This post has been updated on March 12, 2020.
The face of business is rapidly and constantly changing with the extensive use of technology. Humans have come a long way since the mass panic in the Industrial Revolution when many laborers rejected machines out of fear that they would be displaced. Now, corporations are relying on these tools and gadgets to maximize the productivity of employees. In many ways, the majority of the workforce is better for it.
Employee learning and development is one of the many facets of organizations not immune to this change. It was previously pointed out on this blog that L&D professionals are making employee training more learner-centric through the use of tech. Researchers have found that $156 billion dollars are spent on training new hires but 9 out of 10 employees were unable to retain information. Traditional L&D methods involved lengthy classroom sessions that fail to sustain the interest of employees.
A blended learning approach is more interactive and thus more engaging. With the use of technology that can reinforce their education on the company and the job, the need for retraining or extended training periods can be cut short or eliminated altogether. The time saved may be spent on productive work.
Frankly speaking, team meetings have lost their purpose over the decades. Harvard Business Review surveyed managers from different industries, and 71% admitted that most of their regular meetings end up being a waste of time. In many cases, attendees poured over tedious details when a simple note to update everyone on a certain project would have sufficed.
Now, many companies are cutting down on their face-to-face sessions with virtual platforms where they can communicate and collaborate with employees. G-Suite and Slack are among the many useful programs that connect team members even when they aren’t in the same room.
Those who are uncomfortable with taking the floor may also feel more at ease in doing it virtually. Conferences with potential partners or clients can also be conducted online with video software, which reduces the need to brave through traffic or setting up rooms. Teams can hold meetings in the comfort of their own workspace, and that can boost productivity significantly.
Having reliable access to information is a vital component of rendering productive work. Organizations and technology both operate efficiently on having a stable connection. Imagine a customer relations representative with an irate customer on the other end of the line and no access to information just because the connection fluctuates. Not only can it lead to a decline in productivity, but it can also lead to the undue stress of an employee.
Valuable company documents are also moving to virtual space for more accessibility. Imagine the HQ of huge companies like Google, where it’s all sleek and functional with few or no messy shelves. Inc Magazine points out that office clutter can put a halt to a workday due to the sheer amount of paperwork to sift through. Conversely, a simple search function can provide the necessary information, mitigating the source of frustration and inefficiency.
Last year, a Global Workplace Analytics and FlexJobs report showed that remote work has increased to 3% of the entire US workforce. With technology making off-site collaboration and access to information possible, more companies are starting to see the value in allowing their employees to work remotely.
It saves employees from spending valuable hours on travel. It also allows them to control their environment so that it is conducive for work, thereby reducing office burnout. Employees also get time to engage in other productive activities or pursue further studies for career advancement. Online learning has in fact grown, given that the technology for conducting these types of classes is now sufficiently advanced. Asynchronous courses give learners the flexibility to balance other responsibilities besides their studies. With new innovations, workers can accomplish their tasks anytime and anywhere and still remain satisfied with their employment.
All in all
New technological advancements are constantly on the rise to prove that an organization’s productivity can still improve vastly. It’s a matter of finding the right technologies that will best suit your company’s practices and will be well received by your employees.
Jenny Briggs is a systems analyst and software engineer with over 12 years of experience. She currently collaborates with close friends to establish a startup for finance solutions.