Technology changes influencing the workplace

social-network-by-suphakit73.jpgEveryone knows the way we work today is vastly different from the way we worked a matter of years ago. New technologies, expectations, policies, stakeholders and even physical work spaces all play into a new way of doing business. Employees who used to burn the midnight oil at the office now get to do so from the comforts of home, thanks to personal laptops, tablets and smartphones.

Although, we would all agree that Technology is increasing our work/ life balance and benefiting us in terms of productivity there are also some challenges to navigate.

Changes in teamwork
Collaboration used to happen in boardrooms with whiteboards and snacks. Today, it’s on documents being edited by multiple people all over the world at the same time. It’s sharing screen data and chatting over video. This new way of collaboration requires a shift in thinking from employees and managers. It’s a completely new way of working together that everybody has to adapt too. It’s therefore more important than ever to have clear communication in terms of the objective of each project in place, to ensure all team members are able to contribute.

The biggest problem with the work anytime, anywhere approach is that traditional office hours are slowly fading into the past. It requires transparency from team members in terms of office hours and an understanding that although you like to answer your emails at 4am before gym not all of your colleagues share the same schedule. From a management point of view it’s important to have boundaries in place preventing burn-out by putting some controls on carte blanche work hours, while also ensuring that productivity, and not simply lifestyle, is the focus.

The IT dilemma of multiple devices
The typical worker today often has more sophisticated technology at home than they do at their desk. With tech-savvy millennials becoming the vast majority of workers by 2020, our employees often just bring the latest apps, devices, and even datasets from home to get the job done, leading to the consumerization dilemma of the last several years. This in turn creates a multitude of security risks for IT departments. A solution to this can be to shift away from the “bring your own device” approach to something that is closer to “bring the right device.” By allowing employees to take advantage of the kinds of tools they prefer while encouraging them to use versions that meet reasonable standards for privacy and security, businesses can maximize the benefits of the work re-designed trend while minimizing the risks.

Whether we like it or not technology is becoming part of our everyday life including our workplace. Although it offers huge benefits, it’s also important to recognise that there will be challenges and that it’s important to adapt the way you work to take fully advantage of this.

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Credit: by suphakit73