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Modern Workplace, Business Insights / 4 minute read

The Modern Workplace Trends You Need to Know About

Embrace or Delay Them, But You Can't Escape Them  

Welcome to the first in our blog series on the Modern Workplace. Before getting into the what, we answer the why. 

Why is the Modern Workplace central to success? What trends are influencing the world of work? 

Shaking hands because Success Depends on the Modern Workplace

According to Microsoft, five core trends are reshaping the culture of work. Microsoft believes these trends matter because they highlight the opportunities - and challenges - we’re facing. As you’d expect, the behemoth has created clever solutions in response. A new generation of Modern Workplace technologies is empowering people in unprecedented ways. We cover them later in this blog series.

So, what are the five modern workplace trends you need to know about?

Modern Workplace Trend One: The Rise of Digital Natives

Today’s workforce spans four generations: Baby Boomers, Generation X and Millennials. Joining us are some new faces - Generation Z. By 2025, Millennials will be 75% of the global labour market.

Why does this influence the workplace? Because the latest generations include the first digital natives. They’ve grown up with social media and live online. For digital natives, connecting with people has no geographical, time or device boundaries. To them, this is how the world’s meant to operate – including at work. 

Moreover, increasing numbers would appreciate the flexibility to work remotely, including two thirds of millennials. Remote working affords advantages for employers and employees alike: Are remote workers more engaged and productive?

Modern Workplace Trend Two: Blurring boundaries of time and place

It’s rare to find a company that doesn’t depend on a network of external partnerships. Business is conducted around the clock, away from offices and on different devices.     

Our interconnected world makes it essential for collaboration and information sharing to work not only inside a company, but across teams spanning diverse businesses and communities.

Modern Workplace Trend Three: Demand for lifelong learners

As the scale and pace of change propel us forward, a critical trait for employees is adaptability.

A mere generation ago, the knowledge people gained in their academic years supported them all their working lives. Today, according to a report by the World Economic Forum, about 50% of what students learn during their degree will be out-of-date by the time they graduate.

As technology automates routine tasks, attributes such as imagination, ingenuity, empathy and creativity are increasingly prized. And because everything is going at 100mph, people must often adjust on the job, with little practice or training.

Alongside traditional learning - such as induction or certification programmes - companies need to explore new ways of developing their workforce. For example, on-demand learning, peer mentoring and open knowledge sharing. 

Modernising Your Workplace With Microsoft eBook download link

Modern Workplace Trend Four: Shrinking Shelf life of Information

It’s the age of information overload. The speed and volume that new data are created is driving companies to rethink their information management strategies.

The rapid rate of information has resulted in shrinking shelf life. Much of our content comes in bite-sized tweets and posts, often at the cost of quality and depth.

The ability to find actionable insights from data can be onerous, but it’s fundamental to growth. We have more data than ever on our customers, products, competitors and markets. Yet it’s estimated that less than half a per cent of digital data is analysed and used to enhance business performance.

And here’s the rub. According to a Harvard Business Review Analytic Services study, 63% of enterprise leaders believe in the value of machine learning, artificial intelligence and visualisation tools to turn vast amounts of data into useful insight. But only 14% say their company is harnessing this power.

Under-utilised data is lost potential: across the pond in healthcare, for example, better integration of big data could save as much as $300 billion a year. Retailers who leverage the full power of data could increase their operating margins by as much as 60%.

Modern Workplace Trend Five: Growing Impact of Artificial Intelligence

One of the hallmarks of our era is how AI and machine learning are seeping into every aspect of work. According to PwC, come 2030 advances in AI will boost global GDP by $15.7 trillion.

It’s not only robots doing physical labour on factory floors; AI is helping medical professionals diagnose diseases and lawyers search vast databases of cases in seconds instead of weeks.

The real value of AI will come as the computational power of machines combines with the cognitive ability of people. We’ll use computers to analyse towering piles of data and spot patterns beyond the detection of the human eye alone.  

Read our in-depth guide on how Microsoft 365 technologies can transform your business into a modern workplace and help you tackle today’s digital challenges.

Conclusion

Digital transformation is inevitable and essential. Success will only come with a cultural shift. This won't always be comfortable or easy, but it’s exciting. We hope this blog inspires you to think about the opportunities for your business. We know you can’t do it alone and are here to help you thrive in a world of new possibilities. 

Start plotting your journey now. Complete our free online assessment to learn  how far you are from the modern workplace ideal.

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