Nine ways technology has changed the work environment
Over the last few years, technology has transformed the workplace. Find out nine ways it’s helping businesses and their employees.
If you think back just a few years, the work environment looked very different. Data roaming, cloud storage, widespread WiFi, video conferencing… much of the technology we rely on today to run our businesses was not available.
To celebrate some of the changes we’ve seen – and the impact they’ve had on the way we work – here are nine ways technology has changed the work environment.
1) An increase in the level of security
Security is an essential element in any business, and technology has come a long way in developing existing systems and introducing new methods as well.
Facial recognition systems, fingerprint scanners, and retina scanners are a few of the end-to-end hardware and software systems businesses have adopted to ensure security. These systems usually require a second party to confirm authorisation, which further strengthens security.
Software programs allow companies to create secure algorithms to ensure that sensitive information, in either the company’s own archives or through emails and other forms of communication are protected.
With these improved security systems, businesses can operate without fear of being victims of theft, malware issues, and cyber-attacks.
2) And increase in efficiency and productivity
Technology has improved efficiency by creating a faster way of processing data, and an easy means of filing and retrieving information.
While your employees may make mistakes, and consume time even when performing routine, repetitive tasks, technology has introduced measures that ensure the opposite. These measures increase not only efficiency, but also the quality of work produced.
An excellent example of this is seen in factories. In order to provide good and quality products, most of the work is carried out by machines. Factory employees have the task of operating and managing the machines. In some cases, the factory employees are a part of the assembly line, but their duties are minimal.
Thanks to technology, there is better time management within the workplace, which increases productivity. Computers have helped companies in processing and retrieving data quickly. This means that your employees would have more time to complete other tasks during the day. And the more time they have, the more jobs they can complete in a day.
Time is precious in business, so this improvement is important and welcome across industries.
3) Collaboration is easier
Usually, when you work in a team at work, you will need to hold constant meetings to discuss ideas and submit assignments. This is often a time-consuming process. However, technology comes with useful tools that can help improve team coordination.
Cloud sharing tools like Google Drive have made it much easier for information to be available for each team member to gain access.
And with team members who are not available or in locations that are far from work (like in another country or another state), there is no need to rush to the office for a 10-minute meeting because you can connect via video-conferencing technology to do that.
4) Improvements in communication
Speaking of keeping in touch, there are now many ways businesses can interact with not only colleagues but also customers – both old, new and prospective customers.
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have introduced features that make it easier for companies to provide their customers with excellent customer service.
Tech solutions like chatbots on a company’s website also assist clients with their customer care problems and offer quick and fast responses. Wi-Fi calling is a tech solution that allows communication to occur over a wireless internet connection.
Over the years, Wi-Fi calling has proved to be an effective means of communication – especially between businesses and their clients. If you have been wondering which network provides the best wi-fi calling services, you need to conduct compare and contrast research on the various internet providers and their reviews.
Chat apps, like WhatsApp and Hangouts, and email services, also provide prompt communication amongst the employees at the workplace.
Companies sometimes go a step further, and give each employee a company phone, which is used for the transmission of work-related information. Smartphones such as BlackBerry have features that make it suitable for the work environment and even help keep the workplace members connected.
The advances in communication have helped employees, employers, and business and their clients achieve a fast, unified, instantaneous, and collaborative form of communication.
5) A reduction in costs
It is worth investing in making technology one of the components of your business, as it will serve as a catalyst for a thriving venture.
Gradually, companies have fewer employees and more technological solutions, like machinery and software programs that help companies to complete tasks.
This phenomenon has led to the creation of business process automation. Simply put, this means that little human interference and effort are needed for the business’s progression – and this has been an advantage for many companies.
Unlike human beings, these tech solutions are faster and do not need much financial support. For instance, while a worker may demand wages or an increase in wages, leave allowance, health insurance, and other financial demands, all you need to do to get your tech solutions running is an update or servicing for machinery over a given period.
As discussed earlier, the introduction of technology came with ways and means to collaborate and communicate remotely. This has given companies the chance to save money that would have otherwise been used for travel expenses etc.
So, for example, instead of travelling to Singapore for a meeting, the meeting can take place through a video call. By so doing, the company saves money rather than incurring all the costs associated with travelling, such as distance.
6) It keeps your business organised
Technology has also made it less of a task to keep things in order around the office, meaning that you no longer have to do it manually. Workplace management systems like BaseCamp and Project Management Software help build, review and assess a task.
With these software solutions, employers can keep track of the progression made on various projects and even track conversations between clients and employees. This makes it easy to hold the right person responsible and accountable for specific actions and timely give out and receive tasks.
Another advantage of innovations like these is that they boost the quality of work and increase efficiency. Also, technology comes with new and improved means of storage. Digital files can be backed up onto drives, clouds, and other file-sharing or storing software.
Having all your data in one place not only makes it easily accessible, but it prevents or decreases the likelihood of missing files or a disorganised archival department.
7) You can create your own business systems
Instead of using software solutions designed by someone else, technology offers your business the chance to create your own systems. Regardless of your business’ size, how you would want to achieve your goal will differ from other organisations.
So it makes sense to either adopt a technological solution that would help your achieve your specific goals, or customise the software to provide you with the support you need.
8) It improves the work experience of employees
As technology eases employees’ workload, employers can look forward to their team completing more of their tasks on time, and more efficiently. But technology also plays a role in the culture and influences of the workplace, which positively impacts your employees too.
Technology has also allowed staff to expand upon their skills thanks to advancements in technology. Whether it is a new machine or a software update, employees need to be trained on how to use it. Over time, this adds to their skills and knowledge of technology.
Some employees may even take up a computer science course, computer engineering, programming, or IT. Having people with these skills in your workforce makes it easier for them to get things done and also adds more value to your business.
And as technology makes it easier (and safer) for your employees to do their jobs, they’ll enjoy their work more, and have more time and scope to take on tasks they enjoy more.
9) Positive changes in traditional office culture
With technology, the usual office ‘table and desk’ culture has changed drastically. One of the new trends that came along with technology was open space offices, a concept usually found in creative industries, like graphic designers or programming firms.
These offices try to create a comfortable environment for workers to use gadgets and develop the idea of a unique work culture in the company to attract in-demand workers.
Technology has also changed the traditional work environment by introducing remote and freelance workers. These professionals do not have to be in a physical working space. For example, for freelancers, all they need is a computer and a good internet connection.
Workers can also work away from the workplace if they are not going to be physically available. This is effective for expecting or new mothers, for example, as they can still be physically away from work and complete tasks.
Technology has introduced so many inventions and innovations that have changed how we do things, and businesses have been the some of the greatest beneficiaries of the advantages of technology.
From these nine points, you can see that investing in technology would allow your business to grow by increasing productivity and efficiency, and will also set you apart from other companies in your industry.
Photo by Marvin Meyer