The traditional notion of a 9-to-5 workspace has drastically changed. No longer are employees chained to their desk. Instead, they can work from anywhere, often at hours of their choosing. Today’s workspace moves with the employee, whether it’s to a mid-morning session at Starbucks, aboard an Amtrak train or even a midnight email check after a school band concert.

While many factors are behind the rise of these smart workspaces, there’s one main ingredient required to make them succeed: the right communications technology. Let’s explore the smart workspace in more detail and see how you can set up your business to meet this growing employee expectation.

What is a smart workspace?

In today’s world, the term “workspace” no longer conjures an image of employees sitting at their desks, surrounded by cubicle walls, pecking away at their keyboards for eight hours straight. Workspaces have evolved, and today’s “smart” version allows employees to get their work done from any location, using any device. A smart workspace transcends the physical boundaries of the cubicle and office, creating an environment of collaboration and communication that fosters productivity and increases employee satisfaction.

Flexibility: More than half (51 percent) of employees want their companies to offer more flexible work options, according to a recent study. Flexible options include telecommuting and the freedom to work outside of traditional business hours.

Work-life balance: Your workers don’t want to miss out on their kid’s soccer game or burn the candle at both ends. More employees consider work-life balance to be increasingly important, and fewer people are willing to sacrifice it for their job.

Millennials: By 2020, which is right around the corner, Millennials will make up more than half of the workforce. That number is expected to hit 75 percent by 2025. This generation is tech-savvy, demands flexibility and thrives on collaboration.

Next steps for a digital workspace transformation

Businesses that want to attract and retain top talent have no choice but to embrace smart workspaces. Gartner predicts that by 2020, organizations that let workers choose their own style of work will increase retention rates by more than 10 percent. Already, a unified communications system with a robust suite of collaboration tools can provide a smart workspace for your employees. Such suites offer:

  • A single application for voice, video, messaging, audio conferencing and more so employees can easily switch between channels on the fly.
  • A consistent experience across devices.
  • Mobile-first design that supports both iOS and Android.
  • Audio conferencing and web sharing to promote collaboration.
  • Single number reach, making employees accessible on any device.
  • Individual and group chat to keep the lines of communication open.
  • File and screen sharing, which make it easy to keep team members up-to-date on projects.
  • Secure remote access so employees can work from anywhere without having to worry about confidential company information.
  • Multi-region and multi-language support, to provide employees around the world with access to the same unified experience.

Not only do such systems meet the demands of your employees, they benefit the business as well. Teams communicate more efficiently and effectively, easily sharing ideas and files. Managers make decisions more quickly and increase productivity. By keeping your employees connected on-the-go, you’ll keep up with today’s fast-paced business world. And, you’ll break down silos between departments and locations. In other words, smart workspaces are just as good for the bottom line as they are for employee satisfaction and retention.

If your business isn’t already part of the smart workspace culture, it’s time to start transforming. A powerful suite of collaboration tools that gives employees access to everything they need to do their work—no matter where they are or what device they’re on—is the main ingredient for success. The right unified communications solution provides a seamless experience for all employees, breaking down barriers, fostering collaboration and resulting in smarter business decisions made in less time. A smart workspace really is a “no brainer.”

Interested in details about smart workspaces and how they can help your team and business excel? Find out more about the collaboration solutions offered by Mitel.

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