WorkTech, for those of you unfamiliar with the event, is a leading international conference series.  It is held all around the world, from London to Shanghai to New York.  Professionals from all walks of life, whether it be technology, real estate, finance, architecture, or anything else you can imagine, gather around to share ideas and listen to speakers.  Attendees come from every major company with executives gathering from Microsoft, Google, Herman Miller, Motorola, Plantronics, Bank of America, and even Coca-Cola.  They all aim for the same goal, to share expertise and learn from each other.

Although there is much to learn from events like this, one thing was made clear; putting people first is a key to success.  Several speakers brought up what seemed to be a reoccurring theme; that people, all of them, need to come first.  This includes your customers, employees (regardless of pay-grade), and partners need to be focused on first.  This is contrary to a standard policy of product or service first, but makes a lot of sense when you think about it.  Happy workers work well, and in turn make good products, think of great ideas, and will lead to less turn over (one company reported 54% increased employee retention).  Focusing on your staff can mean many things, but attendees seemed to be drawn to topics such as flex time and vacation.

The conference covered many other topics including:

  • Involving Management – CEO’s should be embracing the changes they expect their employees to make and be examples for them.
  • Adaptable Environments – Break down the walls of traditional workspaces and make your environments every bit as adaptable as your employees.  People need to be able to enable themselves anywhere; work no longer has to be one 9 hour meeting you attend every day.
  • Making Work More Human – Working in a cubicle closed off to the world is unnatural.  Human beings are social creatures, meant to interact and share.  Humanize the workplace by opening it up.
  • ROI on People is High – The value of happy and healthy employees is far greater than the cost to make them that way.  Allowing flex, working around schedules, and better office spaces provide a healthier and more inviting workplace.

Plantronics is lucky to have the communication methods to facilitate all these suggestions for the workplace.  The unified communications technology provided by Plantronics allows companies to easily communicate whether in the office, on the road, or in a home office.  Allowing your staff to work from home for two days a week doesn’t mean you lose touch with them or struggle to communicate.  For those staff who have families, Plantronics helps secure that work life balance, and ultimately make it possible by providing the necessary tools to work smarter no matter where you are.  Work shouldn’t be a place, it should be a task that you complete how you need to, from wherever you want to.