We’ve all dealt with it before — how to make legacy technology work so that it doesn’t slow you down. Whether it’s losing a flash drive with a document on it that you spent hours writing, or being left out of the loop because a coworker forgot to hit “reply all” on an important email, or stepping in front of a group to give a presentation only to realize you’re not quite sure just how you’re going to connect your laptop to the screen — we’ve all experienced these workplace faux pas. But what if we didn’t have to deal with these hassles anymore?
As a work-from-home employee managing a social media team dispersed around the world, the ability to stay connected and collaborate with my team and customers is critical to our success. I look at the way we interact and wonder: What if the stodgy old productivity barriers of the traditional 9-to-5 office were swept away in a new era of organization, compatibility, and inspiration driven by smarter devices and services?
Mobile Puts the “M” in Movement
Big ideas can happen anywhere, anytime. Adopting mobile applications in business enables employees to capture and share in real time making mobility an intuitive, simplified experience. Hands-free options like voice commands, gesture input, and smart alerts save time, streamline complex tasks, and make multitasking easier. Video conferencing has also been incredibly impactful on establishing instant connectivity and personal interaction between remote, dispersed employees.
Per Michael DeFranco at Forbes, “In 2015, I expect to see a shift from enterprises investing in technologies that just end up giving workers another ‘thing to check’ to those that truly drive productivity by putting the right information into the right hands at the right time.”
Wireless solutions are popping up everywhere with wireless display, wireless charging, and wireless docking becoming prevalent on both a corporate and consumer level. Wireless can be a game-changer when it comes to creating a connected boardroom, delivering presentations, leveraging data, and enabling more meaningful interactions.
The future office will bring better use and integration of collaboration tools. Gone will be the days of losing precious work or sifting through an inundated inbox. “Long threads, attachments and elaborate formatting are archaic, confusing and counter to collaboration. Messaging services and apps trump email for all but the most formal or regulated communication, with no single service dominant, as context matters,” states Steven Sinofsky from Re/code.
Document security can also be improved by embracing the cloud. Web-based apps allow the business to control who can see and manipulate content. Sinofsky states, “Using cloud-based documents supports an organization knowing where the single, true copy resides, without concerns that the asset will proliferate. Mobile devices can use more secure viewers to see, print and annotate documents, without making copies unnecessarily.”
With the use of cloud-driven mobile applications, ease of access to information and services will be important. But so is keeping access to those assets safe and secure. The increased use of multi-factor authentication, including the potential mixture of biometric authentication and RFID, will provide convenience and ensure that only the right person will see the right information.
I find that I need to better manage myself and set boundaries between work and life as these new technology tools make collaboration anytime, anywhere easier. Yet I’m excited to know that the future of work might be closer than we think, and I welcome it with open arms in 2015.