Today Paul Johnson, Senior Director of Business Applications at Plantronics, gave a talk on Smarter Work during the WorkTech conference.  He went over some great material covering why Smarter Working is so important to all of us in the business world.  Although there is no substitute for hearing the piece in person, I’ll try my best to cover some of the information in the presentation for you.

In this world we are connected at almost every moment.  We have flexible hours to work around our hectic schedules, and need access anywhere on the planet.  It’s is all about; communication, collaboration, connection.  The lines have blurred, we don’t just work 9 to 5 anymore.  Business work in multiple countries in different time zones and we need communication tools that are easy, intuitive, and productive.

Smarter Working is comprised of three main building blocks:

  • Bricks – which refers to the physical work spaces in the office
  • Bytes – which refers to the elements of technology in the office
  • Behavior – which refers to the human factors that impact how we work

These blocks are how you make your organization a smarter one.  Bricks can be related to upgrading your building to be smarter, removing cubicle walls, or even installing acoustic wall panels and furniture.  Bytes refers to the technology the leads UC markets around the globe.  This includes mobile headsets, videoconferencing technology and other tech.  Behavior refers to human factors, like BYOD, remote working, hoteling, and others that impact our work environments.  Let’s look at how these blocks are evolving.

  • Bricks:
    • Allow concentration
    • Enable Social Interaction
    • Enable Collaboration
    • Nurture the Ad Hoc Elements
    • Embrace Working from home
    • Flexibility is Key (in terms of the workspace/how people work)
  • Bytes:
    • Voice/Text/IM/Video/Email
    • Personal Communication Part of Work Environment
    • Goodbye to the Desk Phone
    • BYOD is Happening
    • Softphones
  • Behavior
    • Being Mobile
    • Using Social for Many Purposes
    • Staying Connected
    • Environmentally Aware
    • Investment in Training Ourselves to Adopt Smarter Working Practices
    • Drive/Enable Collaboration Among Associates

There are things we must consider as technology evolves.  The workforce is more diverse than ever, and more mobile than ever.  No longer are engineers or R&D departments able to make a standard product for one type of user.  We must broaden our scopes and design our products with this in mind.  IT departments face new challenges as well.  “Bring your Own Device” is becoming increasingly common, and more and more employees are becoming remote.  Fewer desk phones and more softphones are needed to accompany the remote employees.


It takes teamwork to implement smarter working.  Management, IT, HR, Facilities, all of them have to work together to make it happen.  But the reward is well worth the effort.  Let us know what you thought of Paul’s presentation in the comments, and check back for more WorkTech updates this week!