In the next decade, the concept of full-time employment from nine to five in a traditional office environment will be largely forgotten. By 2025, millennials will account for over 50% of the workforce and will redefine corporate culture around flexible work models, a more open approach to collaboration and a focus on data as a vital part of the business. To better understand how organisations are preparing for these future changes, PAC has partnered with Fujitsu to interview 1,278 senior decision-makers in commercial and public sector organisations in Europe, Oceania and the United States.
Organisations in Portugal claim that their current workplace strategies are not meeting expectations in a number of areas. Most study participants admit that their current work practices are not flexible enough to get the most out of their employees and they also consider that outdated technology is stopping the progression of their business. One of the most interesting conclusions of the study is that cybersecurity is acting as a brake on productivity. Almost half of Portuguese business and technology leaders say cybersecurity has a negative impact, which is a worryingly high level.
Portuguese companies are making significant changes to corporate policies and their technological strategies in the workplace in order to prepare for the future. As new generations become a dominant presence in the workforce, more than 70% of organisations plan to adapt current policies to provide a better work-life balance, a more agile and engaging workplace experience and access instantaneous information. The need to push innovation quickly is forcing companies to look beyond the walls of their organisation and almost two-thirds of Portuguese companies (63%) have implemented or plan to implement crowd-sourcing and open innovation as a way to create new products and services. Most companies in Portugal plan to improve their approach to security through the implementation of biometric technology and behavioural and contextual analysis to provide a less intrusive and more effective approach to authentication. To create a more attractive workplace experience that supports better collaboration and productivity, a substantial part of Portuguese companies plan to invest in areas such as social enterprise platforms (69%), automation of robotic processes (40%) and virtual assistants (38%) in the next two years. However, as organisations prepare for increasing generational diversity, they will need to act quickly to take a more effective approach to knowledge management and today, only 4% of them have an effective and structured approach.
The study identified several gaps in current workplace strategies in Portugal, which need to be addressed urgently through a new approach to IT in the workplace. The current workplace is unprepared to support a fluid and flexible workforce, and current approaches to safety are curbing collaborators. Organisations are not prepared for greater generational diversity and are not meeting expectations in knowledge management. However, more than half of Portuguese companies plan to reshape their strategies to meet the new demands of the workplace of the future. These strategies will take advantage of AI innovation and intelligent connectivity, but cannot ignore key issues such as reducing reliance on an ageing technology that continues to delay its ability to innovate and adapt. The long-term survival of the business is at stake and the future needs answers now, before the pace of change becomes impossible to manage.