Digitisation changes requirements on working environments

Digital transformation is fundamentally changing the way we work and thus our working environments. Why is that? What are the triggers? And how can we derive a sensible procedure from this to strategically implement the new working environments so that they actively contribute to the achievement of objectives in companies? In this whitepaper, we will show you a strategic approach for future workspaces and new working environments.

1. Business transformation demands new flexibility for more innovations

Digitalization has two aspects that have fundamentally changed and continue to change the way we work. The first aspect is the increasing importance being able to work efficiently and to innovate. This was triggered by a business transformation that has shaken up established companies in recent years. This transformation has intensified global competition and is placing increasing demands on efficiency, innovation and creativity. Companies are forced to continuously develop, change and even reinvent their business.

The current Bitkom (Germany’s digital association) study on the digitalization of the economy has recently made this clear. According to the survey, 53 % of the companies surveyed stated that they were offering new products and services as a result of digitization. In the previous year, this was only 48 %. 72 % adapt existing products and services (63 % in the previous year) and 45 % withdraw certain products and services from the market (37 % in the previous year). The questions that companies have to answer here are: How do they enable a growing capacity for innovation in order to support this constant change? And what effects does this have on the world of work?

Increasing importance of innovation capability calls for new ways of working

Innovations today are generated by agile group collaboration. Efficiency and productivity depend on how well this collaboration works. Here, companies have to break up rigid structures and silos in order to enable new creativity for innovations and customer proximity. This leads to changes in the working environment. These have already been felt for several years: Thus, the focus of office work is shifting from stable handling processes and standardized routine activities to knowledge work with complex and dynamically changing tasks and activities. This trend is additionally accelerated by the second aspect of digital transformation: interactive and digital technologies that enable new forms of cooperation.

2. New technologies change working methods and requirements for working spaces

Both aspects create completely new requirements for company buildings and workspaces. This changes the reasons for employees to enter a company building. In the past, it was the central place where work was performed. Today, this is possible from anywhere. Nevertheless, the office environment still has an essential influence on the performance of employees. Last year’s Fraunhofer IAO (Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO) study “Office Analytics” has pointed this out.

The added value of entering the company building lies in the fact that you can meet colleagues there to coordinate, discuss and jointly develop innovations within the team. Current technical developments make it possible for the physical spaces in the company buildings to melt with the digital workstation, which accompanies the employees on mobile devices everywhere.

Ideally, rooms are created that connect directly to the employees’ digital workstations and thus enable a seamless transition from individual to team work. In this way, competencies, resources and technologies can be networked quickly and flexibly. Modern communication and collaboration technology plays a decisive role in this process. It enables flexible use of knowledge and resources between employees, even across departments and location boundaries.

Spaces and technology as an active part for the achievement of objectives in companies

As a result of these developments, workspaces and their AV technology equipment have become an active part of increasing productivity and achieving targets in companies. Needs-oriented AV technology ensures that companies can work faster, more effectively, more agilely and more collaboratively. Or it even enables completely new ways of working. The technology must always support existing processes and make them more efficient or allow the development and implementation of new (more efficient and more productive) processes. Here the technology is clearly given a business evaluation perspective.

This increases the demands on the technology and the selection of suitable applications. The answer to this question is becoming more and more important. Which approach makes it possible to align the technology exactly with the use cases, the needs of the users and the company goals?

3. Holistic approach enables strategic implementation of new working environments

In the current study “Gartner Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2019”, the research and consulting company sees so-called “Smart Spaces” as one of the most important technology trends for the coming years. To embed these strategically in corporate structures, Gartner recommends a “holistic approach”.

Gartner empfiehlt einen strategischen Ansatz für Future Workspaces

The Gartner study describes smart spaces as “a physical or digital environment in which humans and technology-enabled systems interact in increasingly open, connected, coordinated and intelligent ecosystems. (…) The idea is to look at a workplace or city not as a collection of individual applications and technologies, but as a holistic unit.”2)

For workspaces, this means that it is not enough to just install interactive presentation and AV technology. The technology must be easy to use, it must always be available, it must be tailored to the use cases of a company and it must be integrated into existing IT applications. In addition, it also depends on the cultures of communication, work and leadership. They must allow work processes in which these technologies can be used.

macomBOX method guarantees the strategic implementation of future workspaces

In over 20 years of experience as Europe’s leading AV technology planner and technology consultant for digital transformation in space, we have often found that many companies and their decision-makers are not yet ready for such a holistic approach. We have developed the macomBOX method to support them in the strategic implementation of future workspaces and new working environments.

The macomBOX method consists of four levels: the strategy level, the technology concept level, the implementation level and the operation level with a comprehensive service management. This way, our macomBOX method covers the entire life cycle of digitization projects for future workspaces.

macomBOX-Methode: der strategische Ansatz für Future Workspaces

In our strategic consulting we develop flexible and agile working methods together with our customers, which are enabled and simplified by interactive AV technology. In our strategic consulting we analyse together with our customers which processes and working methods are simplified or made possible by modern IT & AV technology. This usually happens in the run-up to strategic projects for new working environments or within the framework of transformation and digitization projects. The next step is to evaluate these working methods and processes with regard to feasibility, costs and benefits. This consulting is the preliminary stage for the evaluation of suitable system architectures and integration approaches in the context of the conception. The result is a business decision template in the form of a business case. Only when this has been defined and legitimized does the detailed technical planning for the implementation project begin. Finally, we jointly define the operation through operational concepts and comprehensive service management. This also includes end-of-life monitoring and continuous improvements to the systems and solutions used. In this way, we guarantee that the future workspaces are highly available, can be used efficiently and productively and can thus quickly generate the planned ROI.

In next week’s blog post, we present various project examples for a holistic approach to Future Workspaces.


Martin Wagner, Head of Marketing, macom Group


Download macom white paper: Strategic approach for future workspaces

This blog post is an excerpt from the current macom Whitepaper: “Strategic Approach for Future Workspaces”. Would you like to read the entire whitepaper with all the specialist information and practical examples? You can download it here!

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