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Workplace of the future, a case study

It’s been 18 months since we launched “Worksmart@420”, our new activity based work environment at Jones Lang Lesalle, to enable our employees to work smarter and from any environment. All of which has been enabled through implementing simple, cloud-based technology solutions.

Worksmart meant some big changes, not only from a technology perspective but also from the perspective of how people embraced that change.

Moving from an environment where more than 50% of the staff were deskbound with non-mobile computers to a flexible one meant a 100% conversion to a laptop-based workforce. Thankfully, there have been no major challenges in this area and people are comfortable with the concept of taking their computing with them. Of course, there will always be some users who prefer to stay put, but for the majority, having the flexibility to move around and collaborate with others has been a big bonus.

We still have other offices to convince of the merits, however given the much smaller differential in the cost of a laptop and a desktop, we are starting to see the end of desktop computing and a gradual shift to a laptop only workforce.

By providing a range of working environments, we also needed to enable people to be relatively self-sufficient from a technology perspective. That meant finding a solution to videoconferencing for example, that wasn’t dependent on dedicated facilities or the IT department’s availability to facilitate. Our Citrix GoToMeeting solution has met all of those requirements and has now been implemented across Australia – not just in our activity- based working facilities.

Our fundamentals when we started on this journey from a technology perspective was mobility (laptops), wireless, Meeting room booking technology, secure printing, plenty of bandwidth and storage capacity. This continues to evolve with a push for more cloud-based storage, increased use of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and the tweaking of the rules around how space is used and managed.

As an IT department, our job will never be complete, but the lessons we have learnt over the past 18 months, mean that even if we don’t have all the solutions, we do have a good idea of where the challenges lie. Our success so far has been enabled through intelligent technology tools which our workforce find extremely simple to use. With two new potential office moves in 2014, we’re up for the next challenge.

Author: Andrew Clowes, head of IT, Jones Lang Lesalle Australia

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