TECHNOLOGY

Technological advancement in the workplace

By Tim Hall, Chief Technology Officer at Blue Logic Computers

Tim Hall, Chief Technology Officer at Blue Logic Computers, explains the top technological changes that are effecting the workplace now, we look at the best technology’s being used today and evaluate how these will affect office working in the future.

—-Offices simply would not be able to function without high speed internet, smartphones, tablets and emails on the go but there is a new wave of technology that will allow them to be even more effective and efficient. We are seeing a change in how workplaces are running. Almost all organisations are adopting new tech. This trend isn’t going anywhere soon,actually, it’s expected to continue its positive shift into changing how organisations operate in the modern world. Here we look at the important applications that streamline office productivity along with some up and coming technology that is set to change the workplace.

Communication

Technology allows people to communicate effectively with colleagues all over the world. The introduction of ‘virtual offices’ essentially allows people to work anywhere across the globe and flexible working is becoming increasingly more accepted by employers. Employeebenefits.co.uk, reports ‘More than half (58%) of employee respondents cite flexible-working hours as the benefit they value as the most important’. source This shows offering flexibility is an important factor in keeping the modern workforce satisfied.

Cloud

Cloud computing is technology that allows the practice of using a network of remote servers to store, manage and process an organisations data, rather than on aon premise computer or server.

Cloud platforms are designed to shift your company into the modern-day world of flexible and remote working, increasing productivity and performance in your business. The result is an IT environment that ensures security and reliability.

Cloud computing comes in three forms: public clouds, private clouds, and hybrids clouds. Depending on the type of data you’re working with, you’ll want to compare public, private, and hybrid clouds in terms of the different levels of security and management required. Additionally, businesses should always ensure they perform ‘remote backups’.These are essential for disaster recovery to ensure your business is protected if an issue occurs.

Microsoft 365

Office 365 brings together the tools modern businesses need to collaborate and communicate effectively. It can help your organisation increase productivity and manage costs, as teams can work on these applications from anywhere and are not tied to an office environment.

Office 365 allows complete access to email, calendar and contacts from virtually anywhere at any time on desktops, laptops and mobile devices.

With Office 365, you get Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and Access wherever you are.  Through document sharing, team members have access to the most recent document version, allowing them to make changes and updates.

Additionally, your team can work together from virtually anywhere with Skype for Business giving employees the opportunity to collaborate via voice calls, video calls, messaging and screen sharing, all online.

The Power of Voice

All this remote working allows employees to work from just about anywhere, but what about office chit chat? There are many smart options out there to overcome this and ensure your employees can still communicate effectively with each other.

One example being Plantronics, a favourite amongst our customers. Plantronics are leaders in audio communications, headsets and conference units. According to a study conducted by Plantronics, ‘only 56% of people work at a fixed desk for more than three days each week’.

Their headsets have the ability to cancel out background noise, and are designed to promote maximum comfort. Their conference units can be connected by Bluetooth, and have bi-directional microphones to pick up sound clearly.. .queue the end of the bad quality conference telephone cable!

Security

Taking all these processes online can be brilliant for many reasons, however it does open another question about how secure can employer’s data be, when it’s all online. According to a 2017 cyber security breach report; Just under half (46%) of all UK businesses identified at least one cyber security breach or attack in the last 12 months. This rises to two-thirds among medium firms (66%) and large firms (68%).source The threat is real. But there’s no need to panic, cyber security is more advanced than ever and the technology is specifically designed to protect against these kinds of hazards.

Firewalls and internet gateways are designed to control incoming and outgoing network traffic, screenings hackers and viruses trying to reach your network. Similarly, malware protection stops malicious software from getting into your network. Norton explains; ‘there are various types of malware including spyware, keyloggers, true viruses, worms, or any type of malicious code that infiltrates a computer.’ source

Immersive Technologies

As reported by Forbes, immersive technology may be the norm in the workplace sooner than one would think. Augmented and virtual reality technology could be used in the business environment through training and immersive conference room services.

People are used to VR (Virtual reality) for entertainment through videogames, Google Glass and Snapchat spectacles so it’s no surprise they will start to come into force in the workplace too. During remote working employees can meet in an immersive environment.

Microlearning

Tech trends is also changing job training. Microlearning is the new way to learn. It’s a way of teaching skills in small bursts. The rise of video has accelerated this trend, especially for millennials who want snappy, digestible content.

Tech users’ brains are trained to focus for short periods of time, absorbing quickly which means incorporating this into staff training.This would not only be time effective, but it’s more likely the information will be taken on board more successfully by employees.

So, what does all this mean? Exciting times ahead. Technology is a rapidly changing and evolving space.Organisations should fully embrace technology and new advancements to streamline modern working to get the most out of their employees. The future of work will evolve as new technologies come into play.

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