In any given week in the business world I notice technology being used every day that many would call the workplace of the future. The networking group I’m a part of uses a large Microsoft Surface Hub for presentations.
Everyone in attendance carries a smartphone answering emails and texts. As a technology salesman I regularly attend customer appointments and I carry a Surface or an iPad to jot down notes or make presentations. I could do the same with a laptop but find it cumbersome and distracting to try to sit and type during a client discussion so working with a device I can write on digitally so I don’t have to re-enter my notes on a PC later makes a world of difference. I work remotely from a home office much of the time and regularly attend video conference calls with both customers as well as vendors.
It no longer takes fancy equipment and a large boardroom for such a conference but a simple IP camera on a laptop, PC or other device works great. Most of the conferences are just myself and 1 or 2 other people. Having video conferences saves on travel and makes the work week much more productive because I can attend more meetings online than I ever could traveling. I read recently that people only spend about 46% of their average work week in a traditional office environment. Many applications from OneNote or Evernote, to CRM tools, Email, IP phones, etc are all cloud based meaning they can be accessed at anytime from anywhere. In fact all of my corporate applications live on my remote desktop in a data center that I access from whatever device I happen to be on that day. Yes... I know the handwriting is bad :)
In the same article I mentioned earlier statistics were given regarding who uses video conferencing and other technologies. 40% of workers under 44 years or younger used video conferencing rather than audio conferencing on a regular basis. Older employees continue to buck the trend with only 25% of those users taking advantage of video, but users 35-44 found meetings to be more productive using video. Interestingly enough there are still some industries that are holding onto the old way of doing things as technology doesn’t always lend itself naturally to industrial, construction, retail type businesses. However technologies such as IP telephony gives even less tech needy businesses more flexibility with things like auto attendants, call cueing, mobility and more. Cloud services such as Square or Clover for POS, cloud based accounting simplify transactions and accounting. New technologies use GPS to allow for location based marketing detecting where a client is in the area and texting them a special offer enticing them into the store.
Technology is not just future, companies are using it now, the workplace has already changed. Some businesses are on there way out because of old school thinking and just don’t know it yet. Having your industry "Uber-ed" by a tech savvy new comer is the new norm.
Its been said that "Success in business requires learning as fast as the world is changing". If your business is still planning on the workplace of the future rather than participating in the technology that is already here, its time to get in the game before you are left behind. The modern workplace is changing and the business owner that learns to adapt technology quickly will thrive.
About the Author
Mike is CEO of Agility Communications and a telecom veteran of 20 years, having worked for CenturyLink (Qwest) and as an independent telecom consultant. His industry expertise makes him adept at advising businesses on telecom strategy, helping SMBs optimize their communications, especially in the rapidly evolving landscape of cloud services. He is committed to working with companies to assess their voice and data systems in an effort to remain agile and competitive in the marketplace. When he's not creating value for customers, Mike and his family spend time outdoors and like to take in the arts. Mike is a consummate hobbyist including sports, boating and the outdoors. He loves to talk sports and is an avid Warriors fan.
Connect with Mike on LinkedIn or read his latest posts on the Agility Communications webpage.