By Kim Heger
Have you ever thought about your own Worker Experience and how it has changed over the years? As a Generation X employee with over 20 years of professional experience, the Worker Experience I had right out of college is vastly different from my current Worker Experience. Back then, mobile devices were rare, cumbersome to carry, and not “smart.” Email was the newest form of office communication, though manilla envelopes and intra-company mail were still the main forms of transmitting documents to coworkers in other departments. Video conferencing and online meetings were not the norm.
Today, I would describe my Worker Experience as fast-paced and highly collaborative, with the ability to instantly connect with anyone anywhere in the world via chat or video technologies and collaborate in real time on documents. Currently, millennials are the largest generation and they are reshaping the Future of Work. This year, the millennial generation will surpass the Baby Boomers. By the year 2025, they will represent 75 percent of the global workforce.
What does this mean for employers? We cannot underestimate the importance of creating a Worker Experience that is aligned with the expectations of our future workforce. Worker Experience is an employee’s “window to work” — any and all processes and technology that give a social, mobile place to actively engage, be engaged, and contribute in a meaningful way.
Mobility in today’s workforce
Creating a culture of innovation requires a new way of thinking, and there are a few key trends signaling a case for change. The average knowledge worker today uses 3 devices, and in this mix of devices, smartphones and tablets are increasing in importance. In fact:
- Half of all workers spend more time working from their phones.
- Two-thirds of workers spend more time working from tablets than they did one year ago. This proliferation of devices means that workers need tools that not only work well on those devices, but that also work consistently across multiple devices.
In addition to being able to work on their mobile devices, people are spending more time than ever working away from the office. Forrester Research tells us that between a quarter and a third of employees regularly work from places like client sites, while traveling, or public places like a coffee shop, and most commonly from home; 4 out of 10 employees regularly work from home.
Global collaboration and innovation
With these new workforce trends, organizations must look to cloud-based technology like Google for Work to provide a modern platform focused on employee engagement, which will provide a greater opportunity for global collaboration and innovation. Workers today expect a consumer-grade experience with work applications, similar to the technologies that power their personal lives. A technology ecosystem that includes social networks, communities of practice, IM, and video on-demand enables workers to instantly connect, engage, and collaborate with peers and leaders in a way that is natural to them.
Google for Work makes this modern Worker Experience a reality with collaboration tools like Hangouts for IM or face-to-face meetings and Google Drive for sharing and editing documents in real time. These collaborative platforms allow for the greatest level of flexibility to work anytime, anywhere — a key factor in keeping workers engaged.