you).   

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