The ‘modern office’ in the age of mobility

Giving your employees the tools to succeed in the new working environment

For some, sleek new furniture, an espresso machine or maybe an open office plan are the definition of a modern office. That may be true from a physical office standpoint, but in today’s world, the modern office is actually defined as having

Mark Benton

the ability to work from anywhere, on any device, with easily accessible real-time and secure data, all while encouraging efficiencies and collaboration.

Sound too good to be true? Well, it isn’t, and here is an example of how wonderfully this concept can come to life.

I was recently traveling and had to use our local office in Manchester for the day. When I pulled out my laptop, I realized I had left my power cord behind and had only two hours of remaining battery life. The good news is that there was a spare laptop in the office. To get up and running, all I had to do was power on the spare laptop and log in with my corporate credentials – no previous use or login required. Once that was done, all my files were readily available, my Outlook worked, and recent document work history was at my fingertips. My productivity was not tied to one device.

So what saved the day? Access to a Windows 10 laptop and the Microsoft software ecosystem enabled the “modern workplace” environment. To make it work seamlessly, it requires putting a few best practices and safeguards into place:

  • Fully encrypted laptops, so if they’re stolen, a thief cannot access contents
  • No files directly on the laptop – store them in the cloud in Office 365 OneDrive Professional or SharePoint
  • User synchronization between the on-premises and cloud networks

To make the modern workplace convenient and secure add multiple layers of security including:

  • Mobile device management, which applies to PCs, Macs, and Apple and Android smartphones
  • Multi-factor authentication (MFA), which requires more than one method of authentication, since the login site is available from anywhere. A must-have these days.

With ever-increasing complexity, we rely more on others to help us get projects done, and we do not have time to spend looking for files or reworking the final versions of documents. More than ever, it is time to structure our businesses and organizations the way we actually like to work. We like to collaborate. We meet, we exchange emails, we share drafts, we fill out and send forms.

What if you could do this all in one place while co-authoring documents, instant-messaging or video-calling your team no matter where they are? Take it a few steps further and start to layer on business intelligence to better leverage data that already exists, add tools to automate the recurring or mundane tasks and artificial intelligence to help understand where time and focus is being spent.

Of course, doing all this within a secure framework to limit who or what has access, minimizes the risk of unintended data loss while enabling compliance with the regulatory requirements that your business may have.

The modern desktop and modern workplace may sound like the tomorrow days of George Jetson for some of us, but if you ask a millennial, they’ll tell you those days are here. It is time to embrace this new way of working and give your employees the tools for success.

Mark Benton, director of product management at Systems Engineering, can be reached at 888-624-6737 or through

Categories: Tech Advice, Technology