Productivity In The New Workplace

Everyone is talking about the profound changes in the workplace but few people truly understand the extent and mechanisms of these changes and the effect this is having on productivity. Stowe Boyd, lead researcher for social business and the future of work at GigaOM Research, has taken a close look at the matter, focusing on the new way work is conducted, the changing organization of business activities and the novel tools and techniques employed by people in the modern workplace.

While the focus of business remains on delivering value to customers, everything else is changing at a rapid pace, Stowe says in the executive summary of his report. When it comes to business tools and practices, the modern-day workforce is shifting to those that make it possible to work in a more distributed, decentralized and discontinuous manner. He also notes that personal and work life are no longer clearly separated and consumer technology is increasingly affecting the aesthetics and form factors of enterprise-facing devices and software.

For IT departments, the new normal has made their job a tricky one. They have to strike a delicate balance between allowing new productivity to flourish and making sure that corporate policies and obligations are complied with. This is a difficult task indeed given employees' marked preference for their personal devices, which ensure flexibility and convenience by virtue of being familiar.

The rapid evolution of the business environment is also putting pressure on the executive suite, Stowe says further. Business leaders have to operate in a context where agility, innovation and resilience must be taken to new heights. Their primary goal now is to find the path to new productivity gains and do so without recourse to established techniques since those no longer work.