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Rachel Illingworth

The “future of work” is the present, and that means now is the time to kick down the cubicle walls and think outside the box. Your employees will do their most productive work if you provide them with the resources, technology, and data they need, along with the freedom to use it wherever they choose.

Initiating an anytime/anywhere workplace means engaging workers so they can better work independently while remaining connected to the company’s larger mission and shared goals. Create a strong work environment, where workers are able to work anytime and anywhere by building a platform for employee engagement and fostering an open and thriving company culture.

Dispelling the myths

In a recent TEDxStanford Talk, Nicholas Bloom discussed his research comparing home worker productivity to that of office workers. The Stanford economist proved that employees who work remotely are more productive, doing as much as an extra day’s worth of work in a week. A separate Gallup study on working from home supports Bloom’s argument, finding that remote workers still log more hours than their on-site counterparts.

Working away from the office provides plenty of benefits — like less traffic, fewer distractions, and reduced turnover. Bloom said, “For employees, they’re much more productive and they’re happier. For managers, you don’t have to spend so much of your time recruiting and training people all the time. For firms, you make far more profit. And for society, there’s a huge savings in reducing congestion, reducing driving times, and ultimately, reducing pollution.” Remote work might even close the gender gap that’s been a persistent problem in the workplace for decades.

Using the right tools anytime, anywhere

Develop an anytime/anywhere culture by investing in consumer-grade technologies that are a natural part of your workers’ daily environment. According to Salesforce’s 2017 State of IT report, 71 percent of employees say they want their companies to provide them with the same level of technology that they use in their personal lives. Google’s G Suite allows for just that, by offering a platform where collaborative writing sessions and productive video calls are as easy as a few clicks of a button.

Everything created with G Suite is cloud-based, minimizing your traditional IT workload and overall budget, and helping you avoid the cost of buying and maintaining servers (including costs of VPN access). Ultimately, the move to Google means lower costs, increased productivity, and the ability to succeed with the latest technologies.

Workers can communicate directly and provide transparency with:

Gmail — Use the email system you’ve personally fallen in love with for business purposes too.
Hangouts Meet — Cut travel costs and connect via video conference (or just audio if you’ve not       changed out of your pajamas).
Calendar — Access any co-worker’s schedule, send meeting invitations directly to co-workers’         calendars, and even count down the minutes to your next meeting.
Google+ — Update co-workers on new knowledge, relevant news, updates, and new ideas.

Workers can gain access to the data they need with:

Drive — Write, access, and collaborate on shared information.
Google Cloud Search — Search across company content, data, employees, and metrics for the       information you need.

Workers can easily create new data and collaborate with:

Docs — Write, collaborate, and edit anything in your internet browser.
Sheets — Create easily accessible spreadsheets.
Forms — Make custom surveys and questionnaires.
Slides — Access, edit, and polish every slide of that next big company presentation.
Sites — Build websites easily and quickly, with all the bells and whistles.
Keep — Put all your ideas in one place and share with co-workers.
Jamboard — Collaborate ideas and concepts with your co-workers on a cloud-based whiteboard.

Control who uses what tools with:

Admin — Manage every workers’ access to company information.
Vault — Retain previous emails, documents, and chat logs.
Mobile — Provide phone-friendly access to the full G Suite.

Giving your workers the tools they need to thrive in a fast-paced, data-driven environment means that you care about them. The fastest and simplest way to a strong Worker Experience, and productive, agile, engaged workers, is by showing your workers that they and their work matters. Simply put, happy workers make happy customers — we like to call this symbiotic relationship the Virtuous Cycle. If you think your business would benefit from a free Virtuous Cycle Diagnostic Workshop, please contact a WX expert at Appirio today.

 

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