Work is changing. Even before 2020, new technologies and fresh ideas have been evolving the ways that we do business. Entrepreneurs need to have an understanding of these new concepts so they craft new, forward-thinking strategies to grow their companies in a shifting commercial landscape. Whether you're working from the office or from home, here are five new technological and social trends that are guaranteed to make a positive impact on your working life.
1. Digital Organization Systems
The increasing effectiveness of computerized and web-based organizational systems is a real boon for business, especially for overworked human resources departments. The era of filing cabinets and stacks of paperwork is thankfully at an end, thanks to a wide array of new tools. Digital calendars and reminders are only the beginning.
HR document management software is one of the more promising offshoots of this technology, allowing administrators to not only collate documents properly to ensure regulation compliance but to store them in a secure manner as well. This massively streamlines admin duties and frees up the time and money typically spent on them.
2. Automation Technology
Artificial intelligence (AI) programs might be facilitating the most revolutionary changes in the business world. Computer modeling and big data are allowing business owners to make more informed choices for their companies. The entire field of business analytics is predicated on the idea that by having statistical knowledge of the past and present performance of a business, future performance can be anticipated more accurately. This fact-based management style is driven by the ever-increasing sophistication of those programs, which will allow them to become more autonomous in operation, freeing entrepreneurs to shift their energy from minutiae to creative endeavors.
3. Cybersecurity Advancements
As more businesses shift their operations to the internet entirely, the threat of cyberattacks threatens to balloon to unmanageable levels. With more people working from home, business computing has become decentralized, which magnifies the chances of an attack on any given company. The Ponemon Institute's recent report suggests that a full 42% of companies have no idea how to defend against cyberattacks aimed at remote workers. Fortunately, the power of countermeasure software is increasing as well. Better encryption tools are at the forefront of this war on cybercrime, with blockchain-based encryption systems helping to make individual online financial transactions more secure.
4. Sustainable Workspace Design
Advancements in workplace design are less about the technology that we have and more about how we put that technology to use. Sustainability is about more than just sticking solar panels on the roof, it's about using our knowledge of how nature works to optimize our lives. The proof is in the numbers. Natural lighting really does make workers more efficient. Adding plant life to an office can remove airborne chemicals (like formaldehyde) that cause physical and mental degradation. Providing healthy food options and encouraging science-based nutrition boosts individual productivity and health, thus contributing to disease resistance within groups. With health concerns at the front of everyone's mind, it's time for businesses to finally get serious about how the spaces in which we live impact our bodies and minds.
5. Dynamic Work Schedules
Few things have caused more controversy in the business world over the past two decades than debates over work scheduling. The change advocates have apparently won. More and more research is indeed showing that flexible work schedules are a sure path to increasing productivity. When Microsoft Japan tried a four-day workweek, productivity rose by 40% and energy use dropped 23%. Research also shows that employees who are allowed to choose their own path to accomplishing a project not only get it done faster but are willing to work longer hours to accomplish it since those hours don't feel as grueling. As it turns out, work-life balance is just as critical to our financial bottom line as it is to our health.
Nobody can truly predict the future. That being said, there are certain trends that seem to be standing the test of time and creating lasting progress. These new and promising ways of doing work are keeping the future looking bright in an ever-changing world.