Workplace technology is changing rapidly. Are companies keeping up?

The world of work has changed in myriad ways over the last few decades – the recognition of the lack of diversity in the corporate world, the arrival of millennials, the advent of corporate wellness programs and four-day work weeks and sabbaticals. But perhaps nothing in the world’s workplaces has evolved faster than the technology found within.

In March 2020, for most companies, just making sure their suddenly returning employees had access to laptops and decent WiFi was enough. Then, as the work-from-home revolution dragged on, you saw some employees using other types of technology —ring lightsPodcast-style microphones, external cameras.

And now?

IT departments are largely refocusing on office tech, but not as loudly as before Stephanie Hallforda vice president intel and panelists at a recent Quartz-at-Work workshop on workplace technology.

“In the office environment,” Hallford said, “companies say, ‘OK, how do I create a way that the person online and the four of us in the room have a balanced environment?'”

Workplace technology is advancing. Are companies keeping up?

Once the technical requirements of hybrid workers are known, what next?

Hallford and others are already looking at the metaverse and the promise of using it to transform telepresence (which you have when everyone is on a video call) to co-presence (when it feels like everyone is actually in the same room). with you, even if they log on miles away).

“The reality of that is still relatively far away, simply because of the connectivity and [the fact that] Nobody owns the entire end-to-end process,” Hallford said.

Fair enough. Of course, the notion that companies would be able to support widespread remote work also once seemed very distant.

Six (relatively) new uses for workplace technology

But back to the present…

Hallford and the other panelists at our event offered several ideas on how technology can be better leveraged in the workplace today. For example:

What else have we learned from our panel of workplace technology experts?

Technical skills are no longer just for IT staff

Sophie RuddockVice President at the Platform for Technical Apprenticeships multiverse, cited consulting work at a construction company where the sales team and engineers wasted hours each week on manual tasks ripe for automation. Instead of centralizing work with IT, everyone on the sales and technical teams was trained to use technology that made their jobs less tiring.

Ruddock argues that this is good for both workers and the company: “You start spreading the skill, you start spreading the skill across the company so everyone is preparing for the future of work.”

Technology is not a substitute for transparency

DanielJohnsonCo-founder of the personnel consultancy RedThread Research, says that it is crucial for managers to make it clear how the various systems are intended to be used by employees. With that in mind, Quartz at Work editor Anna Oakes advises if you’re using tracking technology to keep tabs on employees, make sure they know and explain why it’s important. It might even turn into an opportunity to reinforce your mission.

Finally, don’t fall in love with the technology in your workplace

Find out how it can be helpful today and start using it, but understand that recent innovations can quickly make it obsolete.

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