As global workforces expand to include employees with different skills, talents and backgrounds, there is a growing need for software and technologies that transcend location and experience. These tools need must be intuitive, universally accessible and easy to learn to ensure that every member of a team or organization can seamlessly work together from day one.
Increasingly, the solution to this dilemma takes the form of enterprise platforms designed to graft familiar communication behaviors onto routine work processes and tasks, creating a more social workflow. Along with their greater fluidity and ease, these hybrid platforms also enable companies to capture data related to performance, giving decision makers insight into how to better manage resources and staffing.
There are several examples of this concept already being developed and tailored for the workplace. In PSFK’s Future Of Work report, we feature Hojoki, a mobile and web-based application that creates a universal dashboard for activities across Google Drive, Dropbox, Yammer, Evernote and 26 additional applications. The platform’s Facebook-style news feed puts real-time activities and comments all in one convenient place where invited colleagues can easily comment on workflow. Virtual workspaces like this can bring together workers and focus their attention on the updates most important to their productivity. Over 56,000 users signed up to use the service in 2012.
Another example from Future Of Work is a service called GraphicEffect. Powered by the Shift network, the service offers a cross-organizational platform that supports collaboration and communication across multiple parties and companies. Shift takes a cross-company group project and anchors it in a shared virtual space that is equally accessible to all parties. Members of the service are given dynamic profiles that update as they changes roles, move to new companies or take on new freelance projects. In this way, all members are given equal access to their work regardless of what angle they approach it from.
Looking forward, the increased use of social platforms in the workplace will increase productivity and ease workflow by familiarizing everyday tasks, increasing employee collaboration, and helping disparate ideas come together in an elegant way. This becomes especially important as the workforce skews younger, as millennials are three time more likely than their older counterparts to believe that companies should be adopting IM or mobile text messaging as a means of communication in the workplace.
So to remain effective and relevant, organizations should be looking at systems of communication that are already in common use, rather than alienating users by inventing new ones. Ultimately technology should be a tool and not a hindrance, which can maximize workflow in a wide variety of hands.
Catch more Future of Work sneak peeks as we reveal highlights from the full report throughout the month, including new trends, futuristic concepts, expert interviews and opportunities. Still want more? Watch the summary presentation, buy the entire report and see everything that you’ve missed so far here. Join the conversation to get involved and share your ideas about the future of work with the #FoW hashtag on Twitter.