The Future of Work: How Collaboration Has Changed The Workplace

Jennifer Noto Operations Leave a Comment

Collaboration technologies and the BYOD revolution have permanently altered the workplace—here’s how.

From our phones and mobile devices to our healthcare, homes and now even cars, innovations in technology are changing every aspect of our lives—including how we work.

The BYOD revolution has blurred the lines between work and personal time and today most professionals consider themselves accessible for work around-the-clock. In the recent past, when we were striving to achieve the seemingly impossible goal of a perfectly balanced work and personal life, the notion of near 24/7 accessibility would have seemed unhealthy.

Work-life balance entered our cultural lexicon as the productive marriage between professional and personal time. For the majority of us, cultivating this balance became a full-time, stress-inducing job. The notion that by establishing a set of rules or expertly organizing every aspect of your life, you’d be able to achieve a state of harmony is simply unrealistic. Like it or not, work is integrated into nearly every aspect of our lives and this is true more so today than ever before.

With technology as a guide, professionals have realized it’s possible, healthy even, to take a holistic view of work—understanding that our work lives and our personal lives are intrinsically connected.

As this understanding has grown, the tools we use for work have grown too. Collaboration technologies have transformed the concept of what work is and what the workplace can be. These tools allow work to happen anywhere—meaning employees can collaborate and share from offices both physical and virtual.
Today, the possibilities for how professionals choose to engage with their work and from where have been opened up by the revolution in BYOD and collaboration technologies. The popularity of co-working spaces and the rise of flexible work and bring-your-own-device policies speak to the near total workplace transformation that has occurred as the result of these innovations. Professionals now have more choice when it comes to how, when and where they work and a growing number of employers are making collaboration tools available to employees and easing restrictions on remote work.

It’s hard to make strong predictions about the future of work but we do know that collaboration technology will continue to evolve and the workplace will transform alongside it. As an example, Cisco recently added Virtual Reality capabilities to the already powerful Spark platform taking VR from the world of gaming and putting the technology to use in a practical business application. Cisco imagines a world of virtual work where collaboration platforms like Spark enable users to interact and experience their work in 3d—grabbing, opening, moving and sharing files with just your hands. Virtual Reality, when integrated with collaboration technology creates a rich, fully immersive experience that points to an exciting and enjoyable future of work and the complete transformation of what we think of as the “workplace”.

“Cisco Spark is a great tool for real-time collaboration—and when you can design, draw and create together in virtual reality, it makes the experience better. The white-boarding capabilities with Cisco Spark in VR allow teams to create content together by drawing on the same virtual Cisco Spark board, in virtual reality.”-Jens Meggers, Cisco

The now seemingly archaic idea of work-life balance has been replaced by a holistic view of work—one where long-standing ideas of what the workplace should be are transformed and where collaboration technology allows for the kind of flexible environment that makes the blurring of lines between our lives in, and out of the ‘office’ pleasurable, instead of something to avoid. Whatever the #FutureOfWork looks like; we know it will be innovative, exciting and flexible.

Contact us to learn more about Cisco’s solutions for collaboration and how we can help your business plan for the future of work.

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