Google's recent "Work the Way You Live" whitepaper lays out the company's vision for workplace productivity and collaboration in the modern digital age. The company asks in the paper, "Why shouldn't work happen with the same speed and collaboration we enjoy in our private lives?" Today's consumers are constantly connected, checking their mobile phones 150 times per day on average and openly sharing everything on social media. They expect their employers to empower them with the same consumer-friendly technologies they use outside the office. Google believes five basic principles separate the businesses that successfully deliver on this opportunity and those that don't.
Google Says: Put Employees First
Google encourages businesses to embrace tools that are easy to use and intuitive. Far too many employees are dissatisfied with their enterprise IT departments, and the devices and software their employers provide. Google asks, "Why should people be forced to use tools that they'd uninstall from their own phones at home?" User experience should be the priority, according to the company. Complexities and extraneous features burden users. If your work tools require training, your company is likely doing it wrong, according to Google.
Google Says: Embrace and Enable Telecommuting
Google says it knows corporate legacy technology can represent a significant challenge and be overwhelmingly expensive to upgrade. If legacy technology limits your employees' ability to work anywhere and anytime, however, changes might be necessary. Google encourages businesses to embrace new technologies that give workers the freedom they need to work anywhere and on any device.
Google Says: Make Work Satisfying
Companies need to embrace social media by making it easier for employees to connect, collaborate and share with coworkers. "Make it drop-dead simple to find and access information that's relevant to their job," Google writes in its whitepaper. Businesses should also communicate with employees daily to indicate and reinforce how each of them and their teams fit into their companies' overall strategies and goals.
Google Says: Remove Barriers to Productivity
Many employees frequently encounter individual and team productivity barriers. Out-of-date tools that limit collaboration, data that sits in silos, endless meetings and email threads are the most obvious culprits, but many more also exist. Businesses need to work to remove those barriers to enable real-time collaboration and help employees be more productive.
Google Says: Attract and Keep Digital Natives
Digital natives, who grow up fully immersed in the digital world, already comprise a third of the overall American workforce. The group shares common interests with others who want meaningful and rewarding jobs, but they're also more likely to have high expectations of the workplace experience and available technologies. "They presume their work environment will be open and transparent. And they expect their work experience to be connected, collaborative and team-oriented," according to Google.