We live in a world of instant gratification, where we can order food or have a taxi arrive at our doorstep within minutes. It is also a world where services are increasingly based on an individual’s traits and preferences—age, location, lifestyle, and mood. Whilst these people-centric experiences have consumed our personal lives, they’ve hardly penetrated the business world.
In a business context, user experiences have long been defined and controlled by IT. For many years, there’s been a gap between the technology people use at home and the technology they use at work. This is mainly because technology decisions have long been made by IT leaders without considering the people using the technology. However, today things are changing. Recent research shows 65 per cent of millennial IT buyers believe the technology they purchase for personal use influences their technology purchase decisions within their organisation.
As more businesses realise the value people-centric applications can generate, the line between personal and business tech fades.
In this article we look at some of the opportunities businesses can unlock with modern and user-friendly technology.
Recent years have seen the rise of the mobile worker with 1.6 million employees in the UK regularly working from home, and most staff working flexibly at least some of the time in two-fifths of businesses internationally. Modern technology has freed them from the office and enabled them to work from wherever they choose, whenever they choose. Employees are no longer bound to their desks, where they are expected to adapt their specific needs to a one-size-fits-all, legacy IT system.
Companies that invest in new technologies – are 'not only more productive but also more motivated, have higher job satisfaction, and are more likely to be positive about their work-life balance.' Click To Tweet
In many cases, technological advancement in businesses has been driven by the use of technology in the home. Workers using the latest smartphone, device, or productivity apps in their personal lives expect the same level of functionality in the workplace. This is especially true of the tech-savvy millennial generation, which carries the same products and applications they use at home to power their work lives.
Supporting a flexible work life
This consumerisation of technology is forcing businesses to offer employees tools and applications that replicate what they are using at home. It is seen as increasingly important for organisations to provide a user-centric experience that is as intuitive and easy to use as what they use at home.
The technology also needs to easily adapt to the users’ working practices and preferences as well as their changing needs. In most cases, cloud is the foundation upon which these solutions are built, with businesses appreciating the on-demand nature of cloud services, and its ability to scale up or down in line with user requirements.
Whether the employee is on the road, on-site, or at home, modern cloud-based solutions provide the flexibility to work from anywhere, across any device.
Elsewhere, new research shows that employees who work in digitally-driven workplaces—companies that invest in new technologies—are “not only more productive but also more motivated, have higher job satisfaction, and are more likely to be positive about their work-life balance.” In addition, 73 percent of workers reported a positive impact to their productivity and 70 percent cited improved collaboration thanks to digital technologies, compared to those who have less access to workplace technology. This reinforces the fact that employees no longer need to sit at a desk between nine to five to be productive, in fact, it’s quite the opposite.
The line between work and personal is blurring and unlocking new possibilities for businesses and their employees. Higher engagement and motivation to enhanced productivity, modern technology, and applications are positively impacting businesses. Technology is becoming a true enabler as organisations and IT leaders are considering user experience, needs, and preferences when choosing business apps.
With these seismic shifts in the workplace happening today, many employees are recognising that work is not somewhere you go but something you do, and businesses will benefit from enabling and promoting that change in mindset.
Originally published Jun 12, 2018, updated Jan 17, 2023