Millennials millennials millennials. Blah Blah Blah.
You can’t get away from the buzzwords these days. Social, millennials, Gen z, digital, start-ups, influencer marketing, authentic, geotargeting.. you get the idea.
But Buzzwords are there for a reason, and usually it’s cause they are the basis of a trend.
The social workplace is not a new thing. Companies have been talking about the social office from a physical stand point for ages. Office design and ‘the living office’ is all about enhancing communication and creating space for the facilitation of idea-sharing, innovation and better work practices. Tech start ups are the most famous for it. They’ve become a one-stop-shop for everything you might need in life, from food to dry cleaning or fun activities: all with the objective of keeping you in the office and encouraging creativity and communication. It all makes sense, it’s all backed up by research.
And now we’ve got places like WeWork, which is all about communal working (or co-working) and beer in the office.
But only finally are we starting to catch up with our non-physical interfaces. Like email.
Email is a problem. Everyone I know who has a job that requires email (i.e. everyone) complains about emails in some capacity. They get too many. They are copied on something unnecessarily. The reply-all button. Oh god that reply all button.
So what is happening to fix this? Slack.
Slack is one of those all compassing communication tools that promises to solve everyones problems. Yeah yeah sure. But it’s looking like Slack IS actually solving peoples problems. It’s helping to increase productivity and reduce clutter. It keeps everything in the same place. And it’s intuitive.
Then you’ve got Facebook tapping into this. They want people to use their platform at work. And no, I don’t mean sneakily between meetings, but as an actually useful tool in the office. It’s the same idea – a connected set of employees is much more efficient.
As people want to work remotely, have more flexible hours and start-ups that are instantly global, it only goes to reason that set ups and tools like these are going to be invaluable in the future.
Change is hard though, and getting businesses to reshape how they work and their very communication practices is going to be nearly impossible. It’s not just about throwing a ping-pong table into the break out room. However it’s the businesses that do manage to embrace this more connected (but also more efficient and less cluttered) future, or ones that build with it integrated from the start, that are going to thrive.