On the 12th December 2018, strategic partners IT Lab and Greater Manchester Chamber came together with a group of business directors from various sectors within GM to discuss the positive impact of technology on a ‘modern workplace’. The discussion addressed what a modern workplace looks like, common barriers for businesses, and the positive improvements it can make, both now and as we look to the future.
Thoughts on the nature of a ‘modern workplace’ from around the table ranged from improved connections and remote working, to wellbeing initiatives such as yoga and standing desks. Whichever is the case for any given business, a key theme was the improvements in technology which make these possible, and an infrastructure that supports employees to work at their most efficient, whilst allowing the flexibility to work when, where and how is best for their role.
Technology doesn’t always come without its barriers, and key issues for many of the businesses in attendance were based around cost and ROI, as well as ensuring longevity for new technologies within the workplace. Metrics, surveys and considering opportunity costs were keenly suggested, alongside a clear implementation plan and peer-to-peer training to ensure consistency.
As part of a wider picture, these barriers appeared to diminish in sight of both the short and long-term benefits of embracing the digital transformation which encourages business growth and avoids stagnation.
Improvements to a workplace can range from increased flexibility in the way in which employees work, to attracting and retaining the best talent for a business. Expectations from new professionals entering a workforce appear to be changing, and businesses who don’t engage may suffer the loss of new and existing talent for their companies.
According to our delegates, having the option to work within structures other than the traditional 9-5 culture can influence a business’ efficiency significantly, and the continuous learning and development opportunities which technology allows gives rise to increases in innovation and growth.
Looking to the future, the roundtable identified that new technology needs to develop from the needs and goals of real businesses, using intricate and pioneering technologies to solve everyday issues and, as Nick Isherwood from IT Lab suggested, “make the complex simple.”
With the fast approach of AI and more advanced wearable technology, our table of delegates stressed the need to embrace technology as an enabler and enjoy the benefits of improved efficiency. Our hosts, IT Lab and Content and Code, stressed their goal to “support businesses through the digital transformation” and ensure that employees have the tools and skills to embrace every benefit that this ‘modern workplace’ can bring.
A huge thank you to IT Lab, Content and Code, the Chamber and all the delegates who attended the roundtable. It is by coming together to discuss these issues that all businesses can help to share best practice, experiences and advice as we navigate the digital revolution.
To find out more about IT Lab and Chamber partnership and how it could benefit your business, please visit: https://www.gmchamber.co.uk/membership/patrons/it-lab/