One thing is constant in the workplace – change. Changes in what people do, where they do it and importantly, how they do it. 25 years ago, many office workers were still using pens and paper to do much of their work – but now, individual laptops, mobile phones, and tablets are the norm.
What about the new digital offerings that have become more popular – and are revolutionising the workplace?
1. Cloud Technology
Cloud-based technology has streamlined the way we work by offering flexibility and security, and the opportunity to scale regular back-ups and recovery solutions, depending on company size and needs.
Businesses benefit from easier collaboration and sharing because employees can work on the same document (at the same time) from anywhere, saving time and improving control. The competitive marketplace for cloud tech also means smaller businesses can benefit as much as larger ones.
2. Big Data
By employing data analysts businesses can use the ‘big’ data at their disposal to explore variables in the information to, for example, discover customer trends for marketing strategies.
Proper analysis of ‘big’ data, when combined with AI, can also lead to faster solutions, new relationships between data sets, and products. In the healthcare sector, AI technology can speed up analysis of research drugs and potentially discover new uses for them.
3. Wireless technology
Wireless technology allows employees to connect from anywhere – the workplace, a co-working, their homes, or even during their commute.
Being able to share faster and from any location boosts productivity – and being able to do this from a personal device helps immediate collaboration. A wireless office can also lead to a reduction in printing, and a visually cleaner office space, by reducing the amount of visible cables.
4. Video-based technology
Used for interviews and inter-office communication, advertising, branding, entertainment and so on, the growth of video has become unstoppable. A study by Cisco predicts that by 2019 80% of global internet traffic will be online video.
Video training content has reduced the need for on-site trainers, once a mainstay of office culture, by tying in with the development of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) as training tools.
5. Virtual and Augmented Reality
VR and AR are two different mediums that complement each other. An easy differentiator is that AR works with objects in the real world, while VR operates in an artificial world. From a business perspective, both AR and VR have the ability to tap into the sensory and emotional areas of the brain.
VR is present in video-based training, where one instructor can reach a global class as if they were in the same room. AR technology has impact in sectors like manufacturing, where instructions can be superimposed over the area employees are working on.
Tech breakthroughs have always had a revolutionary effect on the workplace, and with the advent of AI, this process will only speed up.