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In advance of our big Cornerstone Convergence client and partner conference in June, we will be talking about some of the issues facing organizations today as they try to find ways to Reimagine Work in our multi-generational, multi-geographical, multi-cultural, and location- and device-agnostic world.  We hope you’ll join the conversation about working and managing smarter.

Let's face it: for a lot of knowledge workers, “off-the-clock” no longer means much. Whether they're at home, in the office, or vacationing in the tropics -- they're always on, 24/7. We've become a culture that can't turn off, and it can become an engagement or retention issue. Thirty-nine percent of workers admit they can't balance work and life in today's connected world.

While our new connected workforce does make it tough to turn off work sometime, it’s also an opportunity to think about how we can begin to work smarter. For starters, we compiled a few simple, low-cost tools and tips to help you and your workers get exactly what each of you want: optimal performance and a sense of personal well-being.

Working Smarter: Collaboration is Key

Cloud-based project management tools such as Asana and Basecamp are reinventing the way we work. They offer a single web-based application to help employees stay organized and prioritize. No more toggling from inbox to archives to chat screen to meeting notes. Employees instead can work and communicate in one place, thereby eliminating the inefficiency of email and enabling them to achieve their collective goals. By using solutions like Asana and Basecamp to work smarter, you can help your staff focus on the projects at hand -- and not all of the moving parts necessary to get the work done.

You don’t have to limit yourself to standalone tools, either.  Project management capabilities are appearing as part of the talent management workflow.  Watch for Cornerstone’s upcoming product release to see how we are supporting task, team, and project management for your agile, on-the-move employees.

Maintaining a Sense of Community, Miles Apart

Companies that are entirely office-free, embrace flexible work schedules or use open-floor plans to drive productivity mimic the tempo of our lives. But this dynamic work style doesn't come without a cost: employees always need to feel invested in and connected to their companies, and that's even truer when workers are spread out across locations. This is where telepresence tools like Google Hangout can be a huge plus: even face-time via a computer screen goes a long way toward helping employees stay connected and motivated. Regular video check-ins with remote workers are key to helping them feel balanced.

Supporting BYOD, or Else

You may have notice your employees demanding that the same consumer-side technologies that they use every day be available in the workplace to help them connect, collaborate and share information.

Just how popular is BYOD, the practice of allowing employees to use their personal devices alone to work? Some technology chiefs recently surveyed by Gartner predict that, by 2016, companies will no longer issue their own devices and instead require workers to use their own. That's great news for companies looking to lower technology costs (even if it means subsidizing employees for using their own) and employees love the freedom of choosing their own work devices. But BYOD also poses substantial legal and security risks.

The solution? Identify a small pool of smartphones and tablets -- like the Apple iPhone, iPad, Samsung Galaxy S4, BlackBerry Z10 -- and let your employees decide which ones they prefer. You get the assurance you need that the work will get done and they get to feel empowered, which is the ultimate source of motivation. Right?

 

Photo credit: Can Stock