The traditional work environment has been undergoing a massive shift these last few decades, and many companies, as well as their employees, are embracing it. More than ever before, people are able to do their jobs remotely or on the go, capable of getting more done while enjoying a greater level of personal freedom. To maximize the benefits of this shift, companies must be embrace the new technologies that not only make them possible, but effective.

Considering the Cloud Factor

Moving a business’ internal IT to the cloud has been a massive driver for IT simplification, and value generation across industries, allowing companies to focus on strategies for greater profitability and new initiatives. Businesses need to ensure that their internal technological solution guarantees an empowering experience for their employees and a positive experience for their customers. To properly understand the reshaping of a workplace in the digital age, one must consider both the empowering force of technological advancement and the desire for flexible or fully remote working environments.

Employers of tomorrow are already starting to recognize that paying employees to come to physical office environments makes little sense when digital workspaces allow for most office jobs to be done from afar. From the employee perspective, the prospect of avoiding the daily commute is an easy selling point.

While it is true that working remotely will have a defining role in the future of work, it is still unlikely that the traditional workspace of offices and cubical will be going way anytime soon. Among the reasons cited for hesitancy regarding the adoption of a remote workforce is the perceived inability of the company to maintain their desired corporate culture. But on the flip side, a collection of remote contributors is in itself a defining trait of corporate culture.

While having never met, a collection of remote workers are committed to the central goal that unifies them. These employees make use of internet technology to enable increased synchronization, goal visibility, and productivity. Thus, the experience of an office space is experienced remotely, where it is easier than ever to hop in and out of team meetings, engaging in one-on-one brainstorming, and connect with other employees, all through digital communication (ideally on a unified platform like an ERP).

The Age of the Mobile Worker

In the age of the mobile worker, the number of smartphone users worldwide is expected to grow from 1.5 billion devices in 2014, to a whopping 2.5 billion by as 2019. Beyond this, some estimates put the total number of connecting devices, including those pertaining to the internet of things, at over 50 billion by 2020. This constant and rapid expansion of the number of connected devices inevitably results in a massive collection of data, which needs to be captured and stored in a way that is organized, accessible, and useful. As demand for flexible, mobile, or remote working spaces grow ever more prominent, enabling collaboration among employees, and fast, effective communication despite the disparate nature of their workplace has become an essential goal of I.T. leaders embracing innovation, and unique approaches to business.

In fact, 78% of IT leaders surveyed claimed that collaboration tools are a necessity with the advent of disparate workforces, with 58% of those surveyed additionally looking at the adoption of a new platform for communication and cooperation as the primary goal of their departments going forward. Through geographic distribution, companies and their employees can engage with customers, each other, and global markets in a manner unique to the 21st century.

Enabling the Flexible Workspace and Workforce: The Case for ERP

How can you use technology to facilitate this remote working environment? One of the key methods is through the adoption of a system that unifies all your departments under a single software banner. Its not enough to simply have your disconnected business systems installed as SaaS and available over the internet anywhere, form any device. Rather, by having a cloud based system that holistically addressed all software requirements of your business, from accounting and sales to inventory and warehouse management, you’ll be setting your business up for success in the future of work.

The utilization of an ERP system for the facilitation of communication and cooperation between employees and departments is a critical role played by this technology in the future of work and the distributed workplace.By unifying employees’ views of the company and providing them with identical data, these systems facilitate remote working environments, reducing the number of errors and communicative disruptions that can occur when working with a plurality of business systems.

By having all your employees operate on the same platform and collaborate with one another, you can provide an environment akin to a customized digital office, in which all aspects of the business are stored and accessible to those who need access, regardless of team or location.