Office environments have changed drastically across organizations with the concept of “my desk” and “my chair” and even “my pc” on a downhill slide.
BYOD is "in."
Just today I came across an advertisement on a entrepreneurial online community for a technology company seeking a 5000 sq ft plug-and-work office space so their developers can come in and plug in their laptops wherever they find a vacant spot and start coding away.
For the most part, they expect that their staff will work remotely on their own schedules.
Large offices often provide wireless connectivity and docking stations for their onsite employees while encouraging storage of files and all their work on centralized servers or web-based servers to overcome the constraints of having to work from a single location or a single fixed pc.
It’s all about mobile business collaboration software, and the ability to log in from anywhere to access your work tools.
If you look into smaller business and start-up work culture, the concept of being restricted to a fixed work place faded away years ago.
Mobile work culture is in!
When dependency on physical work spaces and the need to keep everything on a single pc reduces, the dependency to have another “online” centralized workspace increases.
The best contender for this virtual workspace is a collaboration platform.
Essentially, a physical workspace or office is a centralized place where people can get together, communicate, and have a platform to collaborate their individual efforts.
The collaboration software platform is the closest replica of this environment. Especially when platforms are specifically tuned for business collaboration. They can help provide a closed group networking platform along the lines of a social intranet -- yet retaining the social media features such as blogs, groups, and so on.
Although social networking platforms are often associated with Facebook and sites that are free for anyone to sign up, for business applications, the ability to restrict membership, control users, and have a closed loop network becomes critical.
Once a business has these essential factors figured out, the platform becomes the online workplace of sorts, where everyone in the organization can login, share files, interact, communicate, and sync all their work efforts.
While you want the independence of being able to work from anywhere and not have to be restricted by which machine your data is on, it’s good to have that one place you can log into, refer to previous communication, and acts much like your home page.
Typically when you observe a business professional log into his or her work machine, one of the first things they will do is open Microsoft outlook, then open Skype, their favorite instant messenger, and then sign on to their project management or intranet software. These are the primary communication channels that they need open to get started with their day.
Similarly, when you observe most home pc users, you’ll see them first login to their email and login to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or their favorite social networks before they proceed. These technologies have become our choice of communication and social networks have become our meeting places and work places, quite naturally.
Adapting the social networks to our work environment allows you to continue to have mobility and independence from location that most mobile professionals want, while still having something we can call our workspace.
Tim is a co-founder and president of Axero and the author of his forthcoming book, Who the Hell Wants to Work for You? Break Down the Invisible Barriers to Employee Engagement. He's spilt insightful ink on the pages of Fortune, Forbes, TIME, Inc Magazine, Entrepreneur.com, CNBC, Today, and other top publications.
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