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The impact of technology on the workplace

It wasn’t that long ago that work could only be completed from one location due to the fact we had to be ‘plugged into’ a power source. Internet connectivity relied on a physical wire for a connection. Today, thanks to technology we can potentially do our job from anywhere in the world.  

Employee flexibility 

With the invention of smart phones, tablets, Cloud and 4G connectivity, we can work from anywhere, any time.  ‘Mobility’ (as it is referred to), is helping to release us from the confines of our office and nine to five routine.  Need to go to the dentist?  No problem, you can do this and still respond to emails while in the waiting room.  Need to do some shopping at lunch time? Go ahead!  You can do this and still start the team sales call on your drive back to the office. 

Due to the movement to the Cloud, employees desired ‘work-life balance’ starts to feel achievable as you can begin to manage your work around your life. Employees now have the capacity to manage work around the demands of everyday life.  There is a flipside to this flexibility, with staff being ‘always on’, but overall, we are no longer chained to a location.  This change is helping employees to ‘work to live’ rather ‘live to work’.  From an employer point of view, tasks are more completed efficiently and resources are more flexible allowing for a more elastic approach to hiring.   

More connected and effective 

In addition, there are also a vast array of technology releases that enable us to remotely communicate with people inside and outside our organisations (Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, SharePoint and Outlook), making us more connected and engaged than ever before.  Have an idea?  Share it.  Don’t have a clue?  Ask your community.  

A happier, more motivated workforce 

According to recent reports in the Irish Times, fewer than one in ten small and medium businesses in Ireland are embracing remote or flexible working. For larger organisations the chance to downsize on office space as employees migrate to their home offices has obvious immediate financial benefits. Lowering power and lighting consumption or move to smaller premises is hugely attractive to organisations, many of whom have a mandate to reduce costs. 

Other noted benefits for companies include additionally worked hours.  There are many articles and studies completed that highlight the fact that employees who are empowered to manage their own time tend to spend longer working and are happier, more productive and motivated because of it. 

Mobility and challenges 

This can be positive, but all this progress is not without its challenges and risks.  Some company headaches include updating of employee handbooks to incorporate items such as social media guidelines.  IT departments will have to find ways to protect their corporate network whilst still giving employees the freedom to work anywhere, any time and on any device, which is not the easiest of tasks. 

Many companies struggle with the idea of mobility as it is such a vast area that impacts on every facet of the business. Today, many companies have already either instigated it or are unwittingly being sucked in by the virtual vortex.  Organisations have been dragged in a multitude of directions as the technology evolution gathered pace and employees started using their own devices to connect to the corporate network. A business now must review numerous areas including: 

- How are your policies holding up?   

- Do your employees even know what they are?  

- Have you seen your latest, confidential client presentation inadvertently shared in the public domain? 


Why Choose Auxilion? 

The team in Auxilion spend a great deal of time helping organisations across multiple sectors.  Whether it is understanding new concepts or planning for the unexpected, we help clients embrace technological changes that inevitably occurs.  We ensure your policy making and governance is resilient enough to cope with the technology evolution without marginalising your progressively technologically-savvy workforce.  To learn more about our services, contact us here and a member of the team will get back to you.   

Reference: Fewer than one in ten SMEs embracing remote or flexible working