What Does the Future of Collaboration Look Like?


Understandably, the start of this decade has been marked by unprecedented global business disruption. As industries and economies are upended, the state of flux provides both challenges and opportunities, with everyone needing to remain agile and adapt to new ways of working. If the previous decade saw the rise of the open office, the coming one will see the complete decentralization of the workplace. So, what does the future of collaboration look like?

Say goodbye to the open office

Fueled by globalization, health concerns and a growing demand for flexible working options, there is a need to entirely reconfigure the spaces in which we work. With this demand for further flexibility comes a different set of challenges surrounding companies and how they can innovate through collaboration.

While previously being challenged by open-office densification, increasingly distributed teams and the resulting challenges to our concentration and collaboration, the 2020s will be defined by a more radically adjusted style of working and greater need for supporting technology to keep up with these deeply impactful changes and accelerated state of change.

Improving our communications tools can lead to greater concentration and collaboration, both of which are being tested in new ways through these workspace changes. Technology also offers a way to flexibly futureproof your business, regardless of what the future office or workspace of tomorrow looks like.

The importance of collaboration tools for remote work

As the very foundations of how we work change, so too will the data sources we use to make business decisions. While business intelligence will continue to improve the future of smart buildings, it will increasingly become important for companies to gather business intelligence from their remote workers. Certain technology can offer new data streams, helping you to gauge the effectiveness of these new work environments and make decisions to adapt quickly in these fast-changing times, ensuring your employees are productive and engaged.

However, today’s knowledge workers can easily become overwhelmed by the number of tools their workflows demand. Conflicting internal and external communications platforms, coupled with the inefficiencies of emails and conference calls, can leave people with no time to focus, and an always-on feeling of interruptions affecting productivity, not to mention key detail and context sometimes being missed.

Training your organization in effective remote working is one solution, but this must go hand in hand with giving them the tools to collaborate as well.

The right technology to fuel collaboration

In addition to giving people the software tools to communicate and collaborate, make sure you also invest in giving people the capacity to concentrate. For bigger businesses, this could mean architecting the right spaces and environments, and for home workers, this could mean a budget for setting up their home office.

Across any working environment, technology hardware can also play a supporting role; perhaps a bigger monitor, or noise-cancelling headphones with busylight indicators to let an employee’s family know that they’re on a call and not to be disturbed. By giving employees these tools to perform at their best, businesses can create the structures for new social norms, either in an office or home environment.

As we move further into the 2020s, humanizing workspaces will become paramount in order to maintain creativity, innovation, teamwork and the resulting productivity gains in any organization. Learn how you can enable work from anywhere with CDW and Jabra.