Have you spotted the Dublin commuter on the electric unicycle?
Electric unicycles. Back to the Future didn’t predict that one! It seems to us that not a day goes by without spotting one of these whizzing through Dublin city. But the commute is only one of many aspects of work changing before our eyes.
How is business technology changing your work day?
Technology is transforming everything we traditionally understood to be ‘working life’. After all, do you still go to work if you’re working from home? Are you writing up a report when you’re using voice recognition software? OK, maybe we’re getting a bit too philosophical, but it is fascinating just how much work is changing because of technology.
Let’s have a closer look at some of the big changes technology is bringing to your workday…
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
2018 has been tipped as the year BYOD goes mainstream, and we enter further into the post-PC era. It isn’t news to anyone that personal smart devices have been increasingly infiltrating the Irish workplace in the last few years. This has been made possible not only by vast technological improvements in consumer electronics but also by increased access to wireless connectivity, improved ICT and cloud technology.
These advancements in business technology are the reason why the ‘workplace’ is a much more flexible concept. Now working from home is a viable benefit that companies can offer because their staff can easily access all the tools and data they need to perform tasks from anywhere. With over 90% of Irish people owning a smartphone and personal smart devices often being ahead of business technology, BYOD is very cost-effective. However, security is always a top concern. Companies need a robust BYOD policy as well as the appropriate level of enterprise security to not leave themselves at risk.
Communication – because the commuter on the electric unicycle also talks to herself!
Remember when it was only the odd person who used a handsfree set for mobile calls while walking down the street? Our channels of communication are growing more diverse by the day, and this is true for business as well. As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, our perception of time grows faster. Information can be shared across the globe with just a few clicks and so processes that used to take weeks to complete are sped up to a just few days or hours.
With this constant time pressure, how do organisations keep everyone in the know? How do projects with multiple people across different functions, geographies and workplaces collaborate? Communication software, such as Skype for Business, makes this possible by keeping everyone interconnected. Now you can join a boardroom meeting in Japan via video call while sitting at home in Dublin at your dining room table – just make sure you’re not in your pyjamas!
Productivity tools allow for true collaboration
If knowledge is power then real-time communication is the car power drives in! Productivity tools such as Yammer and Microsoft Teams not only support instant communication, but allow for file sharing and real-time co-authoring of files that everyone in the team can pitch in on. This puts an end to the nonstop back-and-forth of emails that normally eats up valuable time in team project situations.
The great thing about these productivity tools is that they help you work best in a way that suits you. Are you a note taker? Microsoft’s To-Do is designed for the creation of checklists. Or maybe you need some team feedback pronto? Why not use Microsoft Forms to create a poll? Or maybe you know this project won’t get done without a meeting? Now, with Office 365, you can stick it in the shared company calendar for selected people to see.
The idea behind productivity tools is that they bring the whole organisation closer together no matter how big it is. Now, if you have a great idea, you can get the right people involved in a couple of clicks and start working on it faster than ever before.
Automate the tasks you hate
Automation is changing the face of work in a massive way. Some people worry that it will steal their jobs, but we believe it’s going to change people’s working lives for the better. Automation is already being used in the manufacturing industry to give machines the dangerous jobs humans don’t want to do. But what is it going to do for the typical office worker? A lot!
Have you heard of Microsoft Flow? We wrote a great blog, 8 ways to make your workday easier with Microsoft Flow, about how this handy app will automate dozens of tedious tasks that you simply don’t want to do. Sick of checking Slack as well as your emails? You can now get automated alerts about new emails within a Slack channel. Bored of manually copying contacts from Salesforce to your Microsoft Common Data Service? Automate it!
Technology is constantly disrupting how we conduct business. It won’t be too long before the first hour of your working day is spent attending meetings via video call from the comfort of your very own self-driving car. The digital transformation is over; now it’s all about who is using technology to their best advantage. Are you?