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Enterprise 2016: What Will The Future of Work Hold?

January 11, 2016

Twenty-sixteen has arrived, and with it companies have begun to institute resolutions and plans to ensure a prosperous and productive 2016. At EventBoard, we began the New Year with predictions about the future of office productivity in the enterprise and forecast on how operations and work will evolve in 2016 and beyond.

Private Offices: A Thing of The Past

Private offices have been a standard at many companies for past decades. These offices are slowly going extinct, with a reported 70 percent of today’s tech offices implementing open. This year, we predict that 20 percent more will adopt this model. By 2020, we foresee that private offices will be nearly extinct from today’s technology businesses.

What this means: there will be a rise in “huddle rooms” or “war rooms” -- small private spaces for people to meet and where sensitive decisions are made. There will always be a need for insulated consulting areas, but the small open spaces will dominate office areas of the future.

Dark Data: Shedding Light On Productivity

Dark data, or data that is present, but has not surfaced yet, will be the key to unlocking companies’ level of productivity and will help them save time and money. We predict by the end of this year, more than 35% of U.S. companies will be using dark data to give insight on how much meeting time is productive. In today’s workplace, more than 30% of scheduled meetings don’t take place and one Silicon Valley giant’s data shows that 15% of existing meetings have been set by employees who are no longer at the company.

Added up over the course of a year, an ineffective use of time and space ends up costing companies a lot of money in lost productivity. As dark data illuminates this misuse, it allows companies to reclaim those resources and apply them more productively. Dark data will also allow companies to track employee productivity, showing if there is a consistent lull in electronic communication at a certain time everyday. Once armed with that information, employers can uncover the issue, which might show an energetic low point of the day. Management could implement an all-company “coffee break” or surprise the staff with a motivating treat, taking what was “dead time” and using it to help foster employee relations.

Video Conferencing: The De Facto Communication Method

EventBoard predicts that video conferencing will be integrated within 40 percent of meetings by 2018. There is no substitute for face-to-face communication, but as the workforce becomes more mobile and remote, companies will look to video to stay connected. Additionally, cloud video conferencing solutions like Blue Jeans Network are providing an easy-to-use and customer friendly solution so the end user doesn’t have to be an IT pro in order to use the technology. Similarly, IT departments can also reap the benefits of its backend analytics dashboard and make smarter decisions about where to allocate their operations dollars.

At-a-Glance: Mobile Enterprise Takes Hold

There is no question that mobility within the enterprise is here to stay. Devices like tablets and wearables are increasingly crossing over from consumer-based usage and enterprises are still figuring out how these platforms fit into daily business use. EventBoard predicts that mobile enterprise application adoption will continue to increase in 2017 and will account for 50 percent of app developers’ focus. Furthermore, by 2017 100 percent of the line of business (LOB) apps in customer-facing roles will be built for mobile-first consumption, and 75 percent of those that are internal-facing will also cater to mobile.  

This year, we will see an uptick in the crossover of some of these mobile devices with at-a-glance information that provides small bites of information including logged work hours or an update on the price point at which a recent deal was made. This will make a huge impact across organizations if employees can utilize this information to become more productive and informed about business decisions. This information is easier to digest and simplifies various work situations where information overload can disrupt workflow and productivity, rather than inform them.

The tech world is constantly evolving. And if the workplace trends we’re seeing are any indication, we’re willing to bet that open office floor plans will continue to spread beyond the tech industry and the enterprise. Mobility and dark data will continue to illuminate the modern office space and its facilities ensuring that the future of work looks very bright.

Shaun Ritchie is the CEO and co-founder at EventBoard.  

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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