We witness technology advances all around us. From self-driving cars to artificial embryos; but some of the most important advances are developing in the workplace, dramatically changing the way we communicate and carry out daily tasks. For example, something as minor as sit-stand desks have quickly taken over office spaces everywhere, changing the way we work and giving “flexibility” a whole new meaning. We effortlessly adapt to these changes, seldomly aware that they are even taking place. However, our productivity as well as our job satisfaction is increasing as these new technological trends and advances are implemented into the workplace and our daily lives.
- Cloud Computing
We’re all too familiar with instant messaging, video calling, and document sharing (i.e. Google docs), but as flexible working becomes more common, data access outside the office is more of a necessity than an amenity. The traditional 9-5 schedule is not a conventional requirement for employees and remote working is progressively accepted. Therefore, technology which grants employees access to shared documents while in different time zones than their coworkers has become essential. Cloud computing has made that possible. The cloud enables employees to work cohesively from anywhere at any time.
- Voice Recognition and Activation
As it turns out we’ve been using voice recognition software for a while now. Smartphones are the most common example. 46% of Americans regularly use digital voice assistants and 42% of U.S. adults use voice assistants on their smartphones. Our smartphones can complete tasks such as schedule meetings, send messages, set reminders, and type notes, therefore, they are most definitely being utilized in the workplace.
Recently, voice recognition and activation devices have been taken to the next level with the introduction of Amazon’s Alexa for business. Alexa has already began changing the workplace for a few companies by taking over or simplifying a variety of day-to-day tasks including:
- Managing your schedule
- Dial into conference calls and make phone calls
- Quickly find information for you (i.e. latest sales data or inventory levels)
- Control equipment in conference rooms
- Find an open meeting room
- Order new supplies
- Notify IT of an equipment issue
- Provide valuable information or support
and more. Alexa takes over common daily tasks through voice recognition technology, so she can complete duties that she’s asked to do, and allows employees to focus on larger, more important tasks at hand.
- Video in the Workplace
Video technology will continue to be further implemented into office spaces. With the increased number of remote workers, video conferences and presentations have become a common feature for many businesses. We’ve also witnessed video interviews and training making an appearance. Instead of keeping a trainer readily available to new employees, interactive video content can be viewed at any time and any number of times from any smart device.
- Advanced Cybersecurity
Unfortunately, the rise in technological advances goes hand-in-hand with the rise of cybersecurity threats. More remote working means more connected devices and documents stored online for hackers to attempt to access. However, the expansion of cybersecurity threats and attacks prompt more advanced cybersecurity to be put in place.
- Futuristic Workplace
As workplaces evolve in design and technology, we find ourselves no longer confined to our office cubicles at our assigned desks throughout the entire day, rather retain the freedom to work in multiple environments around the office in addition to the comfort of our own homes. Employees are more likely to come and go as they please and our upgraded technology makes that possible. In addition to voice recognition, video, and flexible working that I’ve previously mentioned, we also notice “hot desking,” access to wifi in almost all locations both in and out of the office, and less filing cabinets and monitors and more phones, laptops, and other handheld smart devices. Artificial intelligence (AI) in the workplace is automating routine tasks, changing the way employees everywhere are working.
Technology advances are taking place all around us. But, perhaps the most dramatic upgrades which affect us the most are technological advances in the workplace. These updates affect everything from our simple day-to-day tasks to something as impactful as the location that we work. We adapt to these changes with ease as they make us more productive employees all while improving our satisfaction and well-being. I’m looking forward to the remainder of 2018 in addition to further into the future of workplace technology.