Technology has boomed beyond belief within the past years and has taken over various industries and workplaces. It is a must learn skill now with a wide variety of subcategories.
Technology has evolved and shaped our workplaces in many ways, through the adoption of tools like the internet and email for communications, word processing, spreadsheets and presentations for office productivity, electronic databases for record keeping, and robots and artificial intelligence for automation.
Technology is indispensable in our work-lives, and it pervades every aspect of businesses and the public space.
Here are 10 ways in which technology has become an integral part of everyday work:
1. Communications technologies
Long distance communication is one area where technology has made a profound impact on workplaces. Businesses used to employ fax machines, surface mail and the telephone in the past.
Today, email, SMS, and various chat software tools have become the principal modes of business communication. Also, the use of video conferencing is on the rise, thus reducing the need for physical travel.
2. Office productivity
Word processing, spreadsheets, digital presentations and other office productivity software have become so commonplace that their use has become routine, and this has completely transformed office work.
Office software is now becoming integrated with other productivity and decision making tools like PowerBI and this new wave will revolutionise the workplace again.
3. Record keeping and retrieval
Another area where advanced technology is already ubiquitous is record keeping.
Most businesses have switched to electronic databases, rather than paper files, to store and access their records, and this has become an essential and everyday part of our work environment.
4. Internet and search
One other major tool that has become so commonplace so as to become nearly unremarkable, is the internet and its organization through search portals such as Google and Bing.
Information retrieval and research using internet tools has become an indispensable tool for all work.
5. Decentralised work and cloud computing
The proliferation of laptops, tablets, and smartphones has made it easier for professionals to work from anywhere and has led to flexible-work environments like freelancing, work-on-demand, and work-from-home.
Recently, this trend has accelerated because of the adoption of cloud computing which allows workers to store and use data and applications on a server.
6. Analytics and new decision structures
Big Data analytics has become an important tool for all business functions. For instance, marketing through digital channels requires professionals to routinely use advanced tools for analytics and computational advertising.
Human resource departments are using specialized tools for recruiting, performance tracking, and worker retention. Such data-driven decision systems are allowing front-line workers to act quickly, without always waiting for direction from the traditional top-down management structure.
7. Automation, robotics and future factories
Many workers, especially in the manufacturing sector, already work alongside autonomous robots. This is increasingly true in many other settings such as warehouse logistics, office sanitation, and building security.