Technology is impacting and continuously disrupting all aspects of our daily lives and our workplaces are no exception. Recent advances in computing power are leading to tangible gains in efficiency, productivity and working practices. In order to continuously thrive in this entirely digital landscape, companies need to constantly reinvent their organisational models, business processes and hiring practices. This requires an agile mindset, a long-term vision, and the ability to swiftly evolve.
Digital Natives Reshaping the Workplace
The digital workforce of today comes with many innate technological competencies and skills that can be leveraged in an environment where decisions happen at the brink of an eye and leverage big data, complex analytics, profitability matrices, competitive insights and ever-changing global market trends. The so-called ‘’digital natives’’ are proficient at using the latest available tools to reach personal and professional outcomes at a time that is convenient to them. Digital fluency is much more than knowing how to use the internet, search engines or social media. Real comfort with technology also means that employees of the future can use their knowledge to manipulate data, conceive ideas, build models and improve processes to achieve both strategic and tactical goals.
Flexible Working Arrangements
Millennials and generation Y-ers today expect to have it all: a challenging and rewarding career, a good work-life balance and the flexibility to work whenever and wherever they want. Traditional office hours and rigid working environments are no longer satisfactory to the young workforce and companies who can break out from the mold and offer more flexible arrangements are better positioned to retain digital natives who are more comfortable with job hopping and mobility than previous generations.
Innovative Silicon Valley employers are already capitalising on this trend by offering flexible working hours, homeworking arrangements and more vacation days in an effort to appeal to the changing workforce. Office perks, such as free food and soft drinks, entertainment (table football, table tennis, darts, pinball machines, gaming rooms), wellness (fitness centres, in-house or visiting massage practitioners, ergonomics experts), play rooms and hangout spaces, are becoming the norm in technology companies, both large and small.
Office Management and Administrative Changes
Service companies that are using work orders, handle a lot of paper and administrative work on a daily basis. PegusApps built an app for SkyLift that digitizes these processes, optimizes their work schedule and improves the communication between office staff and employees. The app reduces costs drastically and increases work efficiency.
The shift from traditional hiring methods to the use of LinkedIn and other web-based platforms and from using outdated HR software to cloud-based systems has already taken place. All HR functions, including recruitment, payroll and benefits administration, performance and talent management, employee education and wellness have all gone digital. Next, HR will be moving on to mobile apps.
The fourth industrial revolution, which boasts significant advances in fields like robotics, AI, machine learning, AR, VR, 3D modelling and printing, biotechnology and DNA, is disrupting business models and labour markets at a massive scale. As predicted in The future of jobs report, these widespread and pervasive changes also require upgrades in skillsets, attitudes, organisational structures and change management paradigms, in order to succeed.
Although the cohort entering the workplace in 2017 doesn’t need much training in how to make use of the latest technologies available to them, older employees are in need of re-education and training programmes to ensure their skills are frequently updated so they can remain competitive. Ageism in the workplace isn’t a new trend but is one that can be countered with regular opportunities for all employees to learn how to use web and mobile platforms, software programmes and other digital tools to their advantage.
Revolutionising IT and Support Functions
The availability of outsourcing platforms such as Upwork, Freelancer, Fiverr and TopTal where freelance developers, data analysts, support engineers, office assistants and copywriters can be quickly hired for small projects or hourly jobs is making the need for certain full-time, in-house jobs redundant. Hiring out your entire office administration, IT or technical support functions to India or the Ukraine for a fraction of the cost, while avoiding the payout of expensive employee benefits, is a lucrative alternative to many employers in the developed world. Globalisation is making this process easier than ever before, while reshaping the hiring landscape for many sectors.
Sales & Marketing Gone Digital
In addition to the functions mentioned so far, Sales & Marketing are those faced with clients on a regular basis and are in need of sophisticated tools they can use to present a company’s products and services. PegusApps has developed a number of innovative sales and service applications for TE Connectivity, an international enterprise that designs and manufactures sensor solutions for a variety of complex industries. Ranging from a globally used sales app to an iOS-app that inspects the quality of fibercables, over the long run TE Connectivity has been able to make a considerable impact on their sales results by going digital.
Challenges for Organisations
Deciding whether to outsource or maintain certain in-house positions can be challenging. Reductions in cost can sometimes come at the expense of quality and that’s one factor, which isn’t easily compromised, especially when it comes to customer or supplier relations. Maintaining office space, investing in hardware and paying out employee salaries all constitute fixed, overhead-type of expenses which don’t fluctuate with the volume of business and can be hard to justify in businesses where seasonality is a reality.
With employee turnover continually rising and the predictions of this trend further developing, enterprises can be hard-pressed to keep star hires in the long-run. Becoming creative with benefit offerings and workplace perks, will continue being a prerogative for skilled human resource professionals.
Staying Competitive as an Employer
To attract and retain the best workforce and modernise various enterprise functions, new digital platforms and tools need to be built not only for external customer and supplier use, but also for internal stakeholders. Team members, finance, accounting & HR departments, support teams and office managers are all in need of modern solutions to do their jobs efficiently.
Office productivity tools, such as intranets, instant messengers, Slack, Trello, Office 365, Evernote, Google Keep and file-sharing platforms including Dropbox, WeTransfer, OneDrive and Google Drive are becoming prevalent, in addition to more established ERP, CRM, accounting and marketing automation software. Many of these systems are available on a fremium basis for SMEs but most larger enterprises would be better served by the full-feature versions, or in some cases, by proprietary solutions, custom-built for their needs.
PegusApps can develop customised solutions for a number of sectors, including but not limited to telecom, manufacturing, finance, construction, transport, services, healthcare, FMCG, and cross-industry.
Contact our team for more information.
Copywriter: Ina Danova