Technology in the Workplace: What Is the Workplace of the Future?

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The ‘digital native’ generation has grown up with smartphones and social media and tend not to like unconnected, information silos – they often want regular feedback and encouragement.

This new workplace reality is having a major impact on the management styles required from leaders and the technology and tools needed to ensure a seamless customer experience.

These are the main areas where we believe technology will change the future of the workplace:

Blockchain and Recruitment

We are already seeing how technology is helping in Human Resources (HR) when it comes to searching for talent, with two great examples being LinkedIn’s impact on recruiting and Glassdoor’s on employer reputation.

The HR function was traditionally thought of as a cost center, but workplaces today are acting more like movie productions vs. traditional and typically highly administrative processes, like trawling through resumes and doing background checks.

HR is becoming more complex as a result, with groups of professionals being brought together for a project and then disbanded and reunited again for other projects – often in different combinations, with different funders.

With this new and flexible model, finding, motivating, and retaining the best employees and investing in training people is more important than ever and Blockchain technology is being seen as a strategic asset for HR departments, especially in the area of recruitment and payroll.

Right now, HR is up against it when it comes to matching up talent with where it needs to be in an organization – it’s a complex task and time is a luxury in recruitment, where speed of delivery might be the only competitive advantage.

Now that robots can identify qualified individuals and ask screening questions, HR departments can automate recruiting tasks with the help of Blockchain, to find the right talent and the roles they are best suited for, with less costs.

The globalization of businesses has lead to increasing international payroll requirements as more and more payments are being made to suppliers and business partners across borders and many companies see a very bright future for the cryptocurrency space when it comes to faster and cheaper overseas payroll processes, including Bitwage, the most popular payroll and invoicing platform built on blockchain.

In an interview with Jonathan Chester, Bitwage Founder and President, he discusses how it’s a combination of blockchain, mobile and cloud technologies that can reduce the cost of paying international employees to just 1 percent and yield same-day payouts for employees and they are not the only company that believe that the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency market is stable enough to run payroll on it – others are following suit, with Blockchain’s effect on HR set to be profound and pervasive.

AI and SaaS – Out with the Old, in with the Robots!

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the biggest revolution since sliced bread…and the internet…

When it comes to customer experience, AI is invading the world of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).

Your customers are using iPhones and Android phones every day, both of which have built-in AI assistants to execute some tasks without  them being involved, and, every year, Apple and Google announce more features to help people get more from their smartphones without having to do more.

This technology is driving a significant change in human expectations from software and machines and AI expert, Jerry Kaplan, believes that Robots and AI are going to have a  more dramatic impact on the workplace than the internet ever had – in fact, it looks like we’re going to be listening to robots more and more in future when making decisions, as analytic tools automate data for us.

This trend is changing the role of many employees with more jobs evolving focused on managing and implementing strategic initiatives, for example, SAP wanted to eliminate the need for users to manually interact with multiple work apps to get a job done and their goal was to do in the workplace what digital assistants do for consumers – chatbots and virtual assistants help us ask our phones and home devices questions and SAP CoPilot, a digital assistant by SAP was designed to help businesses with tasks like purchasing contracts and collaborating with colleagues.

Virtual Reality and Virtual Workspaces

Collaborate Wherever and However – with ever-evolving technology, work has already become something we do rather than somewhere we go now that many enterprises are fostering a company culture of flexible and remote working.

Tech companies like Microsoft and IBM were pioneers in the ´work from home` revolution, and Mark Greenaway, director of emerging business, EMEA, at Adobe, believes that remote working is one of the most revolutionary business trends in recent years and makes a case for increased productivity.

Virtual workspace collaboration technology like Mural or Skype for Business are evolving off of the back of this trend, providing the ability to interact virtually wherever people are located and communication costs have fallen because people don’t need to physically travel as much.

Teams, that are spread out across countries and continents, now collaborate in the same way they would if they were meeting up in person, sitting around the same table.

Virtual Reality (VR) is a much talked about new technology, which is still fairly new to the workplace, when I think about VR, I immediately think about the entertainment industry and video games, but enterprises are starting to leverage this technology in various other industries, for example, for training automation in the manufacturing industry.

A great example of this is how VR is transforming training programs in manufacturing plants, leveraging VR to connect field engineers with experts instead of providing service manuals and telephone support.

Real examples like this prove that what was thought to be a hype not so long ago looks set to become serious business, with Goldman Sachs predicting that VR will be an $80 million market by 2025, and all sorts of applications in the workplace are set to follow.

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