Blockchain technology is revolutionising the financial services industry[i], additive manufacturing is reengineering product development[ii] and the autonomous vehicles are already being used in closed environments around the globe[iii].

Technology is driving disruption at a great pace – and it is also changing the way we work.

Our colleagues in Ricoh Europe commissioned the research recently to understand whether workplaces in Europe were ready for digital evolution. It came as little surprise that technology was reported as the biggest driver of change in the workplace, but it also showed that employees have a real willingness to become more flexible and more mobile.

95% of European employees surveyed believed that the changing landscape would benefit their business in the next year. At the same time, 61% thought technology at work would help to improve productivity, simplify processes and help them make more informed decisions. There’s no denying that we’re still living in a world of change and I think it’s safe to apply similar numbers here in Canada.

What factors were predicted to be the biggest game changers with the most positive influence on businesses?

  • Increased automation
  • Digital disruption
  • Competitors with the ability to move more quickly

Three ways digital disruption impacts the way we work

  1. Global collaboration – how we work better together

Connectivity is vital for innovation, especially as teams become increasingly global. Interactive whiteboards or IFPDs (Interactive Flat Panel Displays) enable teams across the world to build ideas together in the same virtual meeting. Bringing artificial intelligence and voice recognition into the boardroom will improve our abilities to make better, informed, decisions with greater speed. These enhanced video conferencing systems will be common-place very soon. Speaking with a co-worker on the other side of the world will be as easy as leaning over your desk to speak with someone in the office.

  1. Increased automation – making the mundane automatic

Already used by forward-thinking organisations, we can expect the automation of back-office processes to be standard in five years. Document-heavy workloads will move from being paper based to more efficient and cost-effective electronic processing. This provides a clear overview of incoming and outgoing funds, meaning users have more time to focus on the core goals of the business.

  1. A mobile-enabled world of work

The use of mobile and on-demand services will become second nature. Improving services for digitally-savvy employees and customers by blending ease-of-use with powerful technology will continue to be a top priority for many businesses. With mobile devices becoming ever more prevalent, we’re seeing huge growth in applications that aim to simplify the user experience. Mobile printing, for example, enables staff to print from anywhere and any device to any printer – all without the need to find a desktop or carry a USB stick around with you.

Workplaces of the future must help employees to be more agile

Employees are eager to adopt new technology quicker. This means that businesses and organisations need to make sure that they have a good, solid infrastructure in place that makes it as easy as possible to connect to or use technology. But it’s not only about systems and processes. It’s about mindset.

Take command of your organisation’s future by chunking out your transformation plan – consider it ‘digital optimisation’ if that makes the change management piece easier. Do you, your managers, your leaders have the desire to move with change? What’s the key to business transformation? Empowering your people.

When you build an open culture that is not afraid to use technology to increase efficiency, this helps employees to embrace new ways of working, see change in a positive light and become more agile.

For business leaders, success in five years’ time will require clear strategic thought to make the most of innovative new technology. Most importantly, they must push to give their employees the tools needed to be more flexible, efficient and creative with their time. Putting people at the centre of change will allow them to make the most of the opportunities digitalisation creates.

Recent studies have shown that digital transformation is a real challenge for Operations teams in organisations of all sectors of the economy. Did you know that 47 percent of Canadian employees work outside of their primary office for half of the week or more[iv] and 71% of data breaches are caused inadvertently due to careless use or negligence?[v]

Empowering your digital workforce to boost productivity, seamlessly collaborate with co-workers and clients, and get secure access to information without compromising data security has become a prime objective for many mid to large-sized organisations.

Understand how you can drive your organisation’s work culture to adapt to the changing times by providing seamless and secure access to information from anywhere. Visit today.

[i] ”Should Open Banking Pave the Way for Blockchain Development in Financial Services?”, Gina Clarke,, September 2018

[ii] “Nabbing the Benefits of Generative Design without 3D Printing”, Rob Spiegel,, September 2018

[iii] “Self-driving pods are slow, boring, and weird-looking — and that’s a good thing”, Andrew J. Hawkins,, September 2018

[iv] Benefits Canada: 47% of Canadian employees work remotely: survey, March 2017

[v] Inside Threat Reports, (2016)