IT Brief Australia logo
Technology news for Australia's largest enterprises
Story image

How the 'workplace of the future' optimises employees, collaboration & your office

By Sara Barker
Thu 13 Oct 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Offices are shrinking and collaboration is growing. Hot desking is now a common approach to flexible and mobile workforces, but how do organisations make the most of the gradual evolution to a digital and flexible environment that isn't constrained by borders?

Amy Barzdukas, Polycom VP Global Solutions Marketing and evangelist for 'workplace of the future', says it's all about helping customers and partners view the workplace a little bit differently.

Collaboration is influenced by the size and setup of office environments in many different ways, and Barzdukas says customers are still looking to drive what she calls 'consistent corporate culture'.

"As you think about open office where people don't have a preset work environment, so it's a hot desk or people have to find a spot to sit down and work. People then choose to work remotely more often."

"One of the concerns that customers have is 'how do you drive the culture to be consistent? How do you make sure that you are seeing people and enforcing the same kinds of approaches and attitudes, keeping people's spirits up when it's a very different environment," she says.

Those issues aren't really considered in a traditional office environment, where hierarchies are the norm. Barzdukas says it's now time to think about the people, more so than the space itself.

She says that with the rise of remote working, there needs to be a focus on the type of work employees need to accomplish and provide the best environment for them, whether offsite or onsite.

"Some of the best companies that I've talked don't really think about work from home per se, they think about work from the best place. They're putting the interests of what the employees are trying to do and putting that together with how they've thought about the workspace and the technology together to enable that kind of work."

On the topic of privacy, she says that with workspace flexibility comes the responsibility to provide more private environments, through open seating and higher walls to the seat, or greater availability of huddle rooms, or smaller focus zones.

"Those are for privacy and not everyone is comfortable out in the open. There are introverts in the world who need to be able to have a more quiet, protected space in order to be as productive as they need to be. If employees find that they aren't able to have that protected space for the type of work that they need to do, that's a great conversation to have with management," Barzdukas says.

How the three different collaboration types change the workspace

She explains that collaboration comes in three types: informative, collaborative and generative.

"Informative collaboration is relatively straightforward - 'I'm sharing an update'. Everyone needs to know the status of the project so that they can go on with their work, and know where everything stands. The tools are not particularly complicated, whether they be audio or video conference calls. You want to be able to share the content, share the update, and people move on."

"Evaluative collaboration is more complex because you're actually needing to make decisions. You're not merely receiving or delivering information, but now you're actually being asked to operate on that information," she explains.

She says that discussions about pros and cons of a specific workplace idea is one example of how this type of collaboration works. This requires better content sharing and making sure people feel included.

"Generative collaboration is particularly interesting because studies show that people are more collaborative when they sit with peers in a circle. "

She says that is very hard to achieve with existing collaboration technology, because it tends to form a hierarchy - especially at rectangular tables where someone is generally head of the table.

"When you break away from that and have technology that really enables group brainstorming, ideating and teeing ideas off each other, that's a whole different kind of collaboration."

Polycom's focus

Barzdukas says that Polycom's focus is on the workplace, experience and the workflow. To do this, the company is ensuring the spaces have the right technology, depending on employees' needs and the task at hand.

She says that employers and employees report that they're better able to use technologies when they operate more like the things that they use in their consumer lives.

"So if you can make it as easy to use as a smartphone, people are much more likely to use it. What you want is for people is to use technology without spending 10 minutes at the start of each meeting figuring it out."

"Everything is integrated into the workflow that you know, which makes it much easier to use. For example, we integrate directly into Skype for Business outlook environment where you just click to join a meeting. It's staying in the workflow regardless of what endpoint you join. That makes it easier, seamless, dynamic and part of the culture," she explains.

"We know that innovation and collaboration have a direct impact on the economy. The more we can enable people to be productive, they become more innovative and the economy benefits. At Polycom, our focus really is on enabling the workplace of the future today, and we're committed to providing the breadth of the technology that can help employees be as productive as possible. It's a really exciting time to be in the business."

