Productivity & Collaboration

Build a modern workplace, stay competitive, with these 3 essential moves

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The future of work is here—it’s just not evenly distributed. Indeed, many of the technologies, trends, and cultural norms that will drive tomorrow’s workplaces are already reshaping organizations around the world today. We examine this topic in a new Google Cloud report on the future of collaboration and productivity, featuring the results of original research, predictions by business and technology leaders, and recommendations from Google experts.

The report also identifies three important and impactful changes that businesses can make today to catch up with forward-thinking competitors. Here are highlights:

1. Give people tools that help them save time and work faster.
What is it about work that just isn’t working? Research shows that employees around the world spend significant chunks of their day on low-value activities that get in the way of efficiency, productivity, and innovation. These include attending unnecessary meetings, managing high volumes of email, tracking down the right versions of documents, switching between applications, and generally struggling with outdated technology.

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To help their employees spend more time on work that matters, future-minded organizations are replacing legacy business software with cloud-based tools that integrate seamlessly with one another and use automation to make routine tasks less burdensome. For example, an app might surface the right information at the right time so you don’t have to go hunting for it, suggest commonly used phrases as you type, or propose available meeting times and conference rooms. Add up the few minutes you save on each task, and that’s a significant portion of the day you’ve reclaimed for the work that matters.

2. Empower people to access knowledge and share ideas.
Have you ever used Google Search to find your own company’s logo? Or recreated content that already existed because you couldn’t track something down? Employees around the world experience similar challenges when searching for what they need across siloed, ineffective information repositories within their organizations. And that’s a problem, because nearly 80% of business leaders agree that seamless, digital access to knowledge is very important to overall performance, according to a survey sponsored by Google Cloud and conducted by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services.

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The solution? Providing employees with centrally managed technology that lets them access and share knowledge more easily, curbing reliance on unsanctioned apps that may put sensitive data at risk. Fast access to relevant information can also help cultivate new opportunities for employees to contribute, whether it’s by suggesting a new product or service, providing feedback on internal processes or business initiatives, or exchanging insights with colleagues across the company. Eighty-nine percent of executives say that for a business to be successful, new ideas must come from everyone across the organization, from senior executives to front-line employees, according to another survey sponsored by Google Cloud and conducted by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services.

3. Let people work how they want: flexibly and collaboratively.
Along with time-saving tools and expanded access to information, two core values are reshaping work for forward-thinking organizations and will help determine the future success of every business: flexibility and collaboration. According to Deloitte research, only 17% of millennials are willing to stay with an employer for more than five years without the opportunity to work where they choose, while 74% of global employees believe that businesses perform better when they encourage teamwork.

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Luckily, technology is evolving to support this sweeping shift toward flexible collaboration. We now have tools that let people on opposite sides of the globe work together as a team, from video meetings for face-to-face interaction to digital whiteboards for collective brainstorming. Research shows that more and more businesses are taking advantage of these cloud-powered services: 27% of global executives adopted integrated software suites for collaborative content creation and idea sharing in the last two years, while an additional 24% plan to do so by 2021, according to Harvard Business Review Analytic Services.

Read the complete report for more insights, along with customer stories and tips on everything from improving the quality of meetings to protecting your data. Download it here.