The Role of the Workplace Strategist

From physical work space design to technology inside and outside a company’s walls, savvy employers are doing everything they can to create a modern, employee-centric workplace to recruit and retain top talent. Attracting talent is about much more than just the money—it is about providing the environment and amenities that modern workers demand, and as a result, the role of the workplace strategist has quickly gained steam at employers nationwide.

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Sitting at the intersection of real estate, facilities, interior design, and IT, the workplace strategist is responsible for integrating people, places, and processes to ensure employees are happy and productive. In this role, workplace strategists are expected to create a work environment that will give their company a better shot at winning the war for talent.

To accomplish this, workplace strategists are harnessing different technologies to provide employees with the resources, information, and training necessary to perform at their best. Not only can this technology increase productivity and communication, but it can also be used to foster community, automate temperature and light, deploy new technology faster, and allow employees to work from home—all of which can make or break a company’s ability to recruit and retain top employees.

Fostering a Community

Technology is no longer just a tool to get work done—it can foster community in the workplace by encouraging staff to socialize and collaborate. While social events can go a long way toward building team chemistry, so can social media posts that share what colleagues have been up to and that provide recognition for a job well done. The common link is communication: It’s a key component to building connections and encouraging collaboration.

Enhancing Productivity

Employers are judged on the technology used on desks, in conference rooms, and in other meeting spaces, and businesses that use outdated technology are perceived as less sophisticated—how can you be the best in your industry if you use outdated technology?

Modern workers aren’t just asking for perks—they want the tools they work with daily to perform better. Ping-pong tables and free snacks are nice, but ultimately, being able to set up a video conference with the press of a button on your phone is better. If the presentation on the big screen in the conference room is blurry and you must run around and find adapters, your audience will quickly lose interest—and when multimillion-dollar deals are on the line, the impact of this can be catastrophic.

Automating the Office

Companies are also using technology to make everyday tools and systems more intelligent and automated. For example, who hasn’t complained about the temperature in the office? Enabling the office temperature, lights, and shades to respond to changing weather automatically makes for a happier staff and allows the business to run more smoothly.

Deploying and Accessing New Technology Faster

Looking forward, the value of the Internet of Things (IoT) in the office also means technology can be accessed more readily because it can be deployed more easily. Expect more voice integration, more screens with interactivity, and more ways to communicate than ever before. Advanced networks are necessary for thriving in today’s digital age, including multicloud systems, hundreds of Software-as-a-Service tools, data analytics, and an explosion of devices connected to the Internet.

Working from Anywhere

Ironically, one of the benefits of having up-to-date technology is the ability to allow people to work from anywhere. When employees can access information and software applications at any time and from any device, they can accomplish more. However, it also means the modern office must find ways to encourage employees to come in to the office so the business doesn’t lose the valuable exchanges that foster community and make organizations run smoothly.

Workplace strategists are introducing modern technology to not only create the workplace of the future but also help employees achieve their career goals. Employee success equates to a winning business, and winning businesses do a better job of recruiting and retaining their employees.

Dan Jackson is the director of enterprise technology for Crestron, a leader in workplace technology. Jackson has been working at Crestron since January 2006 and leads the company’s work in the enterprise space. Before joining Crestron, he held positions with Elexos and Zemma Technologies and also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering and Economics from Northwestern University.