Technology and Data are Changing the Modern Workplace: Here's How
Ask any business leader what has had the greatest impact on their industry or organization over the last few decades, and you’re bound to get the same, popular response: technology. That’s because nearly every aspect of running a modern company is now affected by technology — from sales and marketing, to strategy and finances, to recruiting and retention.
In addition to the big processes, technology also has infiltrated the small, day-to-day processes of the modern workplace. Here are three key areas where technological innovations have had the biggest impact:
As the emphasis on employee engagement and the employee experience has skyrocketed, employers have invested more resources into ensuring their workforce feels comfortable and motivated. One of the most common approaches to encouraging employee engagement is leveraging new technology to improve experience. This might mean implementing new software solutions to promote professional development, improving communication through a faster and more user-friendly instant messenger platform, or fostering a collaborative atmosphere through knowledge management software.
However, more than just improving small experiences, business leaders must seek out technology that has the proper balance between connectivity and flexibility, for both the onsite and remote workforce. By using wireless sensors and the Internet of Things (IoT) to collect data about the workspace — such as occupancy and utilization — you can use this data to identify areas of the office where your workforce prefers to spend their time. After identifying these spaces, you can then determine what elements they have in common, allowing you to design workspaces where your employees feel happy and motivated.
Creating a digital workplace also opens the door for employers to offer their workforce flexible scheduling options. With instant access to the information they need at all times, employees can be empowered to work in their preferred location and on their schedule—which can have a positive effect on productivity and career satisfaction.
Data Analytics and Insights
In the past, manual data collection, spreadsheets and hard copies were the only ways to keep diligent records. Luckily, today’s business leaders have significantly more powerful tools to gather data about employees and facilities — and much more accessible means for storing and analyzing that data.
With technology advances, the issue is no longer how to easily collect data; now it’s figuring out how to manage the nearly incomprehensible volume of data workplace technology can provide. Without analytics and reporting solutions, this data can quickly become a burden.
Although previous methods of data analysis were simpler, the quantity and quality of information was also lower. As a result, on-the-spot decisions about the future of the organization were more difficult to make. Now, the process has flip-flopped: business leaders’ volume of data may necessitate more complex tools for analysis, but the results are more accurate and more reliable, which allows for quicker decision-making.
Onboarding and Training
Many organizations already use automation in a variety of contexts — from, marketing automation, to process automation, to sales automation. However, many businesses are also realizing the power of automation to streamline the onboarding and training of new employees. While the first few weeks after a new employee starts will undoubtedly be rocky, using onboarding software is one of the most effective ways to ensure the onboarding and training process is organized and efficient.
As with most workplace technologies, employee onboarding software offers several benefits, including:
- Faster administrative processing
- Shortened learning curve
- Improved employer reputation
- Strengthened alignment with company goals
- Increased employee engagement
- Higher employee efficiency
The onboarding process goes beyond simply entering an employee into the HR system; it sets the tone for their tenure at the organization. Onboarding software can help both the new hire and the organization feel more confident in the employee’s future at the company.
While this list is by no means exhaustive, it does offer insight into the scope of technology’s impact on the modern workplace. With a wealth of technologies at any business leader’s disposal, one of the biggest challenges is choosing which best meet the needs of their organization.
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