The Future of Work: 4 Ways Companies Can Evolve to Usher in the Future of the Workplace

We're entering a new era of the workplace, and companies will need to evolve accordingly to keep employees engaged and drive productivity across the entire organization.

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By Dean Guida • Dec 20, 2022

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

It's no secret that the workplace has dramatically transformed over the past couple of years. We've traded in the days of rigid office schedules (not to mention desk lunches), blurred lines between work and personal lives and siloed teams for flexible workplaces that prioritize collaboration, transparency and work-life balance. This hasn't been an overnight transformation–but one that's required overhauling internal processes, implementing new technology and reevaluating traditional ideas.

And the transformation process is still ongoing. This new era of the workplace is continuing to evolve–and companies will need to evolve with it to keep employees engaged and drive productivity across the entire organization.

Here are four ways companies can evolve to make way for the future of the workplace:

Related: 4 Things for Employers to Consider About the Future of Work

1. Place data at the center of collaboration

We live in a data-rich environment, with most companies sitting on excess data. But as much data as businesses have, there's usually a lack of access to it because everything is siloed and owned by various stakeholders and departments across the organization.

We'll start to see these data silos break down as companies move towards digital workplace tools. In the digital workplace, teams can easily access and bring multiple data sources together to get a full-picture overview of their business and make more informed decisions.

While decisions have long been ruled by the highest-ranking official or loudest person in the room, we'll see data opening dialogue between team members and lending itself to fresh ideas. With data as the center of team communications, businesses will see collaboration increase, and teams will drive more intelligent, more informed decisions.

Related: How to Lead With Empathy Powered by Data

2. Make way for the next generation of workers

The next generation of workers is entering the workplace, and companies must evolve their internal processes and reevaluate their workplace tools as this group's presence continues to grow.

As digital natives, this new generation of workers won't settle for workplace tools with poor user experience or usability — their priority is simple and fast. Their need for speed also extends into communication, looking for instant communication with team members. This means they prefer chat to email and brief messages over paragraphs.

The teams that prioritize this way of working in the new year will be those that are welcoming — and retaining — this next generation in their workplace.

3. Prioritize the rebuilding of workplace culture

Over the past two years, companies have focused on driving productivity while teams work remotely. They've integrated new tools and processes to drive efficiencies and productivity. During this transition, companies have supported employees at home with at-home care packages, online events and 1:1 Zoom check-ins — but today's employees need more.

Companies will need to work to rebuild their company's culture and extend what teams used to have in the office – to fully remote and hybrid teams. Companies will look to further streamline workflow and communication so teams can better collaborate and always feel like part of something bigger. This will help to combat quiet quitting and connect team members to their part in driving success in the overall business.

As companies double down on company culture, their big focuses should be on driving increased communication and transparency across the organization, building a desirable work environment where employees want to show up–both remotely and in person, and bringing a sense of team and community back to the workplace.

Related: Why it's Important to Build a Good Work Culture

4. Upskill employees to drive success in the digital workplace

Companies have accelerated the digitization of their business, with a large majority of companies taking on tech-focused initiatives, like automation, AI and moving to the cloud. While these initiatives are critical to business growth, they can only be successful if workers are digitally skilled.

To increase the adoption of these initiatives, companies must foster an environment that will upskill employees–specifically developing digital skills–to drive the adoption of new technologies and digitized processes.

Companies must start to put their focus on advancing digital skills within the organization – if they haven't already. The companies that don't risk falling behind in driving necessary business growth.

As companies usher in this new era of the workplace, they'll have to evolve to meet their employees with the technology, tools and work environment to drive increased collaboration, productivity and more informed decision-making. This will keep employees engaged and, ultimately, create business growth for the organization.

Dean Guida

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor

Founder of Slingshot, CEO of Infragistics

Dean Guida is the 30-plus-year entrepreneur behind the enterprise software company Infragistics. Now he’s done it again with digital workplace platform Slingshot -- Guida’s first foray into tech-driven team performance.

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