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Workers in modern office

Digital transformation and the
modern office

by ​Kris Heidecke
It’s no secret that digital disruption is transforming the workplace. New and changing technology is redefining how we work. Today’s workforce expects contemporary workstyles that allow for mobility, flexibility and collaboration. As a result, office workspaces must also adapt to support this change and enable workers to be as productive as possible in this mobile environment.

The Global Center for Digital Business Transformation1 describes this change as a digital vortex, stating that “digital disruption has the potential to overturn incumbents and reshape markets faster than perhaps any force in history.” Defined, digital disruption means the effect of digital technologies and business models on a company's current value proposition and its resulting market position.

​“Digital disruption has the potential to overturn incumbents and reshape markets faster than perhaps any force in history.”

Armed with this knowledge, what steps must you take as a business owner to support not only the changing workforce but also, as a result, the changing customer experience?

It begins with evaluating your office space. The ability to track your space utilization metrics is a critical piece of the puzzle, and it allows you to understand how your office is being used. Perhaps you find that your conference rooms remain largely unused throughout the day. Or perhaps certain desk spaces are no longer being used as your employees travel and work remotely. It is estimated that by 2020, 50 percent of the workforce will be working from non-traditional locations.2 Downsizing your office footprint is not only beneficial to the environment, but it also allows you to reduce your costs and ultimately save money.

Yet, on the other hand, those employees and visitors who do use the office need to feel valued and have a space of their own. Our workplace productivity solutions allow you to:

  • Better understand how your office and meeting rooms are being used.
  • Provide your onsite employees with a secure space to store their personal belongings.
  • Greet your customers with the first ever virtual employee of the future.

Facilities and Workspace Management

We know that people work differently now. Departmental silos — both psychologically and physically — are being broken down. Workers are more collaborative, often working in teams to get work done. Many companies have adopted an agile methodology, allowing for rapid experimentation and the ability to innovate faster. As a result, office spaces must also adapt to foster creativity and allow teams to easily come together.

A good place to start is with a building or facilities assessment. Understanding how your meeting rooms are being used on an hourly, daily or even yearly basis allows you to make better choices about what to do with your space. The innovative technology in our Facilities and Workspace Management solution helps you schedule rooms, easily see what rooms are available, send invitations and order collaboration tools. Let meeting room chaos and double bookings become a thing of the past.

Intelligent Lockers

As today’s office spaces transition to this new world of work, companies are moving away from personal desks or closed-off office spaces in favor of large, open tables with unassigned seating where people can easily collaborate on shared projects. With these changes, you can save costs by converting assigned workspaces into shared desks and storage, as well as reduce your environmental footprint by reducing the overall size of your office space.

Yet, these "non traditional" desk spaces makes it difficult for people to receive their mail and store their belongings. Intelligent Lockers provide both a scalable, secure solution to this problem. The lockers are secure because once mail or packages arrive, they are registered into a cloud-based management system and then scanned and assigned to a specific locker with a specific release code. Employees use the secure release code anytime they open the locker. The lockers take up a minimal amount of office space and, when mail is delivered, the system automatically tracks delivery so that your employees are notified when they receive a package.

RICOH Virtual Self Service Hologram

In addition to the physical changes required to transform modern workspace, today’s customer experience is also changing. New technology offers alternative options for greeting and engaging your customers. The need to staff your reception area can become expensive, and because employees need to take lunch and breaks, there is no guarantee someone will be there to greet every customer.
Now you have the option of opting for a virtual employee made with artificial intelligence and photo-realistic, computer generated images. These virtual presenters contain a remarkable lifelike appearance that is sure to stop and engage all of your customers. What's more, our Virtual Self-Service Hologram can also respond to simple commands, play a demonstration video and send employees a text message alerting them of a guest’s arrival. They also include a cloud analytics portal, so you can receive detailed analytics reports on metrics such as visitor engagements, duration, content selections and conversion rates.

Virtual presenters with real stopping power

Learn more about our Virtual Self-Service Holograms and see them in action.
Watch the video
In conclusion, it is the companies that embrace the digital vortex that will ultimately succeed. To be in denial of new technologies or even to not allow them into your marketplace puts you at a distinct disadvantage. Today's employees expect a certain amount of mobility and flexibility in their working lives, which means their employers should follow suit and provide them with a modern and collaborative working atmosphere.
Kris Heidecke
Kris Heidecke, Product Manager, Product Marketing — Advanced & Managed Services at Ricoh USA, Inc., is responsible for commercializing and launching new Advanced Managed Services offerings and managing their ever-evolving lifecycles, including any related HW/SW components. He also identifies new ways to enhance and optimize the current Managed Services portfolio. Kris has held a variety of Managed Service operations and leadership roles throughout his 14-plus year career at Ricoh.
1  Joseph Bradley et al, "Digital Vortex: How Digital Disruption is Redefining Industries." Global Center for Digital Business Transformation, June 2015. http://connectedfuturesmag.com/Research_Analysis/docs/digital-vortex-report.pdf
2  Deloitte; University of Carolina; fastcompany.com