By Richard Leong, Senior Director of Colleague Experience and Technology, VMware
Millennials (those born in 1981 through 1996) account for 40% of the workforce today, a number that will increase to greater than 50% by 2022. That means the standard workplace will undergo dramatic change as there will be an expectation that the work environment will duplicate the consumer-friendly technology and personalization enjoyed in personal lives. To meet this demand, VMware IT has begun creating the workspace of the future (known as Workplace X) through emerging and extended reality (XR) technologies. Immersive XR will allow experiences to be fully customizable, so much so they will include visual, audio, touch, and even olfactory options.
These advances redefine how companies approach both physical space and team collaboration, in addition to enhancing productivity and efficiency without sacrificing security.
X marks the future
The Workspace X project focuses on four key areas:
- Personalizing employee experience across the entire workplace
- Using intelligent automation such as AI and machine learning to eliminate routine tasks and improve efficiency
- Adopting emerging technologies/XR to introduce new experiences and new ways of working
- Focusing on a ‘work from anywhere’ and play mindset that facilitates the blending of work/life
- Building a smarter work environment fueled by the Internet of Things (IoT)
These efforts will create an entirely new experience for our employees, but are especially important when onboarding a new colleague, including the time leading up to his/her first day.
The importance of Day Zero
Day One, arguably one of the most important days in a colleague’s experience with a new organization, has always been an age-old focus for most companies. But why just Day One? People’s impressions of a company are formulated much earlier, often before they even submit a resume. Our team feels the experience starts on what we call Day Zero.
To that end, we are experimenting with new ways to drive a better experience through early engagement opportunities. Imagine you have completed your interviews and have just received an offer. Once signed, you begin discussions regarding a start date and other relevant topics. Through deployment of AI and bots such as virtual assistants, we plan to modernize and simplify such engagement early on. And that personalization applies to physical space as well, as you will be able to specify any technology preferences (laptop, ergonomics, special needs) required prior to Day One.
A smarter workplace
To support seamless access and context-aware workspaces, IT is also exploring a variety of authentication methods beyond voice, fingerprint, face, iris, and near field communications. Intelligent automation will bring together people, files, times, and meeting rooms to ensure a seamless meeting and workspace setup. In fact, technology will automatically assist in facilitating one-touch conference room presentations. This change alone will have a significant impact on today’s purpose-built physical spaces as they will be replaced by anywhere, anytime collaboration spaces, even an ad hoc meeting in a cafe.
Our perception of the environment we work in will broaden and change with digital experiences now being delivered only by screens.
For further exploration on this topic, check out our virtualizing physical workspace blog.
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