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The future of work: Ten digital workplace trends

The way we work is changing. Beverly Lerch takes a look at how.

As technology expands, it would only make sense that there will be changes in all areas of technology, especially the digital workplace. Technologies have changed the way that businesses operate, collaborate with employees, and record and share information. This makes a business a rapidly changing arena and the competitiveness means that only those who study the current trends and make them work for them will succeed. Here's a look at some of the up-and-coming trends for the digital workplace.

1. Improved chatbot technologies

If you have ever visited a small e-commerce site, you may have immediately been greeted by a small window (usually down in the corner of the screen) with a person saying hello and asking if you need help. As technology grows, these chatbots that generate automatic responses may be paired with artificial intelligence. This could transform the face of customer service, especially for frequently asked questions.

2. Virtual personal assistants

Currently, many ‘big’ business people hire personal assistants to do their light work, like taking notes and scheduling meetings. This gives them room to focus on running their business operation. Currently, some of the closest programs to offering these services include Google Now, Siri, Cortana, and Echo. As technology advances, they may be able to attend meetings and record notes, filling in on some of the duties as a personal assistant.

3. Microlearning

This idea has been introduced to give employees the chance to learn new skills and information. It uses digital literacy in the form of texts, videos, and quizzes. These are offered in short sessions, which is significantly more user-friendly than traditional learning methods. Another benefit of the shorter sessions is that employees do not have to carve out large portions of their workday to these activities.

4. Ambient knowledge

This technology uses algorithms to aggregate information on groups of people. Businesses like Netflix and Amazon utilize this technology to track information about user preferences and search history. Location services can also be utilized. This upcoming year may see the use of ambient knowledge to manage this same information about employees and their digital presence in the workplace. This can make software more user-friendly.

5. Production studio technology

One of the best ways to persuade someone remains giving an incredible presentation. As technologies advance, employees can learn to deliver content in new ways. This lets them use more production tools than offered by traditional slideshow tools like PowerPoint by Microsoft. The major benefit is that employees can showcase their creativity, which can lead to better ideas for selling, leading, and influencing in their field.

6. Embedded analytics

There are many decisions to be made when running a business. However, these decisions must be made after analyzing the most current data and this can take time—time that prohibits your company from acting. Embedded analytics is a service that is offered within some software programs, designed to help business owners make decisions almost automatically. The tool analyzes the latest data before making suggestions, by looking for patterns and trends that can be exploited for improved results.

7. Heightened security for personal clouds

Personal clouds are becoming more common at businesses, as an area where employees can store all their latest files and data. While this is convenient because it lets employees aggregate the data that they need, personal clouds are not always sanctioned by the IT department of most companies. That will likely change with the coming year, through increasing the security of the technology to protect confidential or sensitive data.

8. Voice search optimisation

As search engines become smarter and algorithms are more important than ever, businesses have turned to search engine optimisation (SEO) to make their content standout online. Over the next year, however, it may become increasingly important for companies to optimise their content for voice searches as well.

9. Advances in remote work

With the constant shift in technology, the next few years will change the face of working remotely. Holograms and other technologies can make working remotely more realistic and it will not be uncommon for virtual assistants to work closely with remote workers. Virtual reality may also make an impact here.

10. A shift in attitudes toward technology use

As technology advances, companies are going to require their employees to make changes to it. One of the leading reasons that software implementation fails within a company is because employees are not up-to-date with technology. As technology plays a more important role in business, it is going to become a skill that employees are required to have in many areas of work.

While you do not have to invest in every trend, staying current on the rising trends ensures that your company is not excluded from vital information. Think about how these trends could improve your business and keep your eye out for what might come next.

Beverly Lerch is a young freelance writer, contributor at Myhomeworkdone and an expert in self-improvement, motivation and productivity. She has many various interests and cannot imagine her life without sport.

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