The set-up of the traditional office as we know it is changing and so is the way that Millennials want to communicate with one another and their customers.
The set-up of the traditional office as we know it is changing. It's morphing into a more fluid environment, one that's driven not only by the development of new technologies but also the lifestyles and expectations of workers. For a typical business, it can mean far higher productivity.
Already we’re seeing a marked trend away from being chained to the office desk in order to work. This is due to the emergence in recent years of high-powered mobile devices and reliable Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology that makes remote working entirely possible. Does an employee really need to spend two or more hours a day getting to and from work when they can just as well do it from anywhere?
Commutes add up to enormous amounts of time lost, sitting and doing nothing else but driving, when a worker could be far better engaged actually doing their job. (Plus it eliminates all that stress dealing with endless snarled traffic, leaving many employees frazzled by time they finally get to the office.)
It seems certain that this mobile-worker trajectory is only going to increase by the time the next generation is entering the workforce; after all, these will be the first people to have grown up completely surrounded by the internet and all the related technologies that have drastically changed lives around the planet.
Another development that we here at Telappliant have been noticing are trends towards IM being used at work to communicate with colleagues and others, especially with the so-called Millennials. These are people born between 1980 and 2000, whose traits typically include being social, collaborative and passionate. They're hard working, but they also have a more casual attitude to work.
So whereas before, you'd have to pick the phone and dial to have a conversation with someone, now the chat is far more likely to occur via a messaging program, on your smartphone or computer. Why so? It's largely due to convenience – it's quicker to type out a brief sentence than dial, hold, wait then hold again, only to find out the person you want isn't available. For those times when speaking is necessary, many employees are now using popular softphone technology embedded into programs on their computer, or as standalone programs, that let them dial from their laptops or tablets.
It's also about economics. Companies are always looking for ways to slash costs and become sleeker and more profitable – and phone bills have long been a major overhead. Not any more: messaging is free. Many companies have begun using VOIP for their video conferencing requirements, and again it makes absolute sense. Even traipsing across town for meetings can take up a whole day. And what about the expense of dispatching an employee to another city or even country – hotels, flights, expenses and more. Thankfully, the grainy pictures and poor sound of video conferencing are long gone, and now it's picture-perfect and crystal-clear sound.
There is no doubt that the office is evolving, and fast. It’s now highly mobile and being transformed by VOIP, softphones and other cutting-edge technologies. The next generation will expect this, and a whole lot more, by time they’re starting work, especially if it’s from home.