The modern workplace of today is almost unrecognizable compared to that even just twenty years ago. Just as technology and, in particular, computers have become an integral part of other areas of our lives, so they have also transformed the work environment, streamlining the way we work and driving efficiency.
Computers and the internet have opened global markets for companies of all sizes, and advancing technologies continue to offer exciting new opportunities to businesses – everything from the emerging, autonomous Internet of Things (IoT) to the growing trend of machine learning.
When you stop to think about it, it’s often quite difficult to imagine just how corporations functioned in the pre-internet, pre-email world. Here are just a few ways technology and the internet have improved business and the workplace.
Vastly improved efficiency and increased productivity
Technology has eliminated many of the mundane tasks previously performed by humans in the workplace and freed up employee time to be spent on more profitable duties that generate income. This move to greater automation and efficiency has been seen across all sectors – from global multinationals right down to small local medical businesses.
While it’s still in its infancy, the growing trend toward implementing Artificial Intelligence (AI) software solutions and systems at work is already having a profound effect. Many tasks are now fully automated and performed by smart software apps, and in many cases, tailormade for a particular type of business.
For example, modern dentist practices can now take advantage of specialist dental software apps, which are tailored specifically for use in dental surgeries, featuring everything from protected patient record databases to appointment planning and compliance monitoring.
Computers and, in particular, mobile devices have also improved communications at work and sped up dealing with clients. They have also moved work outside the traditional office, allowing staff to work on the move using remote networks.
Greater collaboration both in and outside the workplace
Mobile technology has massively increased collaborative working both inside and outside the office, with staff now able to work perfectly well on the road. Also, improved software and networking tech now allow employees to work concurrently on documents, add new files, make amendments, logging progress, and even schedule video conference calls to keep team members updated on deadlines and milestones. This kind of collaborative, always-connected teamwork simply wasn’t possible just a few years ago.
Tighter fiscal awareness, cost management, and budgetary monitoring
Computers haven’t just made staff more productive by removing mundane and repetitive jobs – new technology has also made it considerably easier to keep a handle on expenses and monitor areas of productivity.
With advanced accounting packages and data analysis, companies are now far better at forecasting possible outcomes from decisions by referencing past performance. These same packages can also give an accurate breakdown of where a company is spending – and generating – its money, allowing bosses to focus attention on the most profitable sides of their operations while identifying and addressing areas of waste.
As the sophistication, scope, and intelligence of software and machines improve over the coming years, the influence of technology in the workplace will continue to have a transformative effect. In fact, given popular computing and the internet turn 30 this year, it could be argued we’re only at the beginning of a very long journey with technology.