Date published 15/06/2018. Written by Rachel @ DataKom

Innovative technology trends changing the workplace

Just as the industrial revolution changed the world, recent advances in technology have changed the way business is conducted and redefined how companies operate.

AI-based devices such as Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa are already changing the way we socially interact with the internet – and with the objective of saving time and effort.

Interestingly 81% of UK employees would consider moving jobs for a more technologically advanced office that could streamline their working day.

New technologies are driving traditional workplaces to transform and support smarter, flexible working. We take a look at the main trends transforming the way we work.

Internet of things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is simply a device which connects to the internet, such as cloud-based phone systems, watches, home appliances and even a heart monitors.

This technology has the opportunity to revolutionise how a business operates. New technology could identify and solve problems quicker than a person over the phone.

For example, if a product has failed and needs servicing, an automatic message could be sent to manufacturer’s customer service team and the problem can be fixed promptly. This could work for anything from a security system to a car, or your office computers.

Analyst Gartner calculates that around 8.4 billion IoT devices were in use in 2017, up 31% from 2016. And this will likely reach 20.4 billion by 2020. 

Businesses can utilise devices in order to take advantage of the IoT. Connect cameras for real-time office monitoring, mobile credit card readers which connect to smartphones and fleet trackers to follow shipped products.

These are all time, money and manpower saving applications for businesses. The IoT can potentially reduce operating costs, increase productivity and expand your business to new markets.

Flexible working

Over the past few years, there has been a significant rise in flexible working. Research suggests that 70% of organisations will have adopted flexible working by 2020 and businesses who implemented technology to support mobile working reported a 50% increase in productivity.

It is easy to see how a lack of private space prevents employees from focusing while open-plan office noise has the potential for distraction. An estimated 86 minutes a day are lost due to disruptions and 31% of workers felt they had to leave the office altogether to do productive work.

With the right communication technology in place, all employees regardless of their physical location can connect with each other from any location. Conference calling, video chats, instant messaging and content sharing are just a few of the possibilities available. 

Smart buildings

The term “smart building” generally refers to network-enabled building management systems that help automate building operations.

These technologies, once considered revolutionary, are steadily becoming the norm in today’s premier office buildings.

The New York Times’ 52-story, 1.5 million-square-foot headquarters in Manhattan was designed to use 1.28 watts of lighting power per square foot. A management system aligned lighting controls, motorized window shades, sensors, digital ballasts and LED drivers, all supported by a web-based interface. The system cut usage to approximately 0.4 watts per square foot -- a 70% energy saving.

Smart buildings cater to rising employee expectations of technologically advanced spaces that will adapt to their needs and help them achieve their goals – from having the right temperature to work to finding a colleague’s location in diverse office environments.

Unified communications

Unified communications (UC) in simple terms is the integration of enterprise communication tools such as VOIP, mobile applications, video conferencing and data sharing. 

A user could seamlessly collaborate with another person on a project, regardless of being in separate locations. The user can quickly locate another user by accessing an interactive directory and launch instant messaging, a voice call, or a video call.

An email can be a message from your mobile phone’s voicemail.  Instead of calling a number to hear your voice messages, you can now listen to a recording of your voice message within your email provider. 

Examples of UC technology are:

  • Call control
  • Presence e.g. available / unavailable / busy
  • Instant messaging
  • Speech access and personal assistant
  • Conferencing (audio, web and video)
  • Collaboration tools
  • Mobility
  • Software to enable business process integration

The cloud

The cloud is becoming an essential piece of the digital environment. The cloud can connect all business systems internally, between multiple sites and allows international collaboration. A recent survey found that 79% of respondents reported that they’re seeing increased productivity and enjoy better security as a direct result of using the cloud, while another 51% of cloud users reported higher revenue growth rates over competitors.

When innovations such as this are combined with mobile and streamlined UC systems, it’s easy to see how our workflow will change. Our work environment will change along with it. The devices that anchor us to a physical workplace are disappearing.

With our cloud-based phone system KloudPBX you have the ability to unite all teams, integrate applications, connect multiple office locations and mobile employees under one phone system. If you have a new office opening or new member of staff you can simply connect them to your KloudPBX system.

All businesses need to continually adapt in order to survive. By embracing modern technologies and recognising which can add value financially or from a time management viewpoint, your business can thrive.