It’s impossible to shy away from the latest digital technology. The fact is, it’s become an integral part of humanity. We spend every day of our lives consuming media through computers, tablets, smartphones and other internet-connected gadgets.
With these devices, everything is at our fingertips. If you want to listen to a new CD, you just have to download an app like Apple Music or Spotify. And if you want to watch a movie, you simply need a Netflix subscription. To keep in touch with friends and family, Facebook will do the trick.
This technology is there and constantly evolving. In the workplace, things aren’t any different. We perhaps rely on technology even more. You can achieve more by making the most of innovation and software. For instance, apps like Slack and Trello are improving team communication and organisation. But how far is it going to improve our productivity?
Tech isn’t a choice
Within the last few decades, technology has evolved quicker than ever before. From the invention of mobile phone to the rise of tablet computers, these gadgets have an important role in our lives. And if you don’t stay ahead, you can easily fall behind.
In the workplace, it’s almost impossible not to come across technology. Desktop computers are already second nature, and employers are constantly looking at ways they can introduce new digital processes to streamline operations and get the most out of their employees.
Paul Shepherd, the CEO of technology agency Coup Media, believes that tech is no longer a choice in the workplace. By embracing the latest hardware and online tools, companies can improve collaboration, efficiency and the performance of employees.
“Tech in the workplace isn’t a choice anymore, not if you want to foster collaboration, efficiency and employee wellbeing. So many tools are available free or inexpensively that everyone from corporations to micro businesses should embrace the tools available,” he says. “From Google Apps for email and storage to Slack for collaboration and communication, Trello for task management and the soon to launch Facebook Workplace for just about all of the above, it’s never been easier to involve, track and reward the entire workforce. “Best of all, most of the tools come with an API or a ready build in integration so everything plays nicely together with minimal fuss. The only obstacles to increased efficiencies are the legacy systems of the larger businesses”.
Rise of cloud employee
LogMeIn is one of the companies creating software to transform the workplace. It created JoinMe, an online meeting tool that provides free screen sharing and video conferencing over the web. The idea of the app is to give employees flexibility. They can contact their colleagues whenever and wherever they want.
Stephen Duignan, VP of international marketing at the company, says employers are using technology to boost collaboration and efficiency between teams. He believes that within the next few years, there’ll be a rise in employees working over the cloud.
“The workplace is changing and more and more it’s becoming about distributed teams, collaboration and connectivity. Over the next five years we’ll see a rise in cloud employees, those individuals who can work from just about any location through any device,” he says.
“Smartphones will play a key role in the growth of the cloud employee as they provide businesses with the ability to stay connected via a multitude of apps, and data residing in the cloud. Essentially our smartphones will be seen as business portals which open up a vast range of collaboration applications that employees to meet, chat, send images and files.”
Automation is an exciting topic, but it can also be controversial. Critics say this technology could replace humans in the future, although others see it as a blessing. Stephen Parker, CEO of Parker Software, says the latest AI-driven software can help employees focus on the most important tasks. You could say it acts as an aid.
“The cornerstone of productivity is the ability to focus and manage time effectively. In order to do this, it is important that employees are able to operate with minimal disruptions. Every email, phone call and social media notification is a seemingly innocuous disruption that decreases productivity,” he tells us.
“These tedious and time consuming administrative tasks that are secondary to an employee’s most important job roles actually take up 55 per cent of their day. According to Atlassian, the average employee receives 304 business emails each week, checks their email 36 times an hour and spends 16 minutes refocusing after handling incoming emails.
“Businesses can minimise the administrative distractions employees face by taking advantage of business automation software. Business automation technology can automate 30 per cent of existing administration activities, leaving representatives with more time to focus on pressing tasks It can’t guarantee employees will use the extra time productively, but it can ensure administrative tasks do not fall by the wayside.”
It’s easy to take technology for granted. At the end of the day, it’s everywhere and we use it for so much. But the fact is, it’s doing more good than we think. In the workplace, the latest gadgets and software are allowing us to stay productive, efficient and focused.