Don’t get too used to your office space, technology is turning it on its head! The evolution of new technologies that enable remote working is already here. Attitudes towards flexible working are rapidly shifting, along with the creation of new tools and techniques to boost remote team efficiency. Technology is creating a dynamic yet hyper-productive workplace. Hello future!
But, there are still some fundamental problems in the way businesses are leveraging technology.
One of the biggest productivity gaps is probably one of the simplest, and most obvious; How long do you spend sifting through your in-house information for that ONE document? The answer may surprise you. The average is 5 hours… per week! Imagine that! Nearly a full workday each week is spent going, ‘now, where did I put that document?’. If that doesn’t scream unproductive we don’t know what does.
The cause? We still use the wrong tools for our most central business tasks.
Hands up for who ‘stores’ valuable information in Outlook? Or does reporting in Excel? Or has random (valuable) documents in My Documents or just your desktop? These are all symptoms of data silos, and inappropriate use of otherwise highly valuable tools.
The solution is (thankfully) straight forward.
There is light at the end of the tunnel – Microsoft Access, OneDrive, PowerBI. These tools are built to deconstruct information silos and make accessing the information you need a breeze, if implemented correctly.
Technology is also revolutionising the way we collaborate in the workspace. Still doing it via email? Bad idea; When people spend ~50% of their time collaborating, you can imagine the quick productivity gains you could achieve by simply using the right tools. Office 365 is a collaboration powerhouse, allowing multiple team members to work on the same document at the same time. The workplace of the future is right at your fingertips!
Then there’s the automation of routine tasks by leveraging workflows. If you’re not capitalising on this your missing out! What was once reserved for enterprise business processes is now something anyone can access. Whatever the work is that you do, you have workflows and there is information that you need to exchange from one application to another. Sound about right? Do your business a favour and start investigating Microsoft Flow. Think more automation. Less paper. More future. Less old school.
What your office will look like in the near future:
The real win with all of these products? They all leverage cloud computing, making them securely accessible from anywhere you have a device that connects to the internet.
The future workplace is anywhere. It’s the café, it’s the bus, it’s that gorgeous picture of an idyllic beach. It’s connected (and 5G is just around the corner if 4G wasn’t fast enough for you!) and it’s contextual, and it's automated.
But best of all, everything needed to create a workplace of the future already exists.
It’s your smartphone, your laptop, your low-cost network connection, WiFi everywhere and even powerpoints sprouting like mushrooms in public places to keep you charged. The software and tools are there too. It’s just a question of how you use them – and how your company bosses feel about truly empowering the workers of tomorrow. Because happier, flexible, content people are more productive, more creative and more human. They are the result of giving people the opportunity to achieve the perfect work/life balance through technology.