We’re accelerating the speed at which we generate, test, and bring ideas to market. New digital work styles with social platforms, mobility, cloud, and video conferencing allow us to move faster.

To stay competitive and agile, companies are knocking down boardroom walls — physically and virtually. They’re turning toward a digital workspace where employees can collaborate across the table or around the globe. No matter the size of your organization, you have many options as you build a digital workplace strategy.

Business Value of a Smart Workspace

Stakes are high both in local and globally competitive markets. To keep pace with demand, you need to meet your performance and production objectives. As you think about budget allocation for real estate, consider workplace transformation as a good place to start. It’s about choosing the right infrastructure and securing your digital space. And mobility is always a key factor.

Employees want flexible options and to pick which devices they use. They want to choose where they work, which means they want to participate in online meetings with video and have access to cloud-based mobile apps.

The apps alone raise network security concerns with IT.  Choose core collaboration infrastructure that scales and lets you manage security across multiple locations and devices.

Engaged organizations grew profits as much as three times faster than their competitors. Highly engaged organizations have the potential to reduce staff turnover by 87% and improve performance by 20%. (Source: Corporate Leadership Council 2012)

New Ways of Working

Improving business productivity is no longer about getting more from each person. Today it’s tied to providing tools that make it easy to connect, share, interact, and work together. This alone is a bit of a disruption from the traditional “Mad Men” working structures. It enables employees to get out of work silos and start collaborating.

Build a workplace environment that encourages employees to work together. Creating both open workstations and quiet rooms allows people to match their space to their tasks. Shared video endpoints  let employees to choose a space that suits their needs for that day, with full access to their personal profile information.

Beyond the Office Itself

As a remote worker, it’s critical for me to stay connected through video. Video lets me build relationships with colleagues, whether they’re based in Cisco offices, home offices, or traveling.

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Using video to meet face-to-face is fundamental to achieving real-time business objectives. Room endpoints add video access to small huddle or project rooms, which helps promote creativity, alignment, and progress. Having access to larger conference spaces brings groups together for presentations. The ability to share content serves as an interactive element with meeting participants in multiple locations.

And if you already have video displays, convert them into video-collaboration endpoints with products like Cisco SX20 Quick Set.

Designing smart workspaces by merging physical and virtual environments requires a conscious effort. You need good planning around technology, physical space, employee work styles, and organizational culture.

When Steve Jobs took over as CEO of Pixar, he felt separating employees by discipline was ineffective: “If a building doesn’t encourage collaboration, you’ll lose a lot of innovation and the magic that’s sparked by serendipity.”

Help ingenuity happen by giving employees more access – to information, to tools, to each other. The right tools allow employees to connect with the right people and get the job done whether in virtual meeting rooms like Cisco Spark or during a 1:1 IM on Jabber.

Let people choose the way they want to work. Blend physical spaces with smart spaces that support flexibility, autonomy, and accessibility.

Check out our “How-to Guide: Creating Exceptionally Collaborative Workspaces.

What do you think? Are you changing the office work environment to create more collaborative spaces?


Aleisha Render

Marketing Manager