Workplace technology does not refer to a new water cooler, a play room, a printer or a coffee machine that actually works. Workplace technology is the byproduct of a workplace evolution that has started the past couple of years and was escalated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Just look at this stat.
According to McKinsey, 60% of jobs will be transformed through the automation of component tasks by 2030.
Before we dive into what workplace technology is and how it will change our lives in 2021, let’s talk about how we actually got to this point.
Getting up in the morning and driving, cycling, or for the lucky ones, walking to the office, used to be the way the world worked for years. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that things change in the blink of an eye and what we take for granted can cease to exist in a few days.
The workplace is no longer synonymous to the office and the whole wide world is adapting to the new reality. COVID-19 has forever changed the way we perceive working and even if it eventually goes away, its impact will be felt in the years to come.
What are these technologies and how will they impact our professional life? Let’s investigate.
As always, let’s start with some stats:
- 87% of CIOs believe that empowering employees through technology can drive at least 5% additional revenue growth over a 3-year span. (Radius)
- 92% of employees state that having helpful technology empowering them to do their job, directly affects their work satisfaction, according to a study by Ultimate Software.
- 64% of employees would opt for a lower paying job if they could work away from the office. (Deloitte)
- 73% of people surveyed say they know of systems that would help them produce higher quality work.(PwC)
- Organizations with strong online social networks are 7% more productive than those without. (Deloitte)
The notion of work and workplace has changed drastically. Work is not a place where you go but rather a set of tasks that you perform. It’s not location-based, but results-driven. It has nothing to do with your physical presence but everything to do with your skills, personality and character.
These stats are showing that infusing technology in the workplace is a direct link to more productive employees.
Let’s give some examples for both the physical office and remote work scenario to contextualize the technology we are referring to.
- Office automation control system – We’re talking about temperature, lighting and wi-fi. We know that this is not a glamorous suggestion on our part but trust when we say it’s valuable. How many times have you fought with colleagues over the air con temperature or the lights being too bright? The right working environment can be automated through a smart automation control system that adjusts these variables automatically, based on its algorithm.
- Electronic white boards – electronic white boards can store and print every information that is written on them. Forget quotes being missed in long email chains or documents. White boards can enhance the working experience instantly.
- Cloud platforms & cybersecurity – cloud technology allows teams to work conveniently and collaboratively from anywhere. Data and information are not stored on devices, but online, making them easy to access at all times. Tied to cloud technology is cybersecurity. Companies that are able to ensure the highest level of cybersecurity, empower their staff to work with confidence.
- Communication tools – Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp, Slack. All these communication tools have made meetings, instant messaging and overall communication easy, accessible and effective. People can be at the comfort of their own homes and be in direct contact with clients and colleagues, never missing meetings and having meaningful discussions.
- Project management tools – Monday, Asana, Trello, Jira. Much like the communication platforms mentioned above, these project management tools allow for clarity, visibility, tracking, communication and progress of tasks by an entire team. These platforms are great at answering questions like: Who is responsible for what? When is the deadline? What’s the status of the task? Where is the feedback?
A study by HPE Aruba called “The Right Technologies Unlock The Potential Of The Digital Workplace,” revealed the following interesting stats:
- 51% of employees working in companies employing more technology reported greater job satisfaction
- 92% said that more technology would improve the workplace overall
- 69% showcased a desire to see fully automated equipment in the workplace
Satisfaction is a big factor in the workplace. The feeling of doing something that can be seen, measured and valued by senior management. The sense that your hard work is being appreciated and has a direct impact on the success of the company.
Recognition breeds employee satisfaction and gone are the days where everyone would meet at the big meeting room to give a big round of applause for Susan being the employee of the month once again.
Employee recognition platforms such as Kudos, iAppreciate, Workstars, Achievers, and countless others, have the ability to track work rate and celebrate milestones. The instant feedback lets employees know in real time that their managers appreciate their efforts,
Another feature of workplace technology related to employee satisfaction is learning. Here are some interesting stats to enforce the point.
- 86% of employees said it is important for employers to provide learning opportunities (Ceridian)
- 19% of employees want tuition reimbursement for classes, 19% want classes and workshops, 13% prefer job shadowing opportunities, 12% ask for presentations from experts, and 7% want learning resources like books, videos and online courses (Clutch)
- 14% of employees said they would like more training or learning opportunities to improve their job satisfaction (CNBC)
Employers can leverage platforms like Udemy or Coursera and sponsor courses for their staff. On-demand digital learning enables employees to advance their skill-set and career without disrupting their regular work schedule.
The workplace is evolving and tech is the major disruptor in this change. It is the driving force in the workplace revolution and its potential is limitless.
Tech can help the workforce be more productive, happier, more satisfied and focused. It is something we will definitely keep an eye out for and keep track of how it develops.