Digital and Collaborative Economies – check out the SMiLE guide here
The digital and collaborative economies are allowing businesses to be created and operate in a way they haven’t before. Businesses can operate with a lower infrastructure and with social, like crowd funding, barriers to entry are eliminated. This means that if larger businesses are going to compete, they must empower their employees to be creative and maintain an ‘intrapraneurial’ spirit. The collaborative economy brings enormous flexibility and opportunity but it also creates challenges for communicators. They must learn now how to engage the people that do not come into the office because the freelance economy is growing fast. They will be faced with the challenge of keeping a human experience in the digital environment where face-to-face is now at a premium. Technology is here to help. At mhub we believe in empowering employees to work in the way that they want but also to be creative and entrepreneurial. Crucially, mhub allows you to maintain a human experience with face-to-face time on a global scale in the future workplace.
The challenge in the future workplace is that communicators must think more and more about people who are not coming into the office regularly. A lot of job perks and engagement/wellbeing programs take place in the office. This may be free gym membership, social events and in our office, a beer fridge. A lot of people at mhub sometimes work from home or in a different office; in the future workplace this number will grow dramatically. Particularly for larger businesses, there will be other orbits of workers that are non-traditional; such as contractors and the freelance economy. Again, technology is key to engaging these other workers particularly with mobile. Some businesses are already taking the digital workplace and collaboration further, going HQ free and making technology/ platforms their headquarters.
Keeping a human experience in a digital environment is important, face-to-face is crucial. Nowadays we can have back-to-back meetings that people don’t necessarily prepare for – this is unproductive time. This will change and these unproductive meetings will no longer be tolerated. Face-to-face will be at a premium and meetings will be planned for carefully. Mhub has a powerful on-demand video software layer. We use our own ‘Team Channel’ within our app to record and send video messages to collaborate on. I look forward to these messages, particularly when people seem scattered across the country, it is a way of connecting. Global businesses will find face to face simply unfeasible and they must find new ways to connect in a human way with video.
The collaborative economy is the ‘power of the crowd’. This economy is redefining the workplace across industries and challenging the idea of work. Freelancers are becoming more empowered and can provide a whole network of talent. This brings amazing possibilities and flexibility for businesses to tap into talent and hire on-demand. However, this also brings enormous challenges particularly for internal communicators of how to engage them. New hires aren’t productive from day 1 so this creates a culture of ‘come in when you’re ready, leave and come back when you’re ready’. Communicators need to know who these people are and keep them engaged. Businesses are using mhub to do this already with Active Directory and Single Sign On (SSO) as a foundation. They can also put together video based on-boarding courses with documents and interactive content that is distributed to the new hire on-demand, to allow them to be productive from day 1. The flexibility is there to provide the content you want, to the right people, at a time that is convenient for them with your own branded app. The key is using this technology to keep these people feeling that they are part of the company and that they belong.
Intrapreneurship is the final challenge in the future workplace. Businesses must think strategically about empowering everyone to be creative. Big companies often cannot compete with the smaller, innovative and agile start-ups. They can create entrepreneurial groups to innovate in a different way in order to compete.
This flexibility allows people to see where they can add value but creates another exciting challenge for communicators – people will care more about what is going on at the company. We will need to allow people to get outside their box and add value in different places. Mhub enables them to do this by making sure all employees are always informed, aligned, engaged and productive. Technology allows people to express themselves and be empowered. This is the future workplace we believe in at mhub.