The way people use technology continues to shift quickly, and consumer behaviors and expectations are bleeding into business environments, creating new requirements and methods of doing business.
Here are several important office trends redefining how businesses and people collaborate online.
1. Using More Outsourced Resources – Freelancers and consultants fill various roles depending on a company’s size, priorities, and policies. Whether enterprise or SMB, some companies use the expertise of outside resources to provide a necessary perspective, service, or advice to help businesses. Other companies use outsourced workers to quickly scale up and down, improving their agility and flexibility. Businesses using freelancers, consultants, or other types of remote support need robust online collaboration tools to connect these outsourced workers and the company’s staff to work effectively and efficiently.
2. The Rise of Solopreneurs – The trend of companies using more outsourced workers and the rise of solopreneurs go together. Solopreneurs run their single-person businesses, often relying on contracting or consulting work for employment. They’re usually experts in niche areas. As more workers become solopreneurs, companies will increasingly have to look outside of their walls to fill needs in those specialties. Your online collaboration tools should be user-friendly, so solopreneurs don’t need to become experts in obscure software to get on board and pitch in.
3. Cloud Enablement and the Rise of Mobility – With increased connectivity, the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, and a global economy, mobility changed the game for many companies. With today’s cloud-based technology, work is an activity, not a location. Files and other resources once chained to the office are now available from anywhere with a decent Internet connection. Online collaboration tools are more important than ever to connect those in the office, those traveling, those working remote or hybrid, or outsourced resources to keep work moving productively.
4. Real Estate Consolidation and Savings – Real estate can be pricey for businesses, with some urban areas commanding $100 or more per square foot of office space — a 10×10 office costs a staggering $10,000 per year in some places. Enabling remote workers can help keep real estate costs under control by reducing your need for space, avoiding relocation, and more. Without a good online collaboration tool designed for remote workers, it’s tough for workers to connect with their in-office counterparts to get work done.
5. Hyper Specialization – When you need an expert in a particular field, there’s a good chance they won’t live near your office. Some are willing to relocate. But many are not. If your much-needed expert feels like staying put, you may need to make concessions to bring them on board. Or you might have to offer them work-hour flexibility as a perk to seal the deal. Either way, it makes hyper-specialization another factor putting pressure on companies to use reliable online collaboration tools to stay competitive.
6. Wanderlust and the Rise of Ex-Pats – Have you seen House Hunters International? It’s not just showcasing ex-pat retirees settling into another country to spend their golden years with an exotic sea breeze tickling their noses. More people on the show are working professionals who want to travel or live abroad while continuing to work. This trend is growing, and innovative companies are leaning on online collaboration to help enable staff to work where they want to keep key talent on board.
7. Bring-Your-Own-Device – BYOD shouldn’t be a big surprise when it comes to identifying trends that are redefining online collaboration. Bottom line: companies that enable BYOD must find an online collaboration tool that works across various platforms, including smartphones, tablets, and computers. This trend points to the need for a user-friendly interface that’s intuitive and easy to use. If it’s not easy to use, workers will be quick to abandon it, hurting productivity or spawning pockets of shadow IT.
Adapt to Stay Competitive
The workplace is changing fast and leading to a revolution in how we collaborate online. Innovative companies and savvy tech providers adapt to stay competitive and ensure work gets done. Whether you’re affected by one of these trends or all of them, it pays to know the forces reshaping the landscape. Because the more you know, the better you can respond.
Let’s talk about your business and how you can exploit better Online Collaboration tools. Contact TCI today at: (703) 321-3030 or GetHelp@tcicomm.com.