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Cybersecurity
What every CISO must answer to enable a best-in-class security operations program
It has been widely reported recently that South Australian government employees have been the victims of a cyberattack.
Story image
SaaS
MedCart achieves close to AUD$10 million in sales with help from Marketplacer tech
Australian health and medical start-up MedCart has achieved annual sales of close to AUD$10 million in less than 12 months, utilising Marketplacer marketplace technology to help achieve successful results.
Story image
Identity and Access Management
The post-pandemic workforce requires secure IAM capabilities
HID Global discusses what identity and access management means for organisations in today's convoluted digital world.
Story image
Microsoft
Microsoft previews Power Platform website design offering
Microsoft has announced the preview of Power Pages, the fifth product in its Power Platform family, designed for low-code makers and professional developers.
Story image
SpaceX
Australian space tech startup secures SpaceX support
Space Machines Company has secured the support of SpaceX as a launch partner in carrying SMC's Optimus Orbital Transfer Vehicle to space next year.
Story image
Ransomware
APAC organisations fail to disclose ransomware breaches
85% of organisations in APAC were breached by ransomware at least once in the past five years, but only 28% publicly disclosed the incident.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity prompts upgrade for 1.3 billion electricity meters
ABI Research finds Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and cybersecurity concerns are prompting the upgrade of 1.3 billion electricity meters by 2027.
Story image
Customer experience
Phone, internet complaints increase for first time in five quarters
Phone and internet complaints have increased for the first time in five quarters, according to a new telco report from the Ombudsman.
Story image
Training
Infosec unveils role-guided cybersecurity training roadmaps
Infosec Skills Roles maps hands-on training and certifications to the 12 most in-demand cybersecurity roles to maximise training efficiency.
Story image
Microsoft
Elevation of Privilege the top 2021 Microsoft vulnerability
BeyondTrust has released its 2022 Microsoft Vulnerabilities Report, finding that Elevation of Privilege is the top vulnerability category for the second consecutive year.
Story image
Data Protection
Information management capabilities to meet privacy requirements
Organisations with customers or operations across more than one country face a spate of new and proposed privacy and data protection laws.
Story image
Microsoft
Microsoft, Cloudian partnership offers data center flexibility
Cloudian’s HyperStore object storage platform is now integrated and validated to work with Microsoft SQ Server 2022, offering more flexible and scalable data centers.
Story image
Ponemon Institute
Email revealed to be riskiest channel for data loss
More than half (60%) of organisations experienced data loss or exfiltration caused by an employee mistake on email in the last 12 months.
Story image
Digital Marketing
Getty Images delves into the world of NFTs with Candy Digital
Getty Images and Candy Digital, the next-generation digital collectible company, have announced a new multi-year partnership agreement.
Story image
Digital Marketing
Similarweb acquires SEO and rank tracking company Rank Ranger
Digital intelligence company Similarweb, which specialises in analysing web traffic, has acquired Rank Ranger, a market leader in SEO and rank tracking.
Story image
VPN
The most common online scams in Australia
No one is safe from online scammers, and many of these scammers have capitalised on the pandemic, using this confusing time to attack more people than ever.
Story image
Sift
Sift shares crucial advice for preventing serious ATO breaches
Are you or your business struggling with Account Takeover Fraud (ATO)? One of the latest ebooks from Sift can provide readers with the tools and expertise to help launch them into the new era of account security.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Accenture - a collective security approach a driving factor for cyber resilience
With the approaching Davos World Economic Forum upon us, it is even more imperative to discuss the impact of cybersecurity on business operations leading into the future.
Story image
Red Sift
Entrust expands strategic partnership with Red Sift
Entrust has expanded its strategic partnership with Red Sift to make it easier for businesses to adopt Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) standards for email identification and security.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Harnessing digital innovations to maximise loyalty programmes and improve CX
When it comes to the retail sector, merchants have never had access to so many different client touchpoints and data to understand their customers better.
Story image
Sustainability
Aligned Data Centers increases sustainability-linked loan
Aligned Data Centers has increased its sustainability-linked loan from $375 million to $1.75 billion to speed up the next phase of its strategic growth.
Story image
Digital Signage
MAXHUB's Digital Signage range to bolster boardroom productivity
The new MAXHUB Digital Signage technology is purpose-built to make every kind of team meeting more effective.
Story image
Phishing
MailGuard warns of new scam targeting Telstra customers
Telstra customers in Australia are being warned of a new scam involving "Unsuccessful Payment" messages.
Story image
Rackspace
Skills shortages hold orgs back from capitalising on cloud 2.0
Organisations are becoming more comfortable with sophisticated 'cloud 2.0' technologies, even as they confront difficulties in hiring and retaining IT talent.
Story image
Silver Peak
The path to an adaptive, modern network
Managing and securing the network looks different than it did just two years ago—especially given that most of these networks are made up of multi-generations of infrastructure stitched together over time.
Story image
Hybrid Cloud
Barracuda expands cloud-native SASE platform
"The expansion of Barracuda's cloud-native SASE platform for hybrid deployment models and IIoT environments solves a number of challenges."
Story image
Managed service provider
Barracuda MSP Day 2022 highlights MSP opportunities
Barracuda Networks has released a report showing global services-related MSP revenue is set to increase by more than a third in 2022 compared to 2021.
Story image
Manhattan Associates
Shortening the click-to-customer cycle through smart technologies
Speed of delivery without accuracy is a dealbreaker for consumers. How can retailers operating in an omnichannel environment overcome the challenge of click-to-customer cycle times.
Story image
Data Center
Preventing downtime costs and damage with Distributed Infrastructure Management
Distributed Infrastructure Management (DIM) can often be a lifeline for many enterprises that work with highly critical ICT infrastructure and power sources.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Digital transformation increasing business complexities
A new survey suggests businesses must re-examine their digital transformation approach to better help employees adapt to change.
Story image
CrescoData
SPS network now available to CrescoData eCommerce customers
CrescoData, a Pitney Bowes Company and PaaS business in the commerce space, says its customers can now connect to the SPS Commerce Retail Network.
Story image
Sustainability
SoftIron named global leader for efficient DC infrastructure solutions
SoftIron has been named a global leader for supplying energy-efficient data infrastructure solutions for core-to-edge data centers after an assessment by Earth Capital Ltd.
Story image
MEC
MEC spending for private cellular networks to reach $5.8b
A new ABI Research report finds the revenue for Multi Access Edge Compute (MEC) deployments for private cellular networks will reach USD$5.8 billion by 2030.
Story image
Check Point
Check Point and CCTV expert join forces to boost protection
The partnership will involve Check Point Quantum IoT Protect Nano Agent being embedded in Provision-ISR’s CCTV cameras for on-device runtime protection.
Story image
Boost Mobile
Boost Mobile now makes up over 7% of Aussie prepaid market
Boost Mobile has doubled its market share over the past four years and now has more than 7% of Australia's prepaid market, equivalent to over 700,000 people.
Story image
Infosys
Consumer relationships with digital services continues to change
Two years of pandemic-induced reliance on technology for work has altered our relationship with digital apps and services, new research has found.
Story image
DaaS
NetApp launches Spot PC, a new Desktop-as-a-Service solution
This is a new managed cloud DaaS solution with security, automation, observability and optimisation capabilities, designed for the needs of today.
Story image
Alteryx
Alteryx releases updates, empowers data insights for enterprise
Alteryx has released new advancements designed to aid enterprises with cloud analytics, democratise insights and ensure data governance.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Frost & Sullivan recognises Genesys as leader in new reports
Frost & Sullivan has recognised Genesys as a leader in the cloud contact centre market for its robust cloud and digital capabilities.
Story image
SaaS
The paradox of change, and how to get around it
The business decision to technologically transform should not come from an IT department but from the business itself.
Story image
Surveillance
i-PRO releases smallest AI-based surveillance camera on the market
The new i-PRO mini network camera is now available, with a pocket-sized form factor and full AI analytics functionality.
Story image
Multi Cloud
Red Hat updates dev tools, empowers use of hybrid and multicloud
Red Hat has unveiled updates across its portfolio of developer tools, designed to help organisations build and deliver applications faster.
Exabeam
Find out how a behavioural analytics-driven approach can transform security operations with the new Exabeam commissioned Forrester study.
Link image
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Gartner reveals top three tech trends for banks this year
Gartner says generative artificial intelligence, autonomic systems and privacy-enhancing computation are gaining traction in banking and investment services.