Technology is continuing to improve and has shown to be a leading cause of disruption in business over the recent years. Businesses are slowly beginning to adopt various innovative technologies in order to keep ahead of digital disruption and future-proof their business. In turn, this has transformed the way organisations operate and perform externally and internally, from customer service to employee recruitment and learning. So, what key tech trends could affect the
way you work?
There has been a buzz around virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI), which have become synonymous with the phrase ‘future technologies.’ However, their use is becoming more common within businesses. VR is becoming a popular training method for employees. It combines the social interaction of classroom training with elements of digital. Retail businesses in particular are finding it effective as it places employees in realistic scenarios that they could face in the store environment with a customer.
Automation and AI have transformed workplace operations due to their ability to look through large volumes of data and spot things that humans probably would have missed. It also has the potential to overturn labour productivity growth, which has dropped to an average of 0.5 percent in 2010–2014 from 2.4 percent a decade earlier in the United States and major European economies.
We are also now moving into the second generation of the Internet of Things (IoT), which is the connectivity of internet devices embedded into everyday objects, allowing them to send or receive data. Examples of this are Amazon’s Alexa and Echo, and Google Assistant; these can collect information from customers and be used to improve their overall experiences. Forbes commented on how IoT can be used on a bigger scale to create "smart cities" which can monitor the way we work and live. They stated that this can then be used to reduce waste and improve efficiency in areas such as energy use.
Other future workplace trends include the growth of the gig economy and hot desking. Currently, more than one in three workers are freelancers, meaning they are not restricted to the traditional 9–5 role in an office, but rather choose when they work. 66% of large organisations are using freelancers to cut costs, and the implementation of new communication technologies makes it even easier to collaborate.
However, the growth of this workplace trend means trainers are faced with the challenge of implementing employee learning for disparate employees. This in turn increases the demand of digital learning. Digital learning involves using the likes of mobile and LMS to deliver training. Through this method, learning material is hosted and readily available to employees no matter their location.
Wranx works on this principle, pushing training to dispersed workforces and ensuring that training is delivered in a consistent manner. Using AI, Wranx schedules personalised content to each learner, based on how well they knew their answers. This ‘just-in-time’ training has shown to be better for engagement and it increases knowledge retention. But more importantly, it ‘future-proofs’ businesses by adapting to the changing nature of the workplace.
There are many innovative technologies and trends that are on the rise and implementation of them is becoming more common. This digital disruption is showing no signs of slowing down and every aspect of people’s lives will be affected, including at work. The likes of automation can help create smoother, more efficient processes within the business, while VR and mobile learning can create a more effective learning experience for employees.
Investing in new technologies can result in a better learning experience and improved operations, so it’s important for corporate businesses to be aware and to see how they can fit into your workplace currently. Blended learning programmes are becoming increasingly popular as they combine the benefits of digital learning with face-to-face classroom training.
It is equally important to look to the future and understand how your business can use the digital shift to your advantage, particularly as office dynamics will soon change with the rise of hot desking and gig work. There will be less of a focus on physical presence in the office, but more emphasis on the delivery and productivity that these new technologies will provide.