1. Work is anywhere

When you combine smartphones, laptops, and tablets with information that lives in the cloud, what do you get?

Satellite “offices” that can be in a coffee shop, in someone’s home, or even in a car or on a bus.

Increasingly, that’s where today’s workers are doing their jobs, and the trend benefits employers and employees alike.

A ConnectSolutions 2015 survey of remote workers showed that 77% reported experiencing greater productivity when working off-site. Forty-two percent said they felt just as connected with colleagues as if they were working at the office, and 10% said they actually felt more connected. Forty-four percent said they had a more positive attitude about work, and 53% reported reduced stress.

Half the workers said that being able to work remotely makes them much more likely to stay with a company. Millennials, who will comprise 75% of the workforce by 2025, especially value having a flexible workplace and hours, making office mobility an attractive carrot for recruiters.

But that’s not the only reason employers are embracing the trend. Fewer workers in the office means less need for desks, office space, and desktop computers—and substantial cost savings.

2. Work is collaborative

Using cloud-based apps like Asana and Slack, workers are continuously communicating with one another as they manage projects, work on documents, and assign and complete tasks. Work outsourced across the globe becomes part of the everyday flow.

Within organizations, companies are also developing their own intranets, blogs, and internal forums where workers can get to know one another and share ideas. Employees can conference with partners or distant offices using apps like Skype or Google Hangouts, eliminating the need for expensive videoconferencing equipment and office space to house it.

Increasingly, workers are collaborating not just with their own team, but with other departments, pooling knowledge to create smoother operations and improved product design. Departmental cross-pollination also reduces workplace friction and leads to new ideas and faster adoption of change.

3. Work is automated

While there’s no denying that offices are still using tons of paper, the underlying systems that produce it have changed radically, reducing errors and streamlining operations.

In the past, papers often got lost or sent to the wrong place. Now, though the final results may be printed out, companies use electronic forms that are routed automatically, eliminating errors and increasing efficiency.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg for workplace automation.

Suppliers, contractors, vendors, and workers in the field are using online systems to upload data on-site and deliver it instantly to those who need it.

At the home office, finance workers use automated software to manage accounts, process invoices, and log compliance with regulations. Marketers create and manage campaigns using software that provides them useful information about customers. Supply chain workers see at a glance where holdups and glitches occur.

With customized programs, HR managers spend less time sorting through files for performance reviews, leave and travel requests, and training modules. IT managers keep better track of service requests and timetables for upgrades of hardware and software.

Automated systems make the entire workplace faster, more efficient, and more accurate. Perhaps most important for those who use them, they eliminate mundane tasks and allow people to have a bird’s eye view of operations, leading to better management decisions.

4. Work is data-driven

Over the past year, the number of organizations that have deployed data-driven projects has increased by 125%, and 42% are planning to use big data in the future, a 2015 IDG study reports.

Enterprises can’t find enough data scientists to fill their needs. They’re also on the hunt for people who can express data through clever visual schematics.

Over the next year, enterprises will invest an average of $13.8 million on big-data-related initiatives, the IDG study said.

Why the push into analytics?

Crunching terabytes of data helps businesses understand their customers well enough to predict what they might buy and where they might buy it. It helps them identify hidden trends that guide product development and improve customer service.

But big data is not just being used externally. Employers are also crunching numbers on their staff, using objective measures to help them make decisions about hiring, promoting, finding skills and deploying people effectively.

For example, a retailer increased sales 15% after data analysis revealed that placing clerks in some areas of a store made the cash register ring more than placing them elsewhere.

No wonder IBM Chairman and CEO Virginia Rometty called data analytics “the new coal” and “the world’s natural resource for the next century.”

Looking back, 2015 was a big year for making strides in workstyle innovation. And 2016 is gearing up to be a time for even more rapid change. Make sure your organization stays on top of the changes, and is armed with the right tools and partners to succeed in this new world of work